(Ikebukuro - International). 6909-4850
"Borderless cuisine" is the ambitious specialty at this tiny (8-seat) eatery run by three veterans of El Bulli in Spain. The Y12,000 (+10%), eight-course tasting menu draws on local, seasonal ingredients, and includes drinks (one beer and four wines). "Borderless cuisine" is the ambitious specialty at this tiny (8-seat) eatery run by three veterans of El Bulli in Spain. The Y12,000 (+10%), eight-course tasting menu draws on local, seasonal ingredients, and includes drinks (one beer and four wines).
The restaurant's unlikely setting is a former storage warehouse in the western edge of Ikebukuro, next to Kanamecho station. By reservation only. [Show more] [Show less]
Nishi-Ikebukuro 5-25-2, B1F. Open 6:30-11pm. Closed Sundays.
There's a popular Sunday brunch for Y6,600, but you can get the same lunch on weekdays for Y4,200 (minus the flute of champagne). Full-course dinners are Y11,000-21,000, but people come here just as much to see and be seen, and to enjoy the impressive view. The adjacent New York Bar has drinks and live music.
While Chef Keisuke Matsushima is best known for the regional southern-French cuisine at his Michelin-starred restaurant in Nice, his newer venture in Harajuku adopts a more eclectic approach. The kitchen draws on French, Italian, Japanese and Chinese techniques, all filtered through a distinctive Tokyo sensibility. And it's a point of pride that nearly all the ingredients used here are sourced from Tokyo and the surrounding Kanto region. [See FULL REVIEW
Jingumae 1-4-20, Park Court Jingumae 1F. Open 11:30am-1:30, 6-9pm (LO). Closed various days.
(Omotesando - Mediterranean). 5468-0881
From French celeb chef Alain Ducasse, a Mediterranean restaurant covering the cuisines of Italy, Spain, North Africa and Greece. The dining room is comfortable and attractively laid out, with nice views of Aoyama-dori, Shibuya and Shinjuku. Service is professional without being stiff. The wine list has some nice choices for under Y9000, and wine by the glass is fairly reasonable. Prix-fixe dinners from Y8,000, lunches from Y4500.
Chef Kenji Sugawara was one of Japan's pioneers in the art of California cuisine, and his "Tokyo international" style is unique and exciting. Menu descriptions include plenty of exotic Asian ingredients and spices, but they're handled delicately, adding subtle flavors that are skillfully balanced. The glassed-in open kitchen adds some energy and liveliness to the cozy dining room, which seats just 14. The wine list is small but diverse and reasonably priced; lunch is priced from Y1200, and the prix-fixe dinner menu is Y5800.
Minami-Aoyama 5-12-6, Dai-ni Wada Bldg B1F. Open noon-2, 6-10pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
Kurkku's attractive and spacious dining room is tucked into the back of a trendy-looking design shop, and the main focus is on the wood-burning grill at the heart of the open kitchen. The menu is built around premium grilled meats but also includes hefty portions of vegetables and greens. Prix-fixe dinners of ample size start at Y5500, and they include a vegetable-centered chef's menu. A few decent wines can be found for under Y6000, but it's easy to spend more if you want to splurge. The Y2800 three-course lunch is an especially good deal.
(Shibuya - International). 5784-2121
Tokyo fusion cuisine and an excellent view of Shibuya, managed by Global Dining (Stellato, Tableaux). The sommelier has put together a widely varied list of good wines that are all priced at Y4500 per bottle. (No lunch on weekends.)
Maruyamacho 3-6, E Space Tower 15F. Open 11:30am-2, 5:30-10:30pm (LO) daily.
Chef Sakurazawa is a veteran of the popular fusion establishments Citabria and Tableaux, and he brings a solidly grounded, creative vision to the menu. Drinks include a good selection of reasonably priced California wines. The attractively decorated dining room features double-height ceilings and a no-smoking mezzanine level. Most of the staff speak English, and English menus are available.
Ebisu 4-27-1. Open 11:30am-2:30, 5:30-11:30pm (LO). Closed Mondays.
Solid, self-assured new American cuisine and an inspired selection of more than 120 California wines in a lively urban setting. The culinary influences are more European than Asian, and memorable past dishes have included rack of lamb with dried fig sauce, enticing okra-shrimp spring rolls, and huge, succulent scallop appetizers. Prix-fixe dinners start at Y5250, and there's also an a la carte menu, with all mains priced at Y1680, provided that you sit at the counter. Solid, self-assured new American cuisine and an inspired selection of 40 California wines in an exuberantly urban setting. The culinary influences are more European than Asian, and memorable past dishes have included rack of lamb with dried fig sauce, enticing okra-shrimp spring rolls, and huge, succulent scallop appetizers.
The venue is small but plush, with terra-cotta-colored walls and distinctive wall murals, open-beam ceilings and a beautiful glass-fronted walk-in wine cellar. In the evening the prix-fixe dinner is Y5500, and wines start at Y3500, with even premium labels very nicely priced. [Show more] [Show less]
Smart, cutting-edge California-influenced cuisine, with an emphasis on grilled items and sashimi. The mostly California wine list is well assembled and comfortably priced. Tables are adequately separated, and the large two-story space, which is reached by crossing the entrance moat, is unusually luxurious for Tokyo. Dinner with drinks will probably start at around Y6000 per person. [See FULL REVIEW
(Daikanyama - International). 5489-2201
Under the same management as Zest and La Boheme, this is one of their two high-ticket California-style restaurants (along with Stellato). There's also a separate bar and cigar-smoking room (with a very effective ventilation system, fortunately).
(Daikanyama - International). 6415-3232
"Global comfort food" in a lovely, beach-resort-style setting from Chef David Chiddo and the TY Harbor team (Cicada, Beacon). "Global comfort food" in a lovely, beach-resort-style setting from Chef David Chiddo and the TY Harbor team (Cicada, Beacon).
In the main dining room lunch is served 11:30am-2pm (-3pm weekends), and dinner from 5:30-11pm (last order). The cafe is open all day from 7am-1am, and the bar from 5:30pm -1am (LO). [Show more] [Show less]
(Shirokanedai - International). 3442-5588
Upscale California dining in a fun, thirties-movie-palace setting, from the owners of the Zest-La Boheme chain. The mainly New World wine list is well assembled, and dinner with wine generally runs in the Y7,000-Y10,000 range.
