Re:Dine, Ginza: Multiple Chefs Put Their Best To The Test Under One Shared Roof
A Merry-Go-Round Brand New Food Experience?
Choose your own adventure at this new concept restaurant.
If you happen to spend all your money shopping around Ginza — one of the most expensive areas in Tokyo — it’s nice to know that you can still have a course meal for less than the high average going rate — especially when there’s also a fun concept involved. We came to know of the recent opening of re:Dine and didn’t wait too long before setting up a casual late lunch visit. Here’s what we found out about the place!
It has a very unique concept
Known for its glitzy, glamorous, mega designer shops and seriously impressive architecture, Ginza is also famous for being home to countless Michelin star restaurants, but re:Dine’s addition to this side of town is more than welcome as it offers contemporary cuisine at more affordable prices — and a place for different chefs to get in the spotlight!
The restaurant, which opened in January, is based on a new concept that offers a coworking space for professional chefs, each specializing in different style cuisine. Customers can vote for their favorite chefs and dishes of the day, based on which chef rankings are calculated and the most popular one eventually “graduates” from re:Dine with the confidence that their cuisine is worth opening a brand new restaurant somewhere else!
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Navigating the menu at re:Dine can feel a little confusing, but the idea here is to create a “choose-your-own-adventure” course meal by selecting an appetizer, a main, and whatever else you have room for based on four abbreviated menus from four different chefs. There is also an extensive coffee program from Coffee Mafia and soft cream desserts from Coisof.
It feels like Chef’s Table: The food is diverse and delicious
There are six chefs at the restaurant, but you never know who — or how many — are going to be at your service before showing up on the day. When I visited recently, there were four chefs.
Chef Kentaro Taniguchi is the youngest chef on the menu. Taniguchi began his culinary pursuit at age 16 and is now just 23. Before coming to re:Dine, he worked for a Michelin star restaurant and is now using this opportunity to debut himself as a bonafide chef.
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His smoked raw scallop dish from Hokkaido (pictured below) was cooked to near perfection and offered a great light taste. I think it’s safe to say that Taniguchi has great promise in his ambitions, especially at such a young age.
The next chef I tried a meal from was Hitoshi Takayama.
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Takayama’s personal concept and style is listed on the menu as “play food, eat happiness,” which I equated to a food style that is playful, colorful, and fresh.
His standout dish was poached lobster (pictured above) alongside a carrot puree done two ways. The lobster was cooked perfectly and the carrot puree was gold. Takayama’s modern French style certainly feels professional yet fun.
After experiencing two lovely light seafood dishes, things got a bit heavier with Tomoaki Takashima’s cuisine.
Typically soup curry is from Hokkaido, but Takashima learned how to make his special soup curry in Nagasaki under the guidance of his cooking master who also happens to be a sushi master. After talking to Takashima for a while, I didn’t quite understand how exactly the soup curry stemmed from sushi, but nevertheless, it was delectable in flavor and something I would order over and over again.
After the soup curry, we finished the meal off with a bowl of ramen from the menu of Kenichiro Yoneyama.
The ramen had wagyu, duck, and chicken in it, which is quite heavy in the meat department, but it came with a side of porcini mushroom oil to add to the broth, which was a really fun and unique touch.
Finally, after four courses, we finished the entire meal with ice cream from Coisof. There are two flavors to choose from — vanilla with strawberry and black sesame with chocolate. Both ice cream dishes came with alcoholic chasers to pour over the ice cream, but were quite strong. I enjoyed the ice cream sans alcohol and always love the idea of a black sesame dessert at the end of any meal.
After dessert, the coffee menu was calling my name. Luckily, re:Dine has a great selection of coffee beans from a handful of different regions and there are three ways to choose how your coffee gets brewed. I opted for some iced coffee from Brazil and enjoyed the nice cold brew.
Re:thinking the wheel
With a workspace for chefs, which allows them to bounce ideas off of each other and work together but separately, I think re:Dine offers a new and interesting creative space for food that we’ve rarely seen so far. I just wish the kitchen was more visible so we could see the chefs in action better. I am also curious to know how often they will rotate their menus and perhaps even the chefs themselves — or could this be their corporate secret to keep customers coming back? We’ll see.
Something to keep in mind is that the restaurant operates on a cashless system, so make sure you have a credit card on you when you go!
Address: 9F Namikikan Building 4-3-1 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Business Hours: Open Daily, 5 p.m.–11 p.m.
Average Cost: Dinner items range between ¥900 and ¥4,500. Deserts around ¥1,000. Cocktails and glasses of wine around ¥700. Coffee around ¥800.
Please note that the information in this article is as of the time of writing. Actual menu and chefs may be different depending on when you visit.