Food & Wine’s Tokyo City Guide 2011

Tokyo Tower

Tokyo Tower

My favorite writing assignment each year is the Tokyo Go List for Food & Wine magazine (the current May issue). This year focuses on three restaurants in the notable Ginza shopping district that features cuisine from three different prefectures in Japan. The chefs at each of these places are all getting a lot of press not only for their abilities in the kitchen, but also for their expression of the local ingredients featured in their shops.


At Ginza Ibuki, chef Sadahisa Yoshizawa focuses on seafood from Japan’s Kochi prefecture, like blackthroat fish that he butterflies, dries overnight and then grills.

Ginza 2-14-6, Dai Ni Matsuoka B1

Chuo-ku, Tokyo

Phone: 011-81-3-6278-8110

No website


Fourth-generation chef Yasufumi Otani flies in seafood from the Seto-naikai area for his kaiseki menu at Setouchi Ryori Suminoe.

Ginza 8-7-18, Getsukousou B1

Chuo-ku, Tokyo

Phone: 011-81-3-3572-2155


Foodies make pilgrimages to Masayuki Okuda’s Italian-influenced restaurant in the northern prefecture of Yamagata; now he shows off the area’s ingredients, like Yonezawa wagyu at Yamagata San-Dan-Delo.

Oishii Yamagata Plaza 2F

Ginza 1-5-10, Chuo-ku

Phone: 011-81-3-5250-1755 (Japanese) (Al-che-cciano website – Japanese)

Chef Seiji Yamamoto of Nihonryori Ryugin 日本料理龍吟の山本征治

Chef Seiji Yamamoto photo by Jun Takagi

Chef Seiji Yamamoto photo by Jun Takagi

Avant-gardist Seiji Yamamoto of Nihonryori Ryugin once silk-screened bar codes onto plates with squid ink. His latest shocker: He’s embracing Japanese classics, as in his rice steamed with shamo (chicken).


Minato-ku, Roppongi 7-17-24, Side Roppongi Bldg, 1st Floor

03-3423-8006 (English)

Food & Wine 2010 Tokyo Go List

Here’s a piece I wrote on chef Yamamoto for The Japan Times.