The Akasaka Kikunoi restaurant in Tokyo is a branch of the famed Kikunoi restaurants in Kyoto, and it serves traditional Japanese cuisine. It was at the foot of the Higashiyama Mountain Range in Kyoto, in 1912, that the first Kikunoi temple opened its doors. Kikunoi restaurants are now available in three locations: two in Kyoto and one in Tokyo. All three restaurants remain true to the Kyo-kaiseki cuisine, which is based on the traditions of Kyoto-style multiple-course dining and is served in a traditional setting.
Chef Patron Yoshihiro Murata comes from the third generation of the Kikunoi family and is widely regarded as one of the world’s most renowned kaiseki chefs. Chef Murata’s Tokyo restaurant, situated in Akasaka, is overseen by Head Chef Tuji Masahito, who has worked with Chef Murata for over a decade. Although the Tokyo location is not as extravagant and spectacular as the original Kikunoi Honten in Kyoto, it is still a flawless restaurant, and the Kyo-kaiseki is of the highest quality available elsewhere in the world.
In Japan, the blue shark fin hot pot is not considered politically correct, especially not for Westerners, and its actual flavors are not among Chef Murata’s most memorable creations, but it is a classic dish for the restaurant and has always been a part of the Kyo-kaiseki cuisine, so it is a difficult balance between following traditions while also being able to enjoy life in the modern world. There are a variety of distinct top ingredients available, such as fugu sashimi with chives, blanched fugu skin, shredded radish with red pepper and ponzu, or koshibi (young bluefin tuna) sashimi with soy-marinated egg yolk sauce, among others. You will find a complete representation of Kyoto cuisine here, including the minced duck with yomogi (Japanese mugwort) dumpling, Kujo onion, mache, arrowhead root, giant turnip slice, carrot and gold leaf. However, Murata’s touch and style are evident in every dish, particularly in his presentation of the dishes, which is breathtakingly gorgeous.
The roots of Kikunoi may be traced back to tea ceremony practitioners in the early seventeenth century, therefore the cuisine has a rich history and traditions that are unmatched by any other cuisine in the world. At Akasaka Kikunoi, it is remarkable to see how developed and perfected Chef Patron Yoshihiro Murata’s Kyo-kaiseki has become, as well as how effectively Head Chef Tuji Masahito oversees the kitchen operations. Even if you are unfamiliar with kaiseki, you will have a wonderful time; however, not all meals are fully politically right for Westerners, which may be a problem for some. You may be certain that the kaiseki served at Akasaka Kikunoi is among the best in the business.
Cuisine Type: Japanese
Address: 459 Shimokawaracho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto, 605-0825, Japan
Phone: +81 75-561-0015
Website: Kikunoi Honten Official Site
Michelin Stars: 3