Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Tokyo kaiseki restaurant that turned down three Michelin stars


Yesterday in Tokyo, living a Travelife, I ate at a tiny restaurant considered by serious foodies in Japan to be one of Japan's top five restaurants.

In fact, until recently it was #1 in the national rankings, but now I think it's about #3.

Nevertheless, even #3 is still a pretty mean feat, in a country that takes food very seriously, and that has such an incredibly competitive dining landscape.

Please read more about this one-of-a-kind restaurant in the February-March 2015 issue of Travelife Magazine, out on the news-stands on February 15.

Scroll down to read more...


TASTE OF THINGS TO COME

In the meantime, here's a little preview.

This restaurant is almost impossible to book because it's completely full every single day, in spite of its pretty expensive meals.



I reckon this is one of the most expensive lunches in Tokyo now, with the exception of the pop-up restaurant of Noma, which is only operational until February 14.

YOU NEED MORE THAN MONEY
AND LUCK TO EAT HERE

Then there's another almost impossible hurdle: you actually need an introduction from a regular client to book a seat here



There are no menus (you just sit and eat what they give you, hoping you have enough money to pay at the end), no English signs, and no explanations, so the odds of finding a regular foreigner client are quite slim -- except for me, now, of course.

So for most foreigners, this is a restaurant that's not even in the running, when it comes to booking a restaurant on a trip to Tokyo.

-------------------------------------------


NO, THANK YOU,
TO THE MICHELIN GUIDE

The other reason this restaurant is so famous is because of the fact that the chef reportedly turned down the honour of receiving three Michelin stars, saying he didn't need this.

Can you imagine?

While so many other chefs all over the world are literally dying to get even one star, this one sent the three stars back.

NO ONE TRAVELS LIKE US.
OR EATS LIKE US.
OR WRITES LIKE US.

With Chef Rene of Noma last Saturday
in Tokyo, living a Travelife

Hope I whetted your appetite enough to make you pick up a copy of our next issue (February-March 2015) when it comes out on February 15. 

And while you're waiting, please get our December 2014-January 2015 holiday issue with the Acropolis on the cover and the most comprehensive guide to Athens available inside.

Indeed, no one travels like us. Or eats like us. Or writes like us.


With the Roca brothers
of El Celler de Can Roca in Spain

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