Tokyo’s Top Restaurant. Is There One?
Well, you’re entitled to your own opinion and I’m keeping mine a secret. And if you’ve never been to Tokyo, well then you have more restaurants to choose from than any other city in the world before making your decision. Add to that, Tokyo also has more Michelin-Starred eateries (267) and Michelin 3-Star restaurants (12) than anywhere worldwide, including Paris.
But if you’re looking for a place to start, or maybe a place to finish, try Sukibayashi Jiro Honten in Ginza. This Michelin 3-Star Sushi Restaurant was founded by Master Jiro Ono in 1965, who started working in restaurants from the age of 7. With the most choice cuts of fish from the nearby Tsukiji fish market, the only thing on his menu is the ‘makase assorted sushi tasting menu’ which will set you back $300USD. No credit cards accepted! And you’d best make your reservations well ahead of time and expect a sit down meal of less than 30 minutes. Part of the reason for this, Jiro says, is because he has to keep the fish and vinegar rice fresh at all times. The fresh, fatty tuna is a work of art in its simplicity for sure. The other reason of course, is he has to keep those customers moving in and out! Some of the most famous have dined there; movies stars, politicians, business elites. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Barack Obama famously shared a meal there his last trip to Tokyo. So next time you’re in town book yourself a seat (and do so ahead of schedule). You never know who you might rub elbows, or wallets, with.
The whole place is very understated and simple in its presentation… almost working class. From beginning to end, it’s all about the sushi. But if it sounds a little too rich for your blood his younger brother Yoshikazu runs a 2-Star branch in Roppongi Hills that is an exact mirror image of Jiro’s restaurant, except with the whole setup in reverse as he is is left-handed. Only in Japan!