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Restaurant Picks Fit For Foodies – Tokyo (Part 1)

Restaurant Picks Fit For Foodies - Tokyo (Part 1)

Tokyo dominates as one of the leading food capitals of the world with 227 Michelin-starred restaurants! I’m sure everyone can agree that this is foodie heaven. With 227 amazing restaurants to chose from, where does one start? When choosing a restaurant there are two lists to help you narrow your choices: The World’s 50 Best Restaurants and Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants. Learn more about their voting system on their website.

Most restaurants offer online reservations but if you run into any issues, for instance the website is only in Japanese, you can always ask your hotel concierge to help. Keep in mind that most of these restaurants require advanced reservations so be sure to check their website at least 2 months in advance to understand the reservation system and plan accordingly by setting a calendar reminder, they are usually very particular.

And now without further ado, read all about our incredible dinning experience at each one of these fabulous restaurants.

Bird Land Ginza - A Michelin Starred Yakitori Restaurant

Yakitori is Japanese-style grilled skewered chicken, a rather simple dish that has earned Bird Land Ginza their Michelin star due to the chef’s technique and carefully chosen key ingredients. The yakitori at Bird Land is made from Ibaraki's original Okukuji Shamo chicken, a high-grade breed of chicken raised stress-free on a very wide area of land, that offers a rich taste, is low fat and has a really nice texture. You can choose from two types of courses depending on how hungry you are, 5 plates or 8 plates. We opted for the 5-plate option, keep in mind that the 5 plates option does not include the yakitori dishes, those count as one, and that you can order extra dishes as you go along, which is what we did and ordered the grilled cheese. Because grilled cheese on a stick is a must!

The restaurant has both counter seats and tables but if you want to get front row seats to the chefs carefully grilling your yakitori the counter is best.

The 5 plate option consists of the following:

Three Appetizers

Roasted Red Bell Peppers With Anchovy Sauce
Salad
Chicken Liver Pâté

Eight Different Kinds Of Yakitori

Negima – Leg meat with green onions

Okukuji Shamo Chicken – Breast meat topped with wasabi and salt

Okukuji Shamo Chicken – Thighs and legs seasoned, with Japanese sansho pepper

Okukuji Shamo Chicken Neck – Meat and skin from the chicken’s neck

Okukuji Shamo Chicken Gizzards - Thick-walled part of the chicken’s stomach

Okukuji Shamo Chicken Heart

Okukuji Shamo Chicken Meatballs

Grilled Skewered Gingko Nuts

Negima
Okukuji Shamo Chicken Breast
Okukuji Shamo Chicken Gizzards
Grilled Skewered Gingko Nuts
Okukuji Shamo Chicken Heart
Okukuji Shamo Chicken Thighs And Legs
Okukuji Shamo Chicken Neck
Okukuji Shamo Chicken Meatballs

Fore someone who is very particular about what chicken meat they'll eat, usually only white meat, this dining experience made me step WAY outside my comfort zone. These are the times when being open to trying new things can be really rewarding, each dish was delicious. As a result I can now say that I've eaten almost every part of a chicken.

In conclusion we were served three more plates: shiitake mushrooms, tofu salad, chicken and egg rice bowl and last but not least the extra order of grilled cheese.

Shiitake Mushrooms
Tofu Salad
Chicken and Egg Rice Bowl
Grilled Cheese

If you are looking for the best yakitori restaurant in Tokyo fit for a true foodie, Bird Land is a must!