Superb, inventive American cuisine from noted Tokyo chef Ian Tozer, built around a deceptively casual menu. The dining room is pleasantly smoke-free, and there's outdoor patio seating when the weather permits. Superb, inventive American cuisine from noted Tokyo chef Ian Tozer, built around a deceptively casual menu - rotisserie chicken, grilled meats and fish, substantial salads, and a few regional specialties. All this plus a great boutique wine list, popular all-day brunch on weekends, a smoke-free dining room, and patio seating during the warmer months, in this "modern American brasserie". [Show more] [Show less]
This informal wine bar offers a wine-friendly menu of seafood, steaks and chops, including fresh lobster, Washington oysters, BBQ baby-back ribs and catfish burgers. The wine list covers more than 100 wines by the bottle (including some rare finds) and twenty by the glass, with three different carafe sizes so you can organize your own custom tasting. Budget around Y8000-9000 for dinner with drinks.
Akasaka 9-7-4, Tokyo Midtown Garden Terrace 1F. Open 11am-10:30pm (LO) daily.
(Roppongi - International). 5413-3282
The dining spaces in this heavily design-focused restaurant are tastefully arranged, more European than Japanese in style, as one might expect from Terence Conran's first Tokyo venture. The menu is international in scope, and roast beef is a specialty of the house, with wagon service at dinnertime. Prix-fixe lunches are Y3800-5000 while dinners are Y8400-12,600; there are also plenty of a la carte choices. Most wines are targeted towards big spenders, but there are a handful of decent bottles under Y10,000, such as Penfold's Bin 407 Cabernet for Y7500.
New York's Union Square Cafe has been a popular gourmet hot spot since the mid-1980s, and the Tokyo sister shop captures much of the energy and excitement of the original. The food is typical international cuisine with an emphasis on simplicity and good-quality seasonal ingredients. The dining room is beautiful and well laid out, with excellent lighting and a very comfortable feel. New York's Union Square Cafe has been a popular gourmet hot spot since the mid-1980s, and the Tokyo sister shop captures much of the energy and excitement of the original. The food is typical international cuisine with an emphasis on simplicity and good-quality seasonal ingredients. The dining room is beautiful and well laid out, with excellent lighting and a very comfortable feel.
The menu changes often, but highlights have included the foie gras appetizer - a hefty portion of pan-seared foie gras with orange slices and bamboo shoots; the always-reliable Iberico pork; and tuna filet mignon - big tuna chunks marinated in soy and mirin for a few hours before grilling, served with tasty wasabi mashed potatoes.
The wine list doesn't have all that much under Y8000, but there are a few (like a Penfolds Australian shiraz for Y4800); by contrast they have a lot of impressively expensive bottles for the big spenders in the house. Almost all wines are from Italy, France or California. The bar up front serves a full assortment of cocktails, including an excellent martini.
Lunches are priced from Y3000, dinners from around Y12,000. Although you can find equally good food in Tokyo for about half the price, Union Square is still a good choice for a business dinner or a special lunch. [Show more] [Show less]
Chef Yamada learned the techniques of Molecular Gastronomy during his stint at El Bulli in Spain, and here he applies those techniques to kaiseki cuisine. All seating is at the counter, and the prix-fixe menu is Y16,000. The wine list includes Spanish selections as well as the usual French. (From May-September they also do Sunday breakfast service.)
Minami-Azabu 1-15-2. Open 6pm-midnight (LO) daily.
(Akabanebashi - Experimental). 4588-0675
Flatiron occupies the former teppanyaki counter at modern steakhouse Decanter, and it's there that adventurous diners can enjoy an entertaining two-hour, eleven-course-plus tasting menu that's more experimental than what one would find in the main dining room. Flatiron's chef plays with different cooking methods and presentation styles, using contrasting textures and temperatures and ingredients, and adding elements like smoke and ice for a bit of drama on the serving plate. [See FULL REVIEW
Azabudai 2-1-2. Open seatings at 6, 7, 8:30pm. Closed Sundays, Mondays.
(Akasaka - International). 5573-2664
This small neighborhood spot serves good, original California-style cuisine and reasonably priced New World wines, and is popular with the international community. The fusiony menu is full of complicated but well-executed dishes like "maguro tuna steak flavored with tri-color peppers in brandy and port wine sauce served with wild rice." Portion sizes are surprisingly big - the bagna cauda includes nearly a dozen boiled vegetables, and the excellent grilled pork main dish is almost too big for one person. Budget around Y5-7000 at dinnertime; Y850-1000 for lunch.
Akasaka 6-17-7. Open 11am-3, 5:30-10:30pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
(Hibiya - International). 6270-2763
The flashy main dining room of the Peninsula Hotel offers gorgeous views and an entertaining menu of modern international cuisine. Have fun putting together your own meal of three, four, or five courses (from Y8500, or Y4800 at lunchtime), with down-to-earth dishes like their "Roasted Duck Foie Gras, Ginger Bread-Citrus Marmalade Mille Feuille, Foie Gras Ice Cream, Balsamic Yogurt". The wine cellar is made up mostly of half-bottles, starting at around Y3700; wine by the glass from Y1600.
(Ginza - International). 5159-0991
The immodestly named Dazzle is one of Tokyo's flashiest restaurants, with futuristic lighting and a theatrical entrance - the elevator deposits you in the middle of the kitchen, after which you take a second ride to the glitzy dining room. The food is entertainingly fusionesque, and is accompanied by wines from France, Italy, Spain, Australia, America and Japan, starting in the Y5000 range. Budget around Y6,000-9,000 per person before drinks.
(Ginza - International). 3562-7500
Style-conscious "modern European" Ginza dining from Terrence Conran's second Tokyo restaurant; prix-fixe lunch from Y2500, dinner from Y8400. There's also a separate bar area up front.
(Ginza - International). 5537-5011
After branching out into charcoal-grilled meats, Chinese fusion and seafood, Cardenas has gone back to their California-inspired roots with this high-rise branch, a welcome addition to the Ginza dining scene.
