Review excerpt: The instant you see Kuriya Kashi Kurogi you know it’s special. The hidden location, verdant setting and striking architecture are more than remarkable — they are one of a kind. With the Kurogi name, you expect nothing less.
Chef Jun Kurogi’s eponymous ryōriya (traditional Japanese restaurant) is one of the best and most in-demand in the city. It was only a matter of time before he opened up another place — and only a matter of course that it would be impressive.
In contrast with his atmospheric restaurant — a converted 80-year-old geisha teahouse in the backstreets of Yushima — Kuriya Kashi Kurogi is as contemporary as you can get. It sits in a wooded corner of the University of Tokyo’s campus, on the ground floor of an imposing building covered entirely with layered wooden slats — one of architect Kengo Kuma’s trademarks — with a view of wildflowers and fresh foliage.
But Kuriya Kashi Kurogi is not just a new branch; it’s a whole new operation. The focus here is on artisan wagashi, the confections that have developed over the centuries as an adjunct to Japan’s traditional cuisine. Unlike most other sweets shops in the city, here the deserts are made to order — in just the same way that Kurogi does for customers at his restaurant, at the end of dinner.