7 Hot New Restaurants In Tokyo
Where To Go And What To Order In The City This Month
September 22, 2017
Food & Drink, Latest Trends
We scope out the latest and trendiest in town. Come along!
Tokyo’s dining scene is ever changing, ever evolving, and never ceases to impress. But recently, we’re witnessing a swirl of extra-exciting new additions to our city of culinary wonderland, be it fusion Thai food, a stylish non-smoking lounge bar, or a new twist on our beloved gyoza. The capital just welcomed a new three-star Michelin chef from Spain, and New Zealand and Australia are jumping in, promising to become the next big players in the city’s international kitchen, while other well-known menus are catching up in the race with a new twist. So if you’re wondering where to go to get the latest flavors in town, read on!
1. Gyoza It.
This five-year pop-up shop that opened in Akasaka just two weeks ago, is sponsored by food company Ajinomoto and is already establishing a solid presence in Tokyo. The restaurant offers traditional gyoza (dumplings) but ups the game by offering gourmet dipping options like truffle salt, grain mustard, and yuzu kosho. Your gyoza is paired with champagne and wine (who would’ve thought!) and is cooked on a five-meter-long teppan (hot plate) grill to add to the fun experience. While gyoza is typically consumed along with other Chinese dishes, Gyoza It. offers an a-la-carte menu featuring western-style desserts, roasted beef, steaks and avocado salads. We have the hunch that gyoza may be the next it thing in the city!
Where: The Hexagon 1F, Akasaka 5-4-7, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Hours: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. & 5-11 p.m.
Longrain, a popular Asian-fusion restaurant from Australia, just recently opened its Tokyo branch. Dishes like green papaya salad, caramelized pork and a variety of curries highlight the menu, but it’s really the carefully curated cocktail and wine list that catches our attention. It includes a variety of Asian-friendly pours by the glass and a nice selection by the bottle under groups like “Luscious & Fruity” or “Spicy & Aromatic.” The 39th-floor restaurant with floor-to-ceiling windows has a view to impress — perfect for a date!
Where: Yebisu Garden Place Tower 39F, Ebisu 3-4-20, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Hours: Mon-Fri 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m. & 5:30-11 p.m.; Sat, Sun & hols 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m.
3. Eneko Tokyo
Eneko Atxa, the youngest Spanish chef to collect three Michelin stars, has a new outpost in Tokyo showcasing Basque cuisine. Located between Roppongi and Hiroo, Eneko Tokyo, is a stylish restaurant that also has an event space for weddings. The Tokyo branch does the culinary magic featuring only Japanese ingredients. It’s always exciting to see how non-Japanese chefs incorporate local products, especially when it’s a renowned chef of this class (and looks!).
Where: 3-16-28 Nishi-Azabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo
4. South by Terra
Ingredients from Australia and New Zealand are the highlight of South by Terra. The lunch menu includes a colorful salad bar starting at ¥1,300, while dinner features a rich seafood platter including New Zealand green lip mussels and Tasmanian ocean trout. The wine list includes a variety of local selections — think citrusy sauvignon blancs and soft pinot noirs — that no doubt will pair perfectly with the dishes. Antipodean wines are very food-friendly and this is a great chance to try it with local dishes from the region.
Where: Yebisu Garden Place Tower 39F,4-20-20 Ebisu, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Hours: 11:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (Lunch), 5:30 p.m. – 11:30 p.m. (Dinner)
5. Lawry’s The Prime Rib
L.A.-born Lawry’s Prime Rib is opening a new branch in Akasaka on Friday, September 29, joining its already immensely popular other branches in Ebisu and Osaka. The 248-seat cozy and stylish restaurant is wide enough to give you privacy and comfort, but if you’re in need of some extra quiet place, it has a few private rooms, as well. As in other branches, the Akasaka store will please customers with its signature prime rib brought to the table in a silver cart for tableside service. There is also a children’s menu at lunchtime, making it a great place to dine with the whole family — especially if you’re a real meat fan.
Where: 3F Akasaka Intercity AIR, Akasaka 1-8-1, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Hours: 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. & 5 p.m.-11 p.m.
Lounge bar Mezzo opened near the Roppongi crossing in late July and is quickly becoming the latest favorite for many looking for “the next place” after dining in the neighborhood. The cocktail menu includes drinks based on seasonal fruit and — shout out to all non-smokers, the bar is entirely smoke-free. For more exclusivity, pay to have access to the VIP second floor, accessible only with a pin code (for your secret rendezvous).
Where: Roppongi Street Building, Roppongi 5-1-7, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Hours: 5 p.m.-4 a.m.; closed Sundays and holidays; open Sunday if Monday is a holiday.
The terroir of New Zealand takes center stage at Zealander, which opens on September 26 near Tokyo Station in the Shin Marunouchi Building. With a slogan “100 % New Zealand,” the place promises you authentic food, wines, and vibe, on par with what you’d have if you were actually traveling to the beautiful country. Wines paired with dishes featuring lamb, oysters, mussels, and king salmon will be served up as modern tapas, and the wines — we’ll leave to your imagination.
Where: Shin Marunouchi Bldg. 5F, Marunouchi 1-5-1, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Hours: 11 a.m. -3 p.m. & 5:30 p.m.-11 p.m.