(Marunouchi - Australian). 5288-7828
This very attractive restaurant from Australian celebrity chef Luke Mangan is on the expensive side - some might even call it overpriced - but they do have an excellent wine list with approximately 1000 choices, all from Australia. Prix-fixe menus are Y8,000-16,000, or Y13,000-22,000 paired with the sommelier's wine selection. Lunch is Y3,500-8,000.
Located in the Four Seasons Marunouchi Hotel, Ekki Bar and Grill serves contemporary international cuisine and a nice selection of New World wines in a sophisticated setting. Weekend brunch menus from 11:30am-2pm start at Y3900. Live music Wednesday to Saturday from 9-11pm.
Marunouchi 1-11-1, Pacific Century Place. Open 6:30-10:30am, 11:30-2:30, 5:30-10pm daily.
Named after young Los Angeles-based chocolatier Jonathan Grahm, this casual brasserie-style restaurant serves American and International cuisine. Prix-fixe dinner menus start at Y4000 (there's also a la carte), and lunches start at Y1000.
Kyobashi 3-1-1, Tokyo Square Garden 1F. Open 11:30am-2, 5:30-10pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
(Nihonbashi - International). 3270-8188
The Mandarin Oriental's casual-dining spot offers creative contemporary cuisine with an Asian twist, plus a great view of Ginza and Marunouchi. The Y5,000 tasting menu is a good deal if you like variety - you can pick seven different appetizers for the table to share, plus soup and your choice of a main dish. Apps range from crab cakes with mango marmalade to scallops in a truffle dome, followed by substantial mains like miso-marinated loin of lamb, and Australian beef sirloin with yuzu pepper sauce. The Mandarin Oriental's casual-dining spot offers creative contemporary cuisine with an Asian twist, plus a great view of Ginza and Marunouchi. The Y5,000 tasting menu is a good deal if you like variety - you can pick seven different appetizers for the table to share, plus soup and your choice of a main dish. Apps range from crab cakes with mango marmalade to scallops in a truffle dome, followed by substantial mains like miso-marinated loin of lamb, and Australian beef sirloin with yuzu pepper sauce.
The wine program features fourteen wines by the glass, with complimentary tastings - if you can't decide among the syrah and the cabernet and the merlot you can have a sip of each to help make up your mind. At lunchtime there's an abbreviated version of the tasting menu (Y3800), plus pizzas. In the morning you'll find good Japanese and international breakfasts (Y2800-3800). [Show more] [Show less]
Here inside the Mandarin Hotel's 38th-floor lounge, the eight-seat Tapas Molecular Bar serves cutting-edge modern cuisine. Twenty-one plates of highly inventive, deconstructivist, very tasty morsels are presented over the course of two hours (Y14,000+13%sc). Here inside the Mandarin Hotel's 38th-floor lounge, the seven-seat Tapas Molecular Bar serves cutting-edge modern cuisine. Twenty-one plates of highly inventive, deconstructivist, very tasty morsels are presented over the course of two hours (Y14,000+10%sc).
A meal here is an entertaining and interactive experience full of exotic textures and relevatory flavor combinations. Despite the occasional science-lab feel (test tubes with mysterious liquids, beakers of liquid nitrogen), the high quality of the results elevates this beyond mere gimmickry. Seatings are at 6 and 8:30pm, and reservations are required. [Show more] [Show less]
Innovative cuisine, friendly service, and the feel of a comfortable neighborhood bistro. The food menu promises adventure, with tastes ranging from sea urchin and ikura with green tea noodles to Louisiana shrimp. Innovative Pacific Rim cuisine, convenient late-night hours, friendly service, and a large, well-chosen New World wine list. The atmosphere has the feel of a comfortable neighborhood bistro.
The food menu promises adventure, with tastes ranging from sea urchin and ikura with green tea noodles to Louisiana shrimp. The richly flavored grilled venison makes a dramatic starter, and the garlicky Caesar salad with aged mimolette is well above average. The cod in red almond curry is also very impressive, with a Thai-style curry sauce that nicely balances the other flavors and ingredients without overwhelming them. The wine list has several good selections in the under-Y6000 category, plus several varieties by the glass. Budget around Y5000-7500 for dinner and drinks. [Show more] [Show less]
Probably best known in Tokyo for their popular Y6,600 "Champagne Brunch" on Sundays, featuring all the sparkling wine you can drink. (The bar/restaurant area is open later than the main dining room; last order is at 12:30am.)
Kioicho 4-1, Hotel New Otani 4F. Open 11:30am-2:30, 5pm-12:30am (LO) daily.
Chef Trevor Blyth, a veteran of several top-tier restaurants in France and the UK, has opened an unusual restaurant in Oji (6 stops north of Iidabashi on the Namboku line). Aiming to provide high-end cuisine without the high prices, he's devised a modern tapas-style menu combining Mediterranean and Japanese ingredients and techniques, plus a selection of sake, wine and Champagne.
Kishimachi 1-1-11, Kouei Ekimae Bldg 2F. (at entrance to Otonashi-gawa park, 30 sec. from Oji Sta.) Open 11:30am-11:30pm (from 2:30 Sat). Closed Sunday.
Exciting, well-centered modern American cuisine - drawing on European and middle Eastern and Asian influences - from this bayside brewpub. The wine list is fantastic, with good values at every price level. This bayside brewpub features some of the most exciting food in town - well-centered modern American cuisine drawing from European, middle Eastern and Asian influences.
Service is attentive but also personal. The stylishly decorated dining room features an ever-changing art collection, and it's positively cavernous (by Tokyo standards) and mostly tobacco-free. There's also an outdoor terrace looking out over a picturesquely urban canal, with heating in winter.
The Y980 sampler of four microbrew beers is a fun way to start off, but don't neglect the excellent wine list, which offers very good values at every price level. Dinner with drinks ranges from Y4,000-Y8,000 per person. [Show more] [Show less]
(Toritsudaigaku - American). 6421-4302
Tilksew Seife, the former chef at the American Embassy in Tokyo, offers an eclectic menu of Middle Eastern dishes, pastas, modern pizzas and grilled meats and seafood. Weekend brunch (served 10am-4pm) offers omelets, pancakes, German sausages, barbecued spare ribs and interesting sandwiches.
Nakane 2-3-15. Open 11:30am-2:30, 5-11pm. Closed Mondays.
