Akasaka Tantei

Okinawan food is — for me at least — the food of summer. When the days are short and chill, I have little interest in the flavors of Japan's southwestern isles. But when the heat and humidity build like a thunderhead, that is the ...

Akasaka Kikunoi

A pair of ornamental cherry trees stand like attendants by a sturdy wooden gateway. A narrow flagstone path lined with bamboo and maples curves out of sight in the mid-distance. At one end you are on a nondescript backstreet in Akasaka; at the other ...

Takazawa

Ever since chef Yoshiaki Takazawa opened his bijou restaurant back in 2005, it has been one of Tokyo's most intriguing secrets, more talked about than actually visited. Lauded more loudly abroad than here in Japan, its mystique has been fueled by the setting, the ...

Yoshihashi

Elegance, refinement, exclusivity: These are qualities only to be expected at any high-end Japanese restaurant. Affordability? Think again. Or, rather, think different. That's the way to approach Yoshihashi. One of Tokyo's most elegant and traditional sukiyaki houses, Yoshihashi is also one of its least publicized. ...

Kamo-shabu Chikutei

There's no mystery as to what's on the menu at Kamo-shabu Chikutei. Even if you didn't know that "kamo" means "duck," the lamps at the entrance with their stylized image of a mallard in flight give the game away. More of an eye-opener, though, is ...

Hatsuogawa

Tradition is comforting, no matter whose culture it is. We eat plum pudding for Christmas, mochi at New Year and moon cakes to mark the Autumn Festival. We throw beans at setsubun and, on Valentines' Day, we will gladly accept as much chocolate as ...

Umaya

When the man behind a major new restaurant is a kabuki actor, it's inevitable that there's going to be strong public interest. When that actor happens to be Ichikawa Ennosuke -- the flamboyant superstar of his self-styled "super kabuki" -- you can expect the ...

Just recently back in town after a leisurely sojourn in Andalucia and suffering bad withdrawal symptoms, we headed down to cozy old Barraca. It's not the most creative Spanish restaurant in Tokyo, perhaps, nor the best-known. Nor does it operate at anything like those ...

Kagura

Akasaka's restaurants are an eclectic mix. Cheek-by-jowl with the raucous pubs, ramen counters and Korean kimchee kitchens, you find inscrutable anonymous facades, many of them exclusive ryōtei (traditional restaurants) reserved for politicians and captains of industry. Kagura does not operate at that rarefied level. But ...

Ogo Ono-Loa Hawaii

Something newsworthy has happened (well, newsworthy if you follow dining micro-trends): A new restaurant from Hawaii has opened in Tokyo and it doesn't serve pancakes. Maui Mike's (5-32-13 Hakusan, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo; 03-3830-0139; www.mauimikes.jp) serves chicken — glistening rotisserie chicken that spends two hours making ...