Tokyo’s Ryugin does a modern and complex Kaiseki menu. It’s totally different from what I experienced at Narisawa.
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Ryugin is an all Japanese dining experience versus Narisawa‘s a more French influenced Japanese experience. Ryugin does a seasonal menu with Japanese ingredients spread throughout Japan. In addition, the sake pairing was perfection. Here are Ryugin’s pretentious awards:
- 3 Michelin Stars since the beginning of time.
- #52 on The San Pellegrino’s 2017 World’s 50 Best Restaurants
- #31 on The San Pellegrino’s 2016 World’s 50 Best Restaurants
- #29 on The San Pellegrino’s 2015 World’s 50 Best Restaurants
- #33 on The San Pellegrino’s 2014 World’s 50 Best Restaurants
Ryugin has about 12 tables in the main dining room. The 2nd floor acts as a waiting room. Ryugin’s translation is ‘dragon’, which is fitting to its masculine and very intense decor. The lighting brings out the plating style like how people take pictures with a downward angle. By the way, who are they trying to fool? It’s not like people can’t tell the difference. Talk about false advertising.
Chef Seiji Yamamoto is the mastermind behind Ryugin. He’s a really nice and humble guy that barely speaks English. Chef Yamamoto stepped out of the kitchen to take a picture with me, but he was probably thinking ‘fuck, this again..’ cause that’s what I would be thinking. Damn, just eat your dinner then leave. He reminds me of Chef Tae Hwan Ryu who was extremely humble. Chef Ryu is the mastermind behind Seoul’s Ryunique. Chef Ryu has a very artistic approach to food. He is Asia’s Van Gogh while I’m the United States’ Ambassador of Gluttony.
Now, the food. Ryugin serves a 14 course tasting menu including all the extra amuse bouches. It was one of the best meals of my life. Trust me. I eat a lot and my weight is a testament to that statement. Here were my favorites:
- Shabu Shabu – The Shabu Shabu was a Chicken-based broth. It was served with veggies only; the fresh and crisp veggies were amazing. It tasted very clean compared to the salads serve at McDonald’s. Okay. Bad comparison. The simple ingredients were amazing and the broth was extremely comforting like a 10,000 USD bed.
- Sukiyaki – The Sukiyaki was delicious. The Japanese Wagyu with the poached egg had an unforgetable richness to them. It wasn’t overly sweet, but it was a combination of savory and umami. The two combined is the closest I would get to heaven if I didn’t believe in God. Unfortunately, I don’t believe in God so no heaven train ticket for me. I’ll stick to my gluttonous ways cause it’s so much more fun.
- Rice and Shrimp – The Surugawan Bay shrimps were perfect with the rice. The rice was cooked Cherry Blossom tea and the combination made it extremely tasty. The combination of the two were wonderful like myself; the two literally melted in my mouth like a tab of acid.
Lastly, I have to say that Ryugin is one of my favorite pretentious-awards-ridden restaurants in the world. The good part is the awards don’t get to the restaurant’s ego. The ingredients, dishes’ flavors, service, and atmosphere were all unforgettable like my first orgasm. Unfortunately, all of my orgasms occurred when I was fully intoxicated.
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- Service - 9/109/10
- Presentation - 9/109/10
- Flavors - 9.5/109.5/10
- Decor - 9/109/10
- Ambiance - 9/109/10
Tokyo’s Ryugin does a modern and complex Kaiseki menu. Ryugin is an all Japanese dining experience versus Narisawa’s a more French influenced Japanese experience. The sake pairing was perfection. I have to say Ryugin is one of my favorite pretentious-awards-ridden restaurants in the world.