In addition to oysters the kitchen here serves grilled salmon, shrimp, chicken and pork dishes, with oyster-based appetizers and reasonably priced wines. The interior isn't very exciting, but there's a lot of outdoor seating on the terrace. Budget around Y5000 for dinner with a few drinks.
Kinkocho 1-10, Yokohama Bay Quarter 5F. Open 11am-11pm daily.
(Omotesando - Steak house). 6418-0077
This swank dining spot from chef David Chiddo (Cicada, TY Harbor) bills itself as an "urban chop house" - basically a steak house, but with more seafood choices. The kitchen uses only top-class ingredients - long-grain-fed Angus beef, wild Aussie jumbo prawns, organic Scottish salmon - and the menu offers good value for money (budget around Y8500 for dinner and drinks). The wine list focuses on smaller New World vineyards, with some twenty choices by the glass.
Shibuya 1-2-5. Open 11:30am-3, 6-10pm (LO) daily.
(Sendagaya - Steak house). 3402-6066
A friendly Japanese-style steakhouse. The decor and menu are pretty old-school (they've been here since 1979), but the steaks are good, and fairly reasonable in price.
Sendagaya 1-7-12. Open 11:30am-2, 5-10pm. Closed Mondays.
An American steak house with an Australian theme and a lively atmosphere. Budget around Y2500-3000 at dinnertime; party plans are a bit more. Lunch is served on weekends only.
Udagawacho 34-1. (near Tokyu Honten, next to Wendy's) Open 5-11pm (LO) daily.
An Australian-themed steak restaurant from the US, with a festive decor and lively atmosphere.
Takanawa 4-10-8, Takanawa Keikyu Hotel B1F. Open 5-11pm daily.
(Roppongi - Steak house). 4333-8784
Excellent grilled meats and flamboyantly expensive New World wines in the Grand Hyatt's flagship restaurant. [See FULL REVIEW
Roppongi 6-10-3, Grand Hyatt 6F. Open 11:30am-2:30, 6-10:30pm daily.
The first Japan branch of Wolfgang Zweiner's famous New York steakhouse features porterhouse and other steaks made with dry-aged USDA Prime beef. The lunchtime menu includes burgers made with USDA Prime beef (Y2600) and steak sandwiches using dry-aged beef (Y2800). In the evenings a prime filet mignon is Y7500, and a side of spinach runs Y1400.
Roppongi 5-16-50. Open 11:30am-2:30, 6-10:30pm (LO) daily.
You'll find entertaining dining and festive decor at this fourth Tokyo branch of the popular American chain of Australian-themed steak houses; budget around Y4000 at dinnertime.
Roppongi 6-1-3, Roc Mon 2F. Open 11:30am-3, 5pm-midnight (4am Fri/Sat) daily.
(Azabu-Juban - Steak house). 3568-3466
Run by a New Zealand meat company, Wakanui was set up to introduce Tokyo gourmets to premium beef, lamb and wines from New Zealand, and they succeed quite admirably at that mission. The dining room is attractive but not overly fussy, with an open kitchen and a glass-enclosed aging room at one end to literally showcase the beef. The off-the-beaten-track location was chosen for its proximity to Nissin, an international market where patrons can pick up the same meats and wines that are served here and bring them home. Run by a New Zealand meat company, Wakanui was set up to introduce Tokyo gourmets to premium beef, lamb and wines from New Zealand, and they succeed quite admirably at that mission. The dining room is attractive but not overly fussy, with an open kitchen and a glass-enclosed aging room at one end to literally showcase the beef. The off-the-beaten-track location was chosen for its proximity to Nissin, an international market where patrons can pick up the same meats and wines that are served here and bring them home.
The beef is all from pasture-raised, grain-finished Black Angus cattle and is dry-aged on the premises. Both beef and lamb are grilled over Binchotan charcoal, and the results are succulent and very flavorful. The one-kilogram Ocean Beef Bone-in Ribeye (Y8800) makes an imposing centerpiece for a table of three or four diners; other mains include a 350g ribeye cut (Y3800) and a half or full rack of Canterbury Lamb (Y2100/3900). Among the starters our favorite is probably the intensely smoky Hot Smoked New Zealand King Salmon (Y1600). Side vegetable dishes like sauteed mushrooms average around Y650.
The wine list offers forty labels, mostly from small boutique vineyards and priced from Y4500. The lunch menu starts at Y1280 and includes burgers, meatballs, grilled lamb and veal, with a Y2100 multi-course prix-fixe option. [Show more] [Show less]
(Akabanebashi - Steak house). 4588-0675
Decanter is an international steakhouse with a distinctively modern sensibility. Chef David Ueno's menu is smart and engaging, with entertaining appetizers and first-rate steaks and chops. The gorgeous setting feels more like a stylish lounge or club than a tradtional stuffy dining room - there's sophisticated lighting, cool music on a professional sound system, and a very impressive city view. [See FULL REVIEW
Azabudai 2-1-2. Open 6-10pm. Closed Sundays.
Suppose you've already decided to eat prime rib at Lawry's, and are committed to at least the 300gm Lawry's cut for Y3500. For an extra commitment of a mere Y2000, you can either add a lobster tail, or upgrade to the belt-bursting 600gm "Diamond Jim Brady" cut. Which should you choose? [See FULL REVIEW
Akasaka 2-17-22, Akasaka Twin Tower East B/1F. Open 11:30am-2, 5-9:30pm (LO) daily.
Tasty steaks, including USDA prime beef, from this American steakhouse chain. The decor is on the conservative side (lots of brown and beige), and the music can be repetitive (we were treated to a short tape loop of Dixieland jazz). Wines are priced Y5,000-100,000 - mostly from California, but with some pricier French selections for the big spenders in the house. Steaks range from a 230g petite filet (Y5,500) to the 370g Wagyu NY Strip steak (Y19,000); side dishes are extra.
Kasumigaseki 3-2-6, Tokyo Club Bldg, Kasumi Dining 1F. Open 11am-2:30, 5:30-10:30pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
Grilled seafood and steaks from Oregon. Charcoal-grilled dry-aged steaks start at Y3800; there's also a nice selection of Oregon wines. [See FULL REVIEW
Higashi-Shimbashi 1-5-2, Shiodome City Center 42F. Open 11am-10pm (LO) daily.
