A "hawker-style SE Asian canteen" in a pretty cafe setting; they specialize in very authentic Singapore-style Hainanese Chicken Rice (steamed chicken served with jasmine rice and various sauces). They also have a good selection of curries and seafood stir-fries. [See FULL REVIEW
Roppongi 6-11-16. Open 11:30am-1:30, 6-10pm (LO). Closed 3rd Monday.
Billing itself as a traditional Texas smokehouse, White Smoke offers a good selection of Texas barbecue-style dishes - beef brisket, beef ribs, pork ribs, turkey breast, pork chops, chicken and burgers. Owner-pitmaster Craig White was born in Texas, and learned his craft at Louie Mueller's BBQ in Taylor, Texas. A former engineer, he designed for himself a serious, 1.8-ton upright smoker that was custom-built in the US and shipped to Tokyo. Billing itself as a traditional Texas smokehouse, White Smoke offers a good selection of Texas barbecue-style dishes - beef brisket, beef ribs, pork ribs, turkey breast, pork chops, chicken and burgers. Owner-pitmaster Craig White was born in Texas, and learned his craft at Louie Mueller's BBQ in Taylor, Texas. A former engineer, he designed for himself a serious, 1.8-ton upright smoker that was custom-built in the US and shipped to Tokyo.
The premium-quality meats used here are all sourced from the US, and are cooked in a traditional "low and slow" style for up to fifteen hours. The slow cooking approach results in very tender and juicy meats - the brisket in particular is a favorite. Meats are complemented by a smoky, tomato-based barbecue sauce that's mild enough not to overpower the individual meat flavors.
The menu's side dishes, while traditionally inspired, are much fancier than what you'd find in a Texas BBQ joint. The cole slaw features diced apples, poppy seeds and a hint of anise, while the flaky, lard-infused buttermilk biscuits are served with a delicious molasses butter. Other side options include five mushrooms sauteed with a five-peppercorn mix; roast shallots with watercress; and a very tasty version of that old standby, pork and beans.
The wine list offers several good choices in the Y4000-7000 range, plus some special bottles for celebratory occasions. There are ten wines by the glass, plus a couple of excellent US microbrews from legendary breweries like Bear Republic and Southern Tier. The upstairs main dining room is spacious and comfortable; next to it is a small private dining room, and downstairs is the open kitchen area, flanked by a twelve-seat counter. Budget around Y5000-6000 for dinner with a few drinks; lunches start in the Y1000 range. [Show more] [Show less]
Flashy, American-style sushi rolls, with items like the "Nixon roll" (unagi, cucumber and cream cheese; Y1250) in a simple but stylish dining room.
Azabu-Juban 1-10-3, 2F. Open 11:30am-2:30, 6-11pm (LO) daily.
A tiny counter bar (plus a few tables) with friendly service and good food. The tapas-style menu includes various Spanish hams, an excellent paella, and a very rich and luscious oxtail stew. You'll also find some pleasantly affordable Spanish wines to go with the food.
Azabu-Juban 1-5-4. Open 5-11pm. Closed weekends.
Gourmet burger pioneers in Tokyo, they still grill up some of Tokyo's better burgers in town, and also assemble great sandwiches (including an inspirational shrimp and avocado combination) and voluminous baskets of French fries. (Delivery within the neighborhood until 8:30pm, until 5:30pm Sundays and holidays.)
The specialty of the house is a dish called samgetang - a richly flavored Korean stew made from tender chicken meat, ginseng, garlic, Korean dates and rice. Enjoy it here in conjunction with assorted Korean side dishes and a tasty ishiyaki bibimba. [See FULL REVIEW
Azabu-Juban 1-7-2. Open 11:30am-2, 5-11:30pm (LO), Sun to 10:30. Closed 3rd Sunday.
Eclectic Asian cuisine and a lively atmosphere.
The concept here is a New York-style bakery-cafe in the heart of Azabu-Juban, selling top-quality cheesecake, carrot cake, brownies, cookies, cornbread and pastries just like you'd find in New York. There's a small eat-in corner where you can enjoy your sweets along with a cup of coffee or tea.
Azabu-Juban 1-8-6. Open 11am-8pm (Sat, Sun -7pm). Closed Mondays.
