Twenty-five years ago the idea of mixing Japanese and Western cuisines was tantamount to heresy. A decade or so back it was cutting-edge novelty, embraced (and then almost as quickly disparaged) as “fusion.” These days, in Tokyo at least, it is fast becoming the postmodern standard. And the results can be exceptional — especially in the hands of creative young chefs like Taisei Kushima.

The 31-year-old Kushima is part of a generation for whom Western, most notably Italian, cooking is as familiar as that of his own country. Spaghetti and other pasta are now as integral to the Japanese daily diet as soba or ramen; olive oil is no less readily available than sesame; and balsamico appears little more exotic than kurozu rice vinegar.

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