Below you will find our eight favorite Tokyo restaurants. However, on this trip our most memorable dining experiences were at hotels.
Though the Park Hyatt Tokyo hotel is perhaps best-known for its New York Grill steakhouse, its contemporary Japanese restaurant Kozue is a quiet and elegant setting in which to enjoy a local meal with impeccable service. A variety of prix-fixe tasting menus is offered at dinner — which is when the view is best — ranging from the Shun menu, which is more in line with Western tastes with dishes like tuna, yellowtail and shrimp sashimi, followed by shabu-shabu beef, to the more adventurous Takumi menu, which includes selections such as deep-fried blowfish milt and wild boar hot pot. Menus change according to the seasons.
3-7-1-2 Nishi Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo; Tel. (81) 3-5323-3460.
Japan’s first Aman opened in Tokyo in late 2014, and its minimalist restaurant on the 33rd floor is Tokyo’s most privileged perch, with views of the Imperial Palace Gardens and Mount Fuji. Join the business elite while feasting on chef Eiji Ohata’s Mediterranean-Japanese fusion dishes, like Kagoshima Wagyu beef layered with foie gras, spring onions and daikon; sautéed Hokkaido cod; and Jerusalem artichoke soup with Zuwai crab salad and zesty yuzu semifreddo. Pair that with one of the 12,000 bottles from the impressive wine cellar, or opt for the exclusive signature house sake instead.
The Restaurant by Aman
Otemachi Tower, 1-5-6 Otemachi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; Tel. (81) 3-5224-3333.
At this stylish but relaxed bistro-like restaurant, Austrian chef Gerhard Passrugger has constructed a worldly comfort-food menu that is based on healthy eating and quality local produce. Not surprisingly, it has become popular with locals, which gives it much more atmosphere than most hotel restaurants. Among the best dishes are the homemade pork and onion rillettes, and the fried rabbit with tomato-and-balsamic-vinegar gnocchi. Cheeses come from Philippe Olivier, one of France’s great cheesemongers; the miniature éclairs in a variety of flavors are a perfect dessert; and the wine list is excellent.
Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills, 1-23-4 Toranomon, Minato-ku, Tokyo; Tel. (81) 3-6830-1234.
A favorite of both Tokyo’s business elite and high society, this superb French restaurant with impeccable service is a perfect choice for anyone wanting a memorable Western meal in the Japanese capital. Chef Thierry Voisin formerly cooked at the celebrated Les Crayères in Reims before moving to Tokyo 10 years ago, and his refined cuisine is subtle, original and elegant, including seasonally available dishes like langoustines sautéed with morels, trout from streams near Mount Fuji served in yuzu sauce, and smoked eel with celery purée and fruit vinaigrette.
Imperial Hotel, 1-1-1 Uchisaiwai-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; Tel. (81) 3-3539-8087.