Sarashina soba noodles, the specialty here, are made only from the refined core of the buckwheat kernel. Noodles here are served with two dipping sauces - sweet and spicy - which you can combine as you wish. The noodles are good, if a bit bland, but the tempura is only average. Side dishes like yakitori and smoked duck are served a la carte, and there's a Y3500 full-course menu with tempura and several other items.
Azabu-Juban 1-8-7. Open 11am-9pm (LO) daily.
Filling a gap in the Tokyo dining scene, The Chef's Table offers upscale Latin American cuisine paired with good, affordable wines. Owner Sohan Ahluwalia brings the same imagination and flair to the cuisines of South America as he did to Cajun cooking at the popular Bourbon Street in Nogizaka. Filling a gap in the Tokyo dining scene, The Chef's Table offers upscale Latin American cuisine paired with good, affordable wines. Owner Sohan Ahluwalia brings the same imagination and flair to the cuisines of South America as he did to Cajun cooking at the popular Bourbon Street in Nogizaka.
During a recent visit we enjoyed an impressive Argentine-style skirt steak for our main - the meat was intensely flavorful and paired with an assertive chimichurri sauce packed with garlic, chili and spices with a vinegary kick. Our entertaining mixed shellfish ceviche was also on the spicy side, balanced by the sweetness of coconut and slightly tart mango slices.
The menu changes a few times a month to keep things fresh; for example the kitchen regularly offers new ceviche variations using various types of fish and seafood and different marinades and spices. Spanish and South American wines are nicely priced, with many in the Y5000-9000 range. The understated dining room, with just five tables, is small and intimate without feeling cramped.
Budget around Y5000-6000 per person for food. Weekend "cooking school" prix-fixe lunches are served from noon-2:30pm and cost Y8000 per person including drinks. [Show more] [Show less]
Service is friendly, and staff are ready to help you choose from among the twenty wines by the glass, mostly from Roussillon, Langedouc and other southwestern French regions. The bar menu offers wine-compatible nibbles like a tasty rillette sandwich, or you can explore the more serious restaurant menu. [See FULL REVIEW
Azabu-Juban 2-14-2. Open 11:30am-3, 6-11pm (LO) daily.
This "vegetable cafe and bakery" offers curries and pastas during the day and a wider evening menu, with vegetarian tapas, falafel platter, vegetarian pizzas and lasagna. The refreshingly large drinks list includes organic California wines (Bonterra), a couple of US microbrew beers, and even tequila. There's plenty of outdoor seating, although it can get smoky.
Azabu-Juban 2-2-5. Open 11am-10:15pm (LO; from 9am Sat, Sun) daily.
The excellent tempura here uses the freshest seafood and some unusual vegetable choices like lily buds and peanuts. Full-course dinner from Y5000; a la carte is also available.
Azabu-Juban 2-21-10, Azabu Court 1F. Open 5:30-8pm. Closed Wednesdays.
Absolutely first-rate Korean home-style cooking (i.e. no yakiniku). No reservations, no English menu, but definitely worth putting up with the long lines and the cramped seating.
Azabu-Juban 2-21-12. Open 5-11pm (LO). Closed Mondays.
Decent fast-food-style burritos, tacos, and fajitas, all made from premium organic ingredients. Choose from grilled chicken, carnitas (braised pork), steak or vegetarian filling; prices range from Y800-1100. There's a small but tastefully appointed dining area, or you can take out.
Inexpensive pastas and Italian wines by the glass, with convenient late-night hours.
Excellent, reasonably priced shojin-ryori (vegetarian temple cuisine). Lunch is Y6000, dinner Y8000-10,000.
Azabu-Juban 3-4-7. Open noon-3, 5:30-9pm daily.
Great Kansai-style bite-sized gyoza.
Azabu-Juban 1-3-8. Open 11:30am-11:30pm (LO) daily.
This pristine restaurant in Azabu-Juban specializes in contemporary Spanish cuisine with a respectful nod to modern French gastronomy. Chef Seichi Honda spent nine years in France and Spain before returning to Japan to work at Ryugin and Sant Pau. This pristine restaurant in Azabu-Juban specializes in contemporary Spanish cuisine with a respectful nod to modern French gastronomy. Chef Seichi Honda spent nine years in France and Spain before returning to Japan to work at Ryugin and Sant Pau.