An Austalian-themed American steakhouse. Budget around Y2500-3000 at dinnertime. Lunch is served on weekends only.
Hibino 1-8, Messe Amuse Mall 1F. Open 5-11pm daily.
Pacific Rim, Asian Fusion, American Regional
(Ikebukuro - Asian fusion). 5957-7057
Daidaiya serves up innovative fusion cuisine drawing on Korean, other Asian and Italian influences - their "modern" sushi variations are especially interesting. Smaller than most, the Ikebukuro branch is snazzily decorated and it offers views of Western Ikebukuro. Lunch is served till 4pm.
(Shinjuku - Asian fusion). 5362-7173
Spectacular "nouvelle Japonaise" cuisine in a stunning modern setting. Standout items on the menu include cold stuffed cabbage kimchee with cashew nuts, minced tuna and Korean bean paste (Y780), sauteed foie gras served on lotus-root cakes (Y1600), and homemade Satsuma pork sausages with a fresh wasabi-mayonnaise sauce. Spectacular "nouvelle Japonaise" cuisine in a stunning modern setting. Standout items on the menu include cold stuffed cabbage kimchee with cashew nuts, minced tuna and Korean bean paste (Y780), sauteed foie gras served on lotus-root cakes (Y1600), and homemade Satsuma pork sausages with a fresh wasabi-mayonnaise sauce.
There's also a large a la carte sushi and tempura selection, with items like scallop tempura with green-tea salt (Y200 a piece). The wines are nothing special, but the house sake is a very drinkable Tsukasa-botan at Y1,000 a glass, and there's a full cocktail menu. Plan on spending Y5,000-10,000 per person for a superb meal; reservations are a must. [Show more] [Show less]
This flashy tropical-themed restaurant serves Thai-inspired European fusion cuisine - something that wouldn't be out of place at an adventurous Mediterranean restaurant inside an upscale Phuket resort hotel. Dishes like shrimp lemongrass carbonara and tom yang kung-style bouillabaisse share the bill with more European-sounding fare like grilled Norway salmon in red wine sauce and beef poele in blue-cheese sauce. This flashy tropical-themed restaurant serves Thai-inspired European fusion cuisine - something that wouldn't be out of place at an adventurous Mediterranean restaurant inside an upscale Phuket resort hotel. Dishes like shrimp lemongrass carbonara and tom yang kung-style bouillabaisse share the bill with more European-sounding fare like grilled Norway salmon in red wine sauce and beef poele in blue-cheese sauce.
The multi-level dining space is done up in a pastiche of Colonial-tropical design elements - a dark-wood veranda level with lots of plants and bamboo screens, a Chinois-themed bar setup, and lounge-style sofa areas, with the gurgling sounds of splashing fountains and New Age music in the background throughout. There are impressive city views facing both north and south, and a bright, cheerful atmosphere during lunch service on sunny days.
Lunchtime options include curries, pastas, and meat- and fish-based plates (all Y1000) or an impressive four-course prix-fixe menu for Y2000. Budget around Y5000 at dinnertime for food and a few drinks. Lunch is served until 3pm, with cafe service from 3-6pm (drinks and desserts) and dinner from 6pm. [Show more] [Show less]
Excellent Hawaiian seafood with intriguing Asian influences - there's plenty of Pacific Rim cuisine in Tokyo, but somehow Roy's manages to stay unique. There's also a decent selection of New World wines to go with the food, and a popular weekend brunch (Y3500, or Y7000 with champagne and wine open bar).
You'll find spectacular blackened swordfish, eye-opening jambalaya, enticing shrimp dishes and plenty more - it's high-level Cajun cuisine that stays true to its bayou roots. The intimate dining room (with just five tables) features great New Orleans-style blues in the background to set the mood. Entrees average Y3000, and wines are reasonably priced.
Roppongi 7-8-16. Open 6-11pm (LO). Closed Sundays, Mondays.
(Akasaka - International). 3580-3661
Japanese fusion, sushi, sake and drinks in a very spectacular, fun setting. Budget around Y10,000 for dinner and drinks.
This modern French-Japanese seafood-centered restaurant features a splashy entrance hall (literally - it comes complete with waterfall) and a gorgeous two-story main dining room with views of the Rainbow Bridge. Prix-fixe menus from Y6800, with an optional 4-glass "wine bank" for Y3950.
This basement bar and live-music spot offers a menu of Cajun-style dishes, including gumbos and jambalaya.
Experience Hawaiian specialties like locomoco, Kahlua pig, lomi lomi and Spam chow mein either out on the torch-lit terrace or inside the dimly lit dining room, where you'll have a nice view of the lights of Minato-Mirai off in the distance. Budget around Y3000 at dinnertime.
Kinkocho 1-10, Yokohama Bay Quarter 4F. Open 11am-11pm daily.
(Yokohama Minato-mirai - Asian fusion). 045-228-5035
This is a spacious two-story branch of this pioneering "nouvelle japonaise" restaurant, with excellent fusion-oriented cooking and a panoramic view of the harbor lights.
Minato-mirai 2-3, Queen's Square "At 2nd", 4/5F. Open 11am-10:30pm (LO) daily.
There's great American-style barbecue and a nice collection of a dozen craft beers to wash it down at this cozy bar-restaurant located halfway along Cat Street. Weekday lunches start at Y1000, and during the evening you can snack on sandwiches (from Y1200) or indulge in mains like their voluminous four-meat platter with two side dishes (Y3800 for two people). In addition to beer, the bar carries well-chosen craft bourbons and other artisanal liquors. The soundtrack leans heavily towards the blues. There's great American-style barbecue and a nice collection of a dozen craft beers to wash it down at this cozy bar-restaurant located halfway along Cat Street. Weekday lunches start at Y1000, and during the evening you can snack on sandwiches (from Y1200) or indulge in mains like their voluminous four-meat platter with two side dishes (Y3800 for two people). In addition to beer, the bar carries well-chosen craft bourbons and other artisanal liquors. The soundtrack leans heavily towards the blues.
The main barbecue items here are Kansas-style baby back pork ribs, very tender espresso-rubbed beef brisket (slow-cooked for eleven hours), chopped pork (similar to pulled pork), and chicken. You can enjoy them all with a fantastic lineup of house-produced sauces - porter pepper (made with craft-brew porter from TY Harbor); a very peppery Carolina vinegar sauce; house pit sauce and "Voodoo Hot" sauce - each with unique, complex flavors and all of them packing a punch.
