Each plate has a unique story, a presentation, and a goal. The head chef wishes all guests to leave feeling like they’ve been individually catered to and taken care of; this is a Michelin Star restaurant. While dining at a Michelin Star establishment may not be in everybody’s budget, it does lead to a once in a lifetime experience for those who dip into their wallet for the special occasion. And the city with the most options to choose from? Tokyo.
For eight years running, Tokyo has claimed the title of the city with the most Michelin Star restaurants – with 267 earning stars from one to three. And to make it easier to explore what Tokyo has to offer, we’ve compiled a list of the places that received three starts in 2015, by style of food served.
Azabu Yukimura — With reservation and address in hand, you’ll need to search for this unmarked restaurant to experience Jun Yukimura’s Kyoto-style cuisine. The owner and operator used to be a former head chef at Kyoto’s Muromachi Wakuden before he opened up his own exclusive restaurant.
Ishikawa — This restaurant focuses on seasonal ingredients, introducing unique and intricate flavors to guests in each bite. With a calm and relaxed atmosphere, it’s a wonderful place to taste Japanese cuisine.
Kanda — Chef Hiroyuki Kanda brings experience from France, training at Aoyagi in Tokushima, and working as head chef at Basara in Akasaka before opening his restaurant in Tokyo. Seasonal vegetables are always used, therefore constantly changing the menu.
Makimura — Akio Makimura brings a refined and perfected flavor to his dishes.
Esaki — The set course menu changes monthly providing healthy size portions of organic products. The shop, Oryori Tehodoki Kai, has regular cooking workshop for those interested in learning the ins and outs of the Michelin chefs.
Ryugin — The chef behind these kitchen doors, Seiji Yamamoto, has been named Japan’s leading molecular gastronomist. Yamamoto plays with mixing modern and traditional by serving up a dazzling series of small courses. The menu changes daily.
Joel Robuchon — After a few months of opening his first restaurant in Paris, Joel Robuchon was awarded with his first Michelin star, then another two over the following two years – the quickest rise to three stars in the history of Michelin. In 1994, he expanded to Tokyo and has since opened a total of 11 restaurants worldwide.
Quintessence — You may choose the time of day you eat, but not the menu. Only seasonal produce is used, therefore changing the menu often.
Sukiyabashi Jiro Honten — The quickest and most expensive Michelin Star meal to exist, expect to pay at least ¥30,000 ($4,800 USD) in cash or cheque for the twenty-minute experience. Born in 1925, Jiro Ono holds the Guinness World Record to be the oldest living Michelin three-star chef, but that doesn’t stop him from creating exquisite meals for each and every guest.
Usukifugu Yamadaya — The only three-star restaurant known for serving the pufferfish (fugu) to customers is hidden down an alleyway in a residential part of Tokyo. The menu rotates seasonally, serving local fish and seafood along with many ways to taste the infamous pufferfish.
For hotels in Tokyo while you indulge in the world of Michelin Star restaurants, take a peek at the articles I wrote for some ideas on where to stay when in Tokyo.