News and reviews from the world of Japan’s embattled restaurant industry:
- After being forced online by the pandemic last year, Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants returned to the physical world last week with a glitzy awards ceremony in Yokohama, writes Oscar Boyd. Nine restaurants from Japan made the 50 Best list, and another nine placed on the new 51-100 ranking.
- What happened to Japan’s promised al fresco renaissance? New rules were supposed to make it easier for shops to set up outdoor dining so customers could avoid the “three Cs,” but the regulations are so convoluted, few can take advantage of them, write Spencer Cohen and Tommaso Barbetta.
- Four times named Tokyo Ramen of the Year, Chuka Soba Tomita it’s a legend among ramen heads — albeit more often spoken about than actually visited as it’s located an hour out from central Tokyo. Help is at hand for those living too far away, however, thanks to its online store, writes Robbie Swinnerton.
- Spare a thought for specialist restaurants that serve multi-course omakase (tasting menu) meals. As they’re now required to close early, dinners that might normally take two hours-plus require start times that are totally impractical. But you can help stores like Tokyo’s Tenoshima — and try their high-end dishes at lower prices — by ordering online, writes Swinnerton.
- Whether you are a longtime vegan, are allergic to dairy products, or are just curious about finding plant-based versions of your favorite sweets, Chiara Terzuolo presents five Tokyo vegan-friendly dessert shops — chosen for their quality and satisfying indulgence — that are sure to hit the spot.