Other menu choices include the Smokehouse cheeseburger, grilled Yamagata sausages, various sandwiches (chopped pork and cole slaw, smoked bacon BLT, tuna salad), and side dishes like macaroni and cheese, garlicky sauteed fresh spinach in cream sauce, black-bean chili, and okra-tomato stew. Topping things off is a range of original desserts - banana cream pudding (made with imported Nilla Wafers!), very creamy peanut-butter pie, pecan pie and chocolate-fudge brownies.
The restaurant is produced by chef David Chiddo and the folks at TY Harbor Brewery, which supplies six of the bar's draft beers; the other half dozen are from well-respected craft brewers such as Bear Republic and North Island. The wine list is short but efficient, with five reds and five whites all priced at Y5000 per bottle, and one red and one white by the glass.
Open 11:30am-10pm on weekends. "Nilla Wafer" is a trademark of Nabisco. [Show more] [Show less]
B & Loin
(Shibuya - American). 3461-1475
Slow-smoked American-style barbecue is the specialty here, to stay or to go. Pork belly and back ribs are prepared with a spicy rub, while the richly flavored beef brisket is livened up by an espresso rub. Side dishes include a spicy and meat-filled chili-bean soup, nice tangy cole slaw, and smoked sausages. Slow-smoked American-style barbecue is the specialty here, to stay or to go. Pork belly and back ribs are prepared with a spicy rub, while the richly flavored beef brisket is livened up by an espresso rub. Side dishes include a spicy and meat-filled chili-bean soup, nice tangy cole slaw, and smoked sausages.
B & Loin's casual decor is a cross between beer bar and upscale burger shop, with rolls of paper towels on the tables for your convenience. The BBQ meats are priced at Y500-600 per 100 grams, while craft beers on draft (Brooklyn Lager from New York and Tokyo's own TY Harbor IPA) are Y900 per pint.
At lunchtime Y800 will get you a BBQ "burger" - actually a choice of one of four BBQ meats served on a bun, along with chili soup and cole slaw; beverages are an additional Y100. There's also a generous party plan in the evenings - all you can eat plus an open bar for Y5000. [Show more] [Show less]
Dogenzaka 1-22-7, Dogenzaka Pia 1F. Open 11:30am-1am (Sun 5-11pm) daily.
(Nakano-Sakaue - Beer bar). 090-3721-6982
"Craft beer, craft food" is the raison d'etre of this ambitious beer bar, and they do an excellent job on both counts. There's a well-chosen selection of craft beers from the US and Japan on tap, and they also stock a good number of bottles from breweries like Lagunitas, Coronado and Southern Tier. "Craft beer, craft food" is the raison d'etre of this ambitious beer bar, and they do an excellent job on both counts. There's a well-chosen selection of craft beers from the US and Japan on tap, and they also stock a good number of bottles from breweries like Lagunitas, Coronado and Southern Tier.
If you're looking for the perfect beer snack, the kitchen turns out very tasty Buffalo chicken wings, BBQ beef sandwiches, and vegetables and other items fried in craft-beer batters. You even get to choose the craft beer for your batter!
The location is a bit off the beaten track, but it's well worth the trek if you love good beer. Happy hour is 5-8pm, with Y200 off pints, and if you miss your last train home you can stay and drink until 5am every night but Sunday. [Show more] [Show less]
(Naka-Meguro - Beer bar). 6452-4505
Excellent American-style barbecue and nice microbrew beers to go with them are the surprising finds at this charming neighborhood bar. Richly marbled pork belly was our favorite, but we also greatly enjoyed Hatos's baby-back ribs, pulled-pork sandwiches, and very flavorful barbecued chicken. An array of various hot sauces is available if you want to liven things up further. Excellent American-style barbecue and nice microbrew beers to go with them are the surprising finds at this charming neighborhood bar. Richly marbled pork belly was our favorite, but we also greatly enjoyed Hatos's baby-back ribs, pulled-pork sandwiches, and very flavorful barbecued chicken. An array of various hot sauces is available if you want to liven things up further.
Hatos's side dishes live up to the high standards of the barbecue. They're generally simple, but each has a bit of a twist on the usual recipe - the macaroni and cheese (made with colby rather than cheddar) is tangier than average, and the cole slaw is pleasantly infused with coriander flavor. Around half a dozen microbrews are served on tap; the selection during a recent visit included brews from Shigakogen, Minoh and Coronado.
The layout comprises a small counter bar, a comfortable sofa area up front, and a bit of outdoor seating on the front terrace. The soundtrack is dubstep and reggae, and the atmosphere is generally laid back (although sometimes the small space can get crowded). Kids and dogs are welcome. [Show more] [Show less]
Naka-Meguro 1-3-5. Open 1pm-midnight. Closed Sundays, Mondays.
Authentic American-style barbecue is the ambitious specialty at Bashamichi Taproom, along with a great selection of craft beers. The manager and pitmaster here has decades of experience cooking in the most barbecue-conscious areas of the American South, and his recipes capture the best of Texas, Carolina and Kansas City traditions. He slow-cooks his meats over a low-temperature cherrywood fire for several hours, to produce tender and very flavorful results. Authentic American-style barbecue is the ambitious specialty at Bashamichi Taproom, along with a great selection of craft beers. The manager and pitmaster here has decades of experience cooking in the most barbecue-conscious areas of the American South, and his recipes capture the best of Texas, Carolina and Kansas City traditions. He slow-cooks his meats over a low-temperature cherrywood fire for several hours, to produce tender and very flavorful results.
Taproom's BBQ menu features spareribs, "Fat-boy" ribs, chicken, brisket and pork shoulder, prepared using Australian grass-fed beef, American pork, and domestic pork and chicken. We enjoyed them all, but the ribs were by far our favorites, especially the Fat-boy ribs. They're sold by weight, and we were given a choice of a few different sizes with various levels of marbling. The end product was just fantastic - smoky, juicy and very richly flavored.