Restaurant Information

Bird Land Ginza

Address: Tsukamoto Sozan Building B1F 4-2-15 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Hours: (Lunch) Mon-Sat: 11:00-14:00 (Dinner) 17:00-22:00 Sat: 17:00-21:30 Closed: Sunday, Monday, holidays
Credit cards accepted: VISA, MASTER, JCB, AMEX, Diners
Other menu languages offered: English
Nearest station: Tokyo Metro Ginza Station
Access: Next to Tokyo Metro Ginza Station's C6 Exit

Dress: Casual
Price range: 6,000 - 10,000 JPY ($55-90 USD)
Phone number: 03-5250-1081
Official website: Bird Land Ginza

Nihonryori RyuGin Restaurant

Three Michelin starred restaurant by Chef Seiji Yamamoto, who is famously known for sending an eel for a CT scan to better understand its anatomy, delivers a brilliant culinary experience. Chef Yamanoto refers to RyuGin’s cuisine as “creative Japanese food” that is “technology-driven”. The restaurant setting is intimate, traditional and the pride in their establishment is obvious. The restaurant is adorned with antique tableware that is hundreds of years old and irreplaceable. To avoid any accidents that could damage the valuable tableware I was asked to check my camera in when we arrived and told that only cell phone pictures were allowed and to proceed with caution. I certainly didn’t want to be “THAT” person who broke the irreplaceable glass so I made sure to watch my every move!

The best way to experience this incredible meal is with the sake and wine pairing. Finding the right wine or sake for these complex dishes is an art in itself and RyuGin does a wonderful job selecting the perfect pairing for each course.

The dishes are complex and crafted with the freshest Japanese ingredients. You begin your culinary journey with a variety of sensations that satisfy all senses. The first three dishes are crafted by keeping to the characteristics of seasonality, aroma, temperature, texture and assemblage.

“Matsuba Gani” (Snow Crab) From San-in
“Shrimp-shaped Taro” (Herring)
“Sea Urchin” from Hokkaido

You are then transported through nature with this next course; Owan soup, composed with Mount Fuji water, Kurakakoi Konbu (sea weed) and shaved Bonito Flakes with Tilefish, Tenpaku Hana-Donko (shitake mushrooms) and Yuba egg tofu.

Owan Soup

The next course pays homage to the sea, the ocean delicacies are displayed in the different dishes in the form of sashimi. These are signature dishes at RyuGin, served with the finest local ingredients.

Sashimi

Binchotan is a type of charcoal traditionally used in Japanese cooking and is the theme of the next course. This dish of Kinki fish, grilled eggplant and sansho leaf served with a beautifully seasoned broth was divine.

Kinki Fish, Grilled Eggplant And Sansho Leaf

Next you are taken into the forest to savor Ezo venison from Hokkaido, simply exquisite and full of flavor.

Ezo Venison From Hokkaido

The countryside is the inspiration behind the next course; pheasant rice followed by Chrysanthemum soup which is the Japanese national flower.

Pheasant Rice And Chrysanthemum Soup

The perfect meal ends with dishes inspired by coolness, warmth, playful spirits, nostalgia and temptation; dessert.

Strawberry wrapped in Mochi Blanket (Japanese rice cake).

Oryzae (a filamentous fungus), which happens to be the “National Fungus” of Japan served with a sake soufflé.

Strawberry Wrapped In Mochi Blanket
Oryzae Served With A Sake Soufflé
Matcha Tea

RyuGin was ranked #31 in the World’s 50 Best of 2016, #52 in the World’s 50 Best top 100 list of 2017 and #7 in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2017.

Restaurant Information

Nihonryori Ryugin

Address: Ground Floor, eisu bldg, 7-17-24 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0032

Hours: (Dinner) 18:00-1:00am (Last order: 21:30pm) Closed: http://www.nihonryori-ryugin.com/en/news_en
Credit cards accepted: VISA / MASTER/ JCB / American Express / Diners / DC / UC
Other menu languages offered: English
Nearest station: Roppongi Station on the Hibiya Line (Tokyo Metro), 2-minute walk from Exit 2 (in front of Meiji-ya Supermarket).

Tokyo Metro Oedo Subway line Roppongi Station exit 7(in front of Tokyo Mid-town) 5-minute walk.

Access: Next to Tokyo Metro Ginza Station's C6 Exit

Dress: Semi-Formal
Price range: 27,000 JPY ($250 USD) without pairing
Phone number: 03-3423-8006
Official website: Nihonryori-Ryugin

This concludes the first part of the top restaurant picks fit for foodies!

Click on the following link to read the next post Restaurant Picks Fit For Foodies (Part 2).

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