Award-Winning Restaurant Fratelli Paradiso Comes To Tokyo
It's The Best Of Wine, It's The Best Of Food
Sydney's popular Italian restaurant opens its first overseas branch — in Omotesando.
When it comes to Italian food — really good food — it’s fair to raise your expectations high. Because as far as the real thing is concerned, we’re not only talking about the food, we’re talking about everything truly Italian that comes with it: the laid-back atmosphere, the good wine, the passion for eating, sharing and enjoying the meal, while chatting away with your fellow diners. It’s really more of an experience than just a meal.
That is why when we heard that Fratelli Paradiso, the Sydney-based award-winning Italian restaurant created by two sunny Italian brothers and their partner, had come to Tokyo, we couldn’t resist the temptation to try it out. And just as we expected, the experience there provided exactly what we wanted: a true Italian escape from reality.
A Tale Of Two Cities
After its opening in 2001 in Potts Point — Sydney’s hub for everything hip — the restaurant quickly became a staple of the city’s food scene, inviting locals and tourists for a taste of continuously innovating authentic Italian food, lots of great wine and a creative ambience. Ranked 25th in the prestigious Australia’s Top 100 Restaurants Award in 2016 and earning one hat in the Good Food Guide (call it the Australian Michelin guide) in the same year, the diner has proven itself to be one of a kind in its field — you know, the sort of place where things can never go wrong. And now after 16 years of serving the Aussie crowd, the restaurant has opened its first overseas branch in the very heart of Tokyo.
With Japan-born (but Italian at heart) head chef Toshiyuki Nakayasu, who had been with the Paradiso crew for nine years in Sydney, the choice of Tokyo is not really a coincidence. Nakayasu returned to Japan in 2015 to open his own restaurant, but was quickly chased after by Sadahiro Nakamura, the president of Transit General Office Inc (the company that brought most overseas cool brands to Tokyo), and after multiple talks, he was asked to serve as the executive chef of the restaurant he knows so well, in a mission to introduce the true Italian vibe to all Tokyoties. And with that, the tale of Sydney and Tokyo, began.
Fratelli Paradiso in Tokyo
Located on the 3rd floor of the high-fashion hub Omotesando Hills, the Tokyo branch of the restaurant officially opened on May 8 (following a pre-opening in late April), boasting a large dining room with 142 seats and an exclusive bar corner. The handwritten signs on the restaurant’s walls illustrate the core principles of the founders: Lotta Continua (Never Give Up) greets you at the very entrance, while handwritten menus and recommendation of the day surround you. The Lotta slogan, used during the political campaign fought for freedom in Italy in the 1960s and 70s, is there to remind guests that belief and continuous effort are key to becoming successful and staying true to yourself.
For the Paradiso brothers and Marco Ambrosino — the restaurant’s co-founder — the slogan symbolizes their passion to continue providing the best ingredients in their dishes; their support for local farmers and wine brewers; and their belief in assuring food safety and splendid, rare taste. The trio supports customers and local wineries by only serving wine which has no additives, preservatives and such that are not usually sold in mass production. In other words, it’s a gain for everyone involved — local business grow and we, the customers, get to enjoy the best of all hidden gems from Italy, which we wouldn’t know otherwise.
The interior is trendy and inviting, though non-pretentious despite its location. The pasta is made at the open kitchen in the dining hall (just as in the Sydney store), making the food-making process a guest experience, as well. The bar area is more private and quiet, perfect for a casual date.
Outstanding Food & Variety of Wine
You can find most signature dishes from the Sydney store here, including the Pasta Scampi (¥2,500), the absolutely exquisite al dente cooked pasta with fresh scampi; the Prosciutto Bufala (¥2,200) — the 12-month aged prosciutto straight from Norcia topped with fresh Buffalo cheese, and the Tagliata di Manzo (¥4,500), the melt-in-your-mouth 30-day dry aged Angus beef served with grained mustard, that’s so good we guarantee you’ll want to take a jar of it back home.
But the most exceptional product on the menu — which deserves ten thumbs up for its element of surprise and heavenly taste — is the Bottarga Pretzel (¥1,700) — a pretzel topped with five kinds of seeds and accompanied with a dip of whipped mixture of bottarga powder and smoked olive oil with bread crumbs as a filler. Offered only at the Omotesando branch (in addition to the restaurant’s sister wine bar 10 William St in Sydney), this dish is something you’ll become addicted to, because it’s probably something you’ve never tasted before. Grab a bottle of wine, sit at the bar and order several of those for an absolutely special experience.
For those who prefer a full course menu, the Tokyo branch offers two lunch courses (¥1,800 and ¥2,800) and one dinner plan (¥5,800), all of which consist of the venue’s top seller homemade dishes and extra bits and bites. You’ll love everything on the menus — from the freshly baked bread to the salads, pasta choices and desserts in the end (included in the dinner menu). And speaking of desserts, you can’t leave without tasting their Tiramisu (¥900), a large chunk of the all-time-favorite dessert, of which you wouldn’t be able to have enough — regardless of how big it is.
As to wine, you’ll have a difficult time choosing from the over 150 options the restaurants has: there are bottles from Italy, France and Australia, as well as some original labels made exclusively for Fratelli Paradiso’s Tokyo branch. But most importantly, it is here where you can find a great selection of natural wine, which use no chemicals and come from wineries the restaurant has built strong bonds with throughout the years. We would recommend the rare orange wine La Chioccia Toscana Bianco — the perfect combination of a mild and dry taste to top your lunch. For dinner, try the red 2015 Rosso Dei Muni from Veneto, Italy, the Prosecco sparkling, also from the same region. The recommended wines at Fratelli Paradiso change frequently, but a quick chat with the wine-savvy staff will lead you to the perfect choice, so don’t hesitate to ask.
So if you’re on the hunt for truly delicious Italian food and wine served amid a creative and casual ambience, the newest addition to Tokyo’s Italian scene is unquestionably a great choice. Enjoy it any time of the day and spend a moment on your own without any distractions — the wine and the food will keep you busy enough.
Address: Omotesando Hills 3F, 4-12-10, Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Business Hours: Mon-Sat 11 a.m. – 11 p.m., Sundays, 11 a.m. – 10:30 p.m.
AUTHENTIC ITALIAN FOOD AND CREATIVE ATMOSPHERE IN THE HEART OF TOKYO