Meats other than the ribs are all served "dry" (with a rub of spices), the better to savor their natural meaty flavors, but there are also three home-made sauces with which to liven things up. Tasty side dishes - cole slaw, Texas beans, potato salad, mac and cheese - are also very authentic and based on Southern BBQ-joint recipes. Salads and hand-made pizzas round out the food menu, along with pecan pie and peach cobbler for dessert.
Drinks include more than twenty craft beers on tap - mostly from the excellent Baird Brewery in Numazu, but with a couple of guest taps dispensing well-chosen American microbrews. The setting is a charming three-story building with a roof garden on top and a comfortable bar area on the ground floor. The second floor is furnished with a dartboard and a big-screen tv, and often hosts performances of live music. Open noon-midnight on weekends. [Show more] [Show less]
Accessible California cuisine - gourmet pizzas and interesting takes on American standards like meatloaf and Cajun chicken.
Higashi-Ikebukuro 1-21-13, Ore Ikebukuro 12F. Open 11am-10pm (LO) daily.
Oysters, fresh seafood cocktails, and a few Cajun specialties like gumbo at a stylish counter bar. The seafood "pan roasts" are nicely done, and the oysters are always top quality. [See FULL REVIEW
Good burgers and other simple California fare at this most "express" level of the Puck family of restaurants.
Jingumae 1-17-1. (at the entrance to Takeshita-dori, across from the trains station) Open 11am-11pm daily.
American-style ribs, casual atmosphere.
Minami-Aoyama 3-1-30, Sumitomo Seimei Bldg., B1F. Open noon to 10:30pm (LO) daily.
A modern soul-food restaurant from the folks at Cafe Company (Wired Cafe, Planet 3rd), Moja serves dishes like kale salad and chicken with waffles, and offers a family brunch on weekends. The sprawling 124-seat dining area was formerly occupied by Respekt cafe.
Shibuya 1-11-1, 2F. Open 11am-11pm (LO) daily.
This airy, open-plan bar (formerly R Gath water bar) serves several wines by the glass, four beers on tap (including the excellent Edelpils), and a limited menu of raw oysters (Y1000 for 3), shrimp cocktails, sausages and ceviche.
Ebisu 4-20-4, Yebisu Garden Place Glass Square B1F. Open 3-10:30pm (LO), from 11am Sat/Sun daily.
Although they're not our favorite oyster bar in Tokyo, Grand Central does offer an impressively big selection of oysters from all over. There's also a large, varied wine list (heavy on the whites, naturally), with lots of choices by the glass, in case you feel like just dropping in for a drink at the bar.
Accessible California cuisine - gourmet pizzas and interesting takes on American standards like meatloaf and Cajun chicken.
Roppongi 5-5-1, Roi Bldg. 1F. Open 11am-11pm (weekends to 5am) daily.
American barbecued spareribs, cubic onion-ring sculptures, fried cheese and other dangerous substances that we all crave from time to time.
Roppongi 5-4-20. Open 5-10:30pm (LO; Fri, Sat. 12:30am). Open every day.
(Roppongi - American). 3505-4490
You'll find American-style burgers, meatloaf, chili and regional Cajun and Tex-Mex specialties here at this Tokyo branch of a Seoul-based restaurant. Their weekend brunch starts extra-early at 9am. Happy hour is 5-7pm weekdays. This bustling American eatery brings the buzz of weekend brunch in Manhattan to Tokyo. The interior, simply decorated with black-and-white photos of New York and slim cab-yellow lamps, makes use of the large windows at the front of the restaurant to create an open feel; in the warmer months, customers spill out onto the deck to dine al fresco.
During brunch hours (from 9-4 on Saturdays and 10-4 on Sundays), the place is packed, and, between her frequent trips to Seoul, owner Suji Park can be seen flitting about the dining room, delivering orders and flashing a brilliant smile.
The staff and clientele are a melting pot of nationalities, but the food is all-American. The brunch menu features classics like Eggs Benedict, country-style pancakes, and steak and eggs (Y2200, Y1700, Y2400), and the food can be washed down with a bottomless cup of coffee (Y600).
Portions are enormous. The omelets are as big as your face, and eating the Jason Burger (Y1700) - stacked with bacon, cheese, and fried onions - requires careful strategy. The New York cheesecake topped with blueberry sauce is decadently dense, and should probably not be consumed by one person alone. Drinks are half price from 5-7 on weekdays during Happy Hour. [Show more] [Show less]
Azabudai 3-1-5. Open 11am-4, 6-10pm (LO) daily.
Gourmet pizzas with exotic toppings - lamb sausage, wild mushrooms, goat cheese - are the centerpiece here; you can also choose from meaty main dishes, pastas (ravioli, cavatappi), and starters like pan-roasted mussels. Budget around Y3500 for dinner with drinks, and Y1300 at lunch.
Akasaka 1-12-32, Ark Mori Bldg. 1F. Open 11am-10pm (LO) daily.
(Roppongi 1-chome - American). 6441-0733
Gourmet burgers, home-made pies and brunch items from the famous Tribeca, New York, diner. Breakfast is served from 8am on weekdays, with dishes like banana-walnut pancakes, granola with fresh fruit, and eggs and bacon or sausage. Open 10am-9pm on weekends.
Akasaka 1-12-32, Ark Mori Bldg. 2F. Open 8am-10pm (LO) daily.
Mostly an all-day cafe/restaurant, although they also have a small deli counter and grocery section with coffees and teas, spices, baked goods, cold cuts, four kinds of smoked salmon, and real dill pickles. Groceries cover the luxury end of the spectrum, with Y1800 jars of pasta sauce and exotic pates.
An informal oyster bar serving raw and cooked oysters from Japan, New Zealand and the US, along with Cajun-style gumbo and seafood "pan roasts." Located in the underground shopping complex just E of Tokyo station.
Yaesu 2-1, Yaesu Chikamichi Minami #1. Open 11am-11pm (10pm Sat, Sun). Open every day.
Good burgers, sandwiches and simple California fare.
Otemachi 1-6-1, Otemachi Bldg B2F. Open 11am-10:30pm. Closed weekends.
An American chain specializing in ribs.
Sanbancho 1. Open 11:45am-3, 5-10:30pm (LO) daily.