Artistically presented appetizers - ethereal zucchini ravioli veiled in paper-thin slices of pancetta, sprinkled with pickled basil seeds; perfectly cooked squid stuffed with minced shiitake and eringi mushrooms, atop a pool of cabbage sauce - aptly display the chef's verve and creativity.
The same lightness of touch is not immediately evident in the mains, however. A neat rectangle of tender pork tongue and pig's cheek, dusted in herbed breadcrumbs and grilled, was tasty but persistently salty. (This may be just a matter of growing pains - the restaurant opened in April 2011.)
Prix-fixe meals are Y4,800 at lunchtime and Y11,000 at dinnertime (expect a 10% service charge). The cellar stocks over 120 kinds of Spanish wine, with a number of bottles priced comfortably between Y4,000-7,000. [Show more] [Show less]
Azabu-Juban 3-2-7, Resort Azabu-Juban 1F. Open 11:30am-1:30, 6:30-9:30pm (LO). Closed Mondays.
This charming neighborhood spot serves creative, upscale bistro fare in a pleasant setting and at reasonable prices. Some of our favorite dishes have included a very meaty plate of pork rillettes and liver mousse, a lively bonito carpaccio on a bed of couscous, and excellent homemade boudin blanc sausages. The excellent rum caramel creme is also worth a try. Prix-fixe menus start at Y3500 for dinner, Y1800 at lunchtime.
Azabu-Juban 3-9-2, Tamon Azabu 2F. Open noon-1:30, 6-9:30pm (LO). Closed Mondays.
The recipes at Burgaz Ada are from Constantinople, not Istanbul, as the chef is ambitiously working to recreate historical dishes from the Ottoman Empire - the roots of modern Turkish cuisine. Full-course menus Y6,900-13,650, wines from Y4,500/bottle. An a la carte menu is available after 9pm.
A down-home, old-fashioned neighborhood joint with great fried chicken, eggplant curry, and seasonal grilled fish and stews.
Azabu-Juban 3-8-5. Open 5:30-11pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
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.
Meat is Nissin's strong point, with over a dozen types of cold cuts, a cornucopia of sausages, and unusual items like pheasant, rabbit, and even kangaroo meat. And the third-floor wine shop is worth a visit in its own right - particularly for its wide choice of Australian and California wines in the under-Y2000 price range. [See FULL REVIEW
Higashi-Azabu 2-34-2. Open 9:30am-8pm daily.
Good French cooking at budget prices - dinner is just Y2100, and usually includes a choice of one of three starters and mains. The Y1200 lunch includes a pasta or sandwich and a small soup, salad, dessert and drink. The interior is no-frills, but there's a nice outdoor terrace.
Higashi-Azabu 2-23-12. Open 11am-2, 5-9:30pm daily.
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]
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.
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.
A charming, rustic eel house that's been here for 160 years. Full-course eel meals (unaju teishoku) start at Y2500. The sake is Kikumasamune - your choice of hot or cold.
Higashi-Azabu 1-5-4. Open 11am-1:30, 5-8pm. Closed Sundays.
This Japanese curry shop inside Tokyo Tower fashions itself as a laboratory for testing new curry recipes, and the interior is another statement from the always stylish Wonderwall design firm, with a science-lab motif and miniature TV screens at each seat. The curries are innovative and tasty, priced at Y1000-1200; take-out is also available.
Shiba-Koen 4-2-8, Tokyo Tower Foot Town 2F. Open 11am-9:20pm (LO) daily.
First-class traditional Japanese cuisine, with an emphasis on tofu, in a beautiful setting next to Tokyo Tower. Private dining rooms look out over lovely gardens and 100-year-old trees, although the building itself is new. Prix-fixe lunch from Y6000, dinner from Y9000.
Before opening this tiny restaurant in 1998, owner-chef Keizo Asai worked for ten years at the Japanese Embassy in Argentina. He stocks a list of reasonably priced Argentine wines, along with meaty dishes like empanadas (meat pies), blood sausage and veal cutlet. Main dishes range from Y1000-4000 and there's a charge for the water, so prices can add up.
