Five recommended Tokyo restaurants

The world’s travelling elite on where to eat in the Japanese capital

Lively robatayaki restaurant Inakaya
Lively robatayaki restaurant Inakaya | Image: Alamy

Marcus Wainwright, co-founder of cult fashion label Rag & Bone “There’s a tiny restaurant called Soisabo on the outer fringes of Tokyo that is run by a monk and his wife in the front room of their house. It’s just a single table in a kitchen, where you sit cross-legged on a tatami mat. The fresh, local ingredients and exquisite cuisine, found in such humble surroundings and with such devotional service, make for a night to remember. I suspect the copious amounts of sake with great companions contributed to the experience, too.” 4-1-9 Meguro-Honcho, Meguro-ku, Tokyo (+813-3710 4336).

Deconstructed French cuisine at Edition Koji Shimomura
Deconstructed French cuisine at Edition Koji Shimomura

Chitose Abe, founder of fashion label Sacai “Matsukawa in Akasaka is considered one of Tokyo’s best restaurants. It serves Japanese cuisine cooked by Tadayoshi Matsukawa, a young culinary talent who famously turned away the Michelin reviewers. I eat lots of courses of little dishes when I go there, and then head out for karaoke.” 1F Akasaka Terrace House, 1-11-6 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo (+813-6277 7371).

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Guy Hands, founder of private equity firm Terra Firma Capital Partners “I always try to find a restaurant that offers something unusual. I like Inakaya, a noisy and lively robatayaki restaurant where you take a seat at a counter opposite two cross-legged men holding huge paddles. You choose what you want to eat from the ice in front of you and they scoop it up with their paddles and cook it on a grill next to them.” 5 Chome-3-4 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0032 (+813-3408 5040; www.roppongiinakaya.jp). 

Robataya, with interiors reminiscent of an old Japanese movie
Robataya, with interiors reminiscent of an old Japanese movie | Image: Alamy

Delphine Ninous, creative director of fashion brand Belstaff “The last meal that truly impressed me was at Edition Koji Shimomura in Tokyo. He is a Japanese chef who trained in France. The food is so refined, with this incredible Japanese aesthetic – everything small and beautiful and at the same time a sort of deconstruction of French food. It’s amazing, totally unlike any other French food I’ve eaten. Nothing is heavy; nothing is cooked with oil or butter or cream.” 3 Chome, Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo (+813-5549 4562; www.koji-shimomura.jp).

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Sandra Choi, creative director of Jimmy Choo “Robataya in Roppongi has interiors reminiscent of an old Japanese movie and it feels as if you’ve stepped back in time, but the raw food is very contemporary and fresh. It was prepared in front of us with great performance by a chef who produced a superlative meal.” 4 Chome-4-3, Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo (+813-3408 9674; www.roppongi-robataya.com).

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