Five Of Tokyo’s Finest Restaurants For Luxurious Celebrations

Go On, Treat Yourself to a Five-Star Dining Experience

By Nano Betts
December 14, 2016
Food & Drink

Once a year, find that perfect time to splurge and treat yourselves to something better than ordinary.

With the festive season in full swing and holiday celebrations just around the corner, some of us (read: those utterly demotivated to bother with a home-cooked meal) might start thinking about where to spend the special day with our loved ones. Thankfully it’s Tokyo — arguably the gastronomic mecca of the world —we’re talking about. So whether you’re looking for a lovely spot to celebrate Christmas; the perfect place for a romantic night or a special diner to take your best friends on their birthdays, head to any of the following exquisite restaurants for a high-end dining experience you won’t ever forget. 

L’Effervescence

Two Michelin stars, no. 16 on S. Pellegrino’s 2016 list of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, endless raves on TripAdvisor and Tablog — the list of accolades goes on. 

L’Effervescence is helmed by the Chef Shinobu Namae who expertly marries French cooking techniques with Japanese traditions of handling premium local ingredients to create a truly remarkable modern cuisine. Think minimalistic sleek décor, charcoal and black colors that fill the space and white table cloths that add elegance and a sense of formality to the ambiance, although the friendly and highly-trained servers make you feel totally relaxed. For dinner, you will enjoy a tasting menu of 12 courses or so — beautifully plated dishes that impress the eye and excite the taste buds. Poetic names of each dish (“Awakening”, “A snowy day”…) are evocative and prompt you to look at food as an edible art form, something to marvel and cherish with each bite. The restaurant is very popular, so advanced reservation is a must.

Address: 2-26-4 Nishi-azabu, Minato-ku Tokyo


Joël Robuchon Restaurant

It would be hard to find a place more refined and elaborate for your celebrations than Joël Robuchon Restaurant. Housed inside a glamorous chateau in Ebisu, this three-Michelin starred restaurant is often referred to as the culinary temple of French haute cuisine. Indeed, expect top notch service and outstanding classic French cooking. With an all-you-can-eat bread cart, cheese cart, and two dessert trolleys on top of a 16-course Degustation Menu, this will definitely not be the night to obsess over the width of your waist.

To add romance to your outing, you’ll be able to stroll along Ebisu’s spectacular Christmas illuminations and marvel at the display of the Baccarat chandelier on your way to the chateau.

Address: Yebisu Garden Place, 1-13-1, Mita, Meguro-ku, Tokyo


Ukai-tei Omotesando

This famed teppanyaki restaurant is located on the top floor of the Chanel building in Omotesando and is quite favorited by many Japanese food experts. The chain Ukai has restaurants in multiple locations and comes with a reputation for serving the highest quality of Japanese ingredients cooked in a variety of ways. At Ukai-tei Omotesando you have an option to enjoy a multi-course menu showcasing seasonal ingredients. All the main courses — including the highest-grade melt-in-your-mouth wagyu beef steak and the signature abalone dish — are cooked using a traditional teppan (iron plate) grill right in front of you.

For your sweet treats, you’ll be escorted to a sophisticated tea salon, where you’ll be able to sit in a comfortable armchair overlooking the busy Omotesando, sip on your bubbly and enjoy countless petit-fours from the dessert trolley!

Address: 5F Omotesando Gyre, 5-10-1 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo


Akasaka Kikunoi

To experience one of the most traditional forms of kaiseki ryori you cannot go wrong with Akasaka Kikunoi, a two Michelin-starred outpost of Kikunoi Kyoto, considered to be one of the best kaiseki restaurants in Japan. This fancy diner is the prized creation of Yoshihiro Murata, the third generation chef of Kikunoi who has earned numerous accolades and total of 7 Michelin stars.

The offshoot of the renowned restaurant in Tokyo brings the best of Kyoto to the capital. From the bamboo-lined, lantern-lit path to the simple, traditional wooden decor of the rooms (with either chairs or tatami mats), Kikunoi is a microcosm of traditional Kyoto. You will be greeted and treated in the best of Japanese hospitality traditions. Throughout the night, you will enjoy a succession of elaborately prepared and exquisitely plated courses featuring the best of the seasonal ingredients. I still remember the taste of the creamy shirako custard served in the orange, or the soul-warming turtle noodle soup.

Address: 6-13-8 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo


Tapas Molecular Bar

If you feel a little bit more adventurous and yearn for some culinary novelty, then opting for the night of molecular gastronomy might be the best choice.

Located in Mandarin Oriental’s gorgeous lounge bar, Tapas Molecular Bar offers a truly spectacular view over the city. What awaits you is not just an extended tasting menu of twenty plus courses, but an edible show — 2.5 hours of entertainment and delight both for the eyes as well as the palate. Thanks to the outstanding creativity and culinary skills of the chefs, nothing tastes what it looks like. You are also bound to have a feeling of exclusivity as the restaurant seats only eight people at a time. Thus, advance reservations are encouraged.

Address: 2-1-1 Nihonbashi Muromachi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo

Nano Betts is a seasoned traveler and eater currently living a dream in Tokyo. One year ago she decided to make most of her expat life as a military wife by creating travelwithnanob.com — a blog that chronicles her various worldly adventures and culinary discoveries in an attempt to inspire her readers to explore the world and help them do so by sharing her savvy travel tips. Her honed travel planning and research skills help Nano scout out even the most off-kilter spots and unique experiences in the Land of the Rising Sun. Even the 10 pounds she gained after moving here won’t keep her away from Tokyo’s fine dining, quirky cafes and exquisite desserts.

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