Higashi-Azabu 1-12-11. Open 6pm-midnight. Closed Sundays.
This long-established handmade soba shop dates back to the Edo era, although the current shop is situated inside a modern office building. The specialty of the house is tororo (sticky grated yam) soba (Y1470), and the tempura soba is also popular.
Toranomon 3-11-13, Svaxtt Bldg 1F. Open 11am-2:30, 5-7:30pm (LO). Closed weekends.
Popular Szechuan-style ramen, around Y1000 a bowl. Try to avoid the noon-1pm rush hour if possible.
Toranomon 3-8-2. Open 11am-9pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
The second incarnation of Nobu Tokyo is under different management, and is closer in style to the branches in New York and London. Prix-fixe omakase menus are priced Y12,000-25,000, along with an extensive a la carte menu focusing on fish and seafood. Budget around Y10,000-15,000 for dinner; there's a 10% service charge and a Y1500 cover charge. Lunches range from Y1800 (for a vegetarian lunch plate) to Y12,000.
Toranomon 4-1-28, Toranomon Towers Office 1F. Open 11:30am-2, 6-10pm (LO) daily.
(Belgian rest/beer bar). 5405-1588
The Kamiyacho branch seems to be one of the liveliest of this chain of Belgian beer bars, attracting an international crowd in this office-building neighborhood. Belgian-style snacks and full meals to accompany your beer.
Toranomon 5-1-5, Toranomon MT Bldg. 1F. Open 11am-5pm, 6pm-2am. Closed Sundays.
It looks just like an ordinary coffee shop, but they serve German sausages, excellent bread and rolls, and many excellent German beers. (AKA "Die Wurst")
The cooking here is a level above the usual Tokyo Indian restaurant - sophisticated dishes with distinctive flavors and top-quality ingredients. The emphasis is on southern Indian specialties (the owner is from Kerala), with lots of curries of mutton, fish and chicken and some great starters. The popular lunchtime buffet is bigger than average, with fifteen different dishes. Budget around Y3000-4500 at dinnertime.
Toranomon 3-19-7. Open 11:30am-2, 5:30-10:30pm. Closed Sundays.
Although the dining room is notably lacking in atmosphere and music, the kitchen prepares outstanding German cuisine, including some fantastic game dishes in the autumn months. Prices may seem high at first, but portions are much larger than average for Tokyo. They also offer a very good selection of German beers - in all different styles - from around the country.
Roppongi 1-9-9, Roppongi 1st Bldg. B1F. Open 11:30am-9pm (LO). Closed Sundays, 3rd Sat.
Top-class temple vegetarian cuisine. Lunch 10-12,000 yen, dinner 14-18,000 yen. (Strict vegetarians should note that the kitchen uses a bit of katsuo-bushi - dried bonito flakes - when preparing the dishes here.)
A retail shop that supplies French cheeses to many Tokyo restaurants, so they always have fresh stock (unlike some supermarkets and department stores). They stock many varieties you won't find elsewhere.
Atago 1-5-3. Open 11am-7pm. Closed Sundays.
Excellent home-style "Belarus home cooking" by native chefs. The decor is minimal (elaborately stacked vodka bottles, a vodka-themed calendar on the wall), but the food is uniformly good - from the richly flavored borscht (heavily seasoned with cumin, dill and other herbs), to the spongy buckwheat crepes stuffed with minced chicken, to the garlicky potato pancakes. Excellent home-style "Belarus home cooking" by native chefs. The decor is minimal (elaborately stacked vodka bottles, a vodka-themed calendar on the wall), but the food is uniformly good - from the richly flavored borscht (heavily seasoned with cumin, dill and other herbs), to the spongy buckwheat crepes stuffed with minced chicken, to the garlicky potato pancakes.
There's a selection of Hungarian white and Georgian red wines, but the hearty Russian Baltika #3 beer might be a better match for the food. The patrons seem to be a mix of local prowling Roppongi-ites and visiting explorers looking for exotic ethnic dining. [Show more] [Show less]
Azabudai 1-4-2. Open 11:30am-2, 5-10:30pm. Closed Sundays.
