The guy at the front, the head chef, is called Tara-chan (literally, “Codfish”). His second in command is Katsuo-chan (“Bonito”). Why have they adopted stage names? Because at GiroGiro, dinner is as much a performance as a culinary art. Make no mistake, though: The ...

Tokyo, of course, operates at a faster pace than the old capital, and the delicate Kyoto cuisine served at Shakunage is tailored to those demands, especially at lunchtime.

The inspiration is unmistakably Okinawan, as are the ingredients — but they are prepared and presented with the understated elegance of Kyoto and its elaborate kaiseki multicourse cuisine. It’s an intriguing cross-cultural melding, and one that by and large works wonderfully.

The idea is simple but profound. Japan’s traditional multicourse cuisine has always been based on the bounty of the vegetable kingdom. Increasingly, though, kaiseki meals have become loaded up with meat and seafood, with vegetables, herbs and mushrooms treated as mere seasonal accents. Nagamine ...

Sadly, the food does not live up to the expectations generated by these atmospheric surroundings. The cuisine is country kaiseki of the kind you might have found at a rural ryokan in the least enterprising years of mid-Showa. It has neither the hearty wholesomeness ...

In hanami season, one of the most pleasant views is from the cozy second-floor dining room of En, which overlooks an ancient pond in front of Engakuji Temple surrounded by cherry trees. Lunch is a fixed-price 3,500 yen kaiseki-style set meal. In the evening, ...

Rather than merely reproducing the tried-and-true (but oh-so-tired) kaiseki format, Kanetanaka-So opts instead for a more contemporary take on Japanese cuisine, in a setting so simple and spare it would inevitably be called “Zen” by most Western observers.

Toutouan lies inside Tokyo -- but only just. You will find it far from the throbbing heart of the city, on the western fringes of the greater metropolis, not so far from where the Tama River flows. It's a long way to travel, but a ...

The top-end menu will include some 15 separate plates, from the elaborate hassun appetizer platter to a “main” dish which, depending on the season, could be fugu pufferfish or crab in winter, ayu sweetfish during the hot months or morsels of rich wagyu beef ...

Most kaiseki restaurants serve meals that are by definition multicourse affairs, with no deviation from the established sequence of dishes. At Maru, you get a choice: Call ahead to order a full-course meal or pick from the a la carte menu (a full English ...

Truth be told, we were disappointed. Not with the interiors, which again showcase the design of owner Takashi Sugimoto, the man behind the Super Potato design studio. No grumbles about the menu, either, which continues the Shunju tradition of marrying European and Asian influences ...

Yamamoto’s cuisine is complex and flavorful, in no way dwarfed by the vibrancy of the new look. Ironically, though, at the same time as he has ramped up the decor, he has toned down his use of “molecular” bells and whistles, reverting to a ...

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