Tokyo's only chili specialty restaurant, Chili Parlor 9 serves both meat and vegetarian variations (Y850-1050) as well as other bean-centered dishes and home-made sausages. The decor is rustic chic (weathered wood, burlap), the soundtrack is R&B, and there's both table seating and a pleasant front-window counter offering a view of Yasukuni Shrine. Tokyo's only chili specialty restaurant, Chili Parlor 9 serves both meat and vegetarian variations (Y850-1050) as well as other bean-centered dishes and home-made sausages. The decor is rustic chic (weathered wood, burlap), the soundtrack is R&B, and there's both table seating and a pleasant front-window counter offering a view of Yasukuni Shrine.
The chili here comes in fairly substantial portions, served with finely diced onions, plenty of cilantro, your choice of cheddar cheese or sour cream, and sides of cole slaw, crunchy home-made pickles (sweet zucchini and squash), and brown rice or freshly made bread.
Frankly we would have liked our meat chili to be meatier, but otherwise the flavors were very good, especially after being spiced up with the bottle of artisanal habanero sauce on the table. The chili also comes with lots of optional toppings like avocado, tomato salsa and poached egg.
Other menu items include a bean dish of the day (we had a very tasty feijoada, but it also could have used a tad more meat), nicely voluminous burritos, home-made sausage hotdogs, and inexpensive (Y350) brown-bread sandwiches.
A selection of gourmet coffees are available to drink, along with a well-made Golden Ale from Sankt Gallen, a local microbrewery. In the mornings (8-11am) Chili Parlor serves light, toast-centered breakfast plates, with bread fresh from the oven of sister shop Factory Bakery, just around the corner. Everything on the menu is ready to take out, and they also provide delivery service within the neighborhood. [Show more] [Show less]
Kudan-Minami 3-7-12. Open 8am-8pm. Closed Sundays.
Yes, this is a theme restaurant based on a Tom Hanks movie, but the food's kind of interesting, and there's grilled fish and baby-back ribs in case you're not in the mood for shrimp. There's also an unusual cocktail list.
Kasuga 1-1-1, Tokyo Dome LaQua 1F. Open 11am-11pm daily.
(Oji - American). 3906-9710
Great New York-style pizza, by the slice or by the pie, to stay or to go. Slices are substantial in size - two slices with a side salad will make a decent meal - and large pies are a full 18 inches in diameter. They come with an extensive selection of toppings, which you can customize to your heart's content (we highly recommend the Italian sausage). Great New York-style pizza, by the slice or by the pie, to stay or to go. Slices are substantial in size - two slices with a side salad will make a decent meal - and large pies are a full 18 inches in diameter. They come with an extensive selection of toppings, which you can customize to your heart's content (we highly recommend the Italian sausage).
You can also choose from several kinds of calzone and stromboli - the Calzone Supreme (Y950), for example, is stuffed with ricotta, mozzarella, spinach, onions, garlic, red peppers and capicola. Side dishes include Buffalo wings and homemade chili, and there's regular or chocolate cheesecake for dessert. Beer and wine are Y500/glass, as are cocktails, and shots of various liquors are just Y300 if you're so inclined.
The classic pizza-shop interior features red-checked tablecloths, upon which you'll find shakers of red-pepper flakes and oregano. A large-screen TV shows NBA and MLB games, and there are a few outdoor tables out front. Slices start at Y375 (most are Y425 or Y450), and pies start at Y2400. [Show more] [Show less]
Oji-Honcho 1-1-24. Open 11am-9pm. Closed Mondays.
A lively theme restaurant serving many entertaining shrimp dishes, baby-back ribs and brightly colored cocktails.
Toyosu 2-4-9, LaLaport Toyosu 3F. Open 11am-11pm daily.
A bayside branch of the popular American seafood chain, with nice views over the Rainbow Bridge.
Daiba 1-7-1, Aqua City 6F. Open 11am-10pm (LO) daily.
The menu includes California-style sandwiches, salads, rotisserie chicken and some 50 New World wines, including 20 wines by the glass. There's an excellent weekend brunch (served till 5pm Saturday and Sunday) featuring delicious homemade breads and cakes as well as H&H bagels imported from New York. (Weekday lunch is also served till 5pm.) The open-air seating is very pleasant during the warmer months.
Moto-yoyogi 23-11. Open 11:30am-10pm (LO) daily.
Poutine - that peculiar Canadian version on french fries served with gravy and cheese - is the exotic specialty at this small take-out shop. They're served with toppings ranging from fried onions and garlic to meatballs and roast beef, and you can also opt for variations featuring chili and butter-chicken curry instead of just gravy. Chicken wings are available as a side dish - Buffalo, Cajun or BBQ style. Poutine - that peculiar Canadian version on french fries served with gravy and cheese - is the exotic specialty at this small take-out shop. They're served with toppings ranging from fried onions and garlic to meatballs and roast beef, and you can also opt for variations featuring chili and butter-chicken curry instead of just gravy. Chicken wings are available as a side dish - Buffalo, Cajun or BBQ style.
There's also a selection of drinks and, depending on the hour, the shop may be configured as a standing-only bar/restaurant [Show more] [Show less]
Kitazawa 2-31-5. Open noon-9pm. Closed Tuesdays.
(Naka-Meguro - American). 3712-6661
While gumbo, jazz, and soul music make likely partners in certain parts of the world - namely, New Orleans - the combination seems somewhat bizarre in Tokyo. Oddly enough, the bar's okra-thickened signature dish is not far off the mark.
Kami-Meguro 4-9-2. Open 7pm-1am. Closed Tuesdays.
An American chain specializing in ribs.
Nakase 2-6, WBG Malibu Dining 3F. Open 11:30am-2:30, 5:30-10:30pm daily.
This popular chain specializes in oysters (both raw and cooked), Cajun-style gumbo and various seafood dishes.
Takashima 2-18-1, Yokohama Sogo 10F. Open 11am-11pm daily.
(Yokohama Minato-mirai - American). 045-681-0306
Burgers, home-made pies and brunch items from the famous Tribeca, New York, diner.
Minato-mirai 2-2-1, Landmark Plaza 1F. Open 9am-9pm (LO) daily.
(Kugenuma/Katase Kaigan - Seafood). 0466-27-6800
Reasonable prices and lots of all-you-can-eat specials at this popular American chain restaurant.
Katase Kaigan 3-22-19. Open 11am-11pm daily.