Sophisticated, modern and creative cuisine from Chef Shimomura, a veteran of several distinguished restaurants in the French provinces. Prix-fixe lunches from Y4200, dinners from Y9450.
Roppongi 3-1-1, T-Cube 1F. Open 11:30am-1:30, 6-9:30pm (LO) daily.
Don't come here looking for fusion cooking - it's all straight-ahead curries and tandoori items, above average in quality although sometimes overly salted. One thing that sets them apart is the Hoegaarden on draft, a refreshing Belgian white beer that provides a very pleasant contrast with the spicy dishes. The decor is fairly pedestrian, with sports on the big-screen TV, but at least the smoking and non-smoking sections are on separate floors.
Roppongi 3-3-15. Open 11:30am-10:30pm daily.
Reasonable izakaya fare and a good selection of sake at this down-to-earth drinking spot; budget around Y3500 for food and drink in the evening.
Roppongi 3-4-33. Open 11:30am-2, 5:30-11pm. Closed Sundays.
The two tiny dining rooms are rustic and cave-like, the stucco walls decorated with animal pelts and a boar's head. The name means "the hunt", and the specialty is seasonal game (pheasant, boar, deer), much of it bagged by the chef himself. The two tiny dining rooms are rustic and cave-like, the stucco walls decorated with animal pelts and a boar's head. The name means "the hunt", and the specialty is seasonal game (pheasant, boar, deer), much of it bagged by the chef himself.
The assorted game platter is a good introduction to the menu; there's also fabulous foie gras, hearty provincial dishes like cassoulet, and fantastic desserts. The wine list includes reasonably priced (Y6000-9000) wines from southwestern France, along with a strong Bordeaux selection. Around Y15,000-20,000 per person for dinner and drinks. No English. [Show more] [Show less]
Roppongi 3-5-7. Open 6-11pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
Reliable, classic French cooking in a bistrot-style setting. Lunch ranges from Y1300 (just a main dish and coffee) to Y5000; dinner is Y5000-Y9000, or a la carte. Entrees include roast lamb (Y3200) and steak tartare with fried potatoes (Y3000); starters also average around Y3000.
Akasaka 1-3-13, Tameike Suzuki Bldg. 1F. Open 11:30am-2, 5:30-9:30pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
Coffee, drinks, music-listening stations and free wi-fi access. Lunch is served until 3pm.
Kasumigaseki 3-2-5, Kasumi Dining 2F. Open 11am-10pm (LO). Closed weekends.
This specialty bar imports beers directly from Belgium, and serves an impressive selection of ten different varieties on draft, including varieties we haven't seen elsewhere around town. Open to 1:30am Wed, Thu, Fri nights.
Kasumigaseki 3-2-6, Tokyo Club Bldg, Kasumi Dining 1F. Open 11am-10:30pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
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.
A stylish izakaya-slash-dining bar serving modern Tokyo cuisine - a mix of Italian, Spanish and Japanese regional dishes made from premium ingredients. There's an excellent sake list that rotates regularly. Budget around Y5000 at dinnertime.
Kasumigaseki 3-2-6, Tokyo Club Bldg, Kasumi Dining 1F. Open 11am-2, 5-10:30pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
The specialty of the house if yakitori-style skewers and wings of Nagoya cochin game birds.
Kasumigaseki 3-2-6, Tokyo Club Bldg, Kasumi Dining 3F. Open 11am-2, 5-11pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
Very casual bistro-style fare and a good variety of wines from southern France - they import their own wines and many are available by the glass. The chef is Philippe Batton, formerly of Le Petit Bedon in Daikanyama, and the atmosphere is authentically French. [Go to branch review]
Toranomon 2-1-1. Open 11:30am-3, 6-11pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
A branch of the long-established, highly regarded sushi shop in Ginza that invented gunkan-maki (sushi wrapped in nori strips, "battleship" style). The entrance to the dining area (mostly a very long counter) is hidden inside another restaurant; we had to ask as there were no signs. Set menus are priced Y6090 to Y24,150, or you can order take-out.
Toranomon 2-10-4, Hotel Okura Main Bldg 5F. Open 11:30am-2:30, 5:30-9:30pm daily.