VOGUE Australia - - Voyage -

With Apollo Tokyo sit­ting above a busy in­ter­sec­tion in Ginza, Jonathan Barthelmess doesn’t have to travel far to eat at his favourite sushi restau­rant, 1. Ginza Sushi Kane­saka (base­ment level, Misuzu Build­ing, 8-10-3 Ginza, Chuo-ku). “The menu changes daily with what­ever is in sea­son and avail­able from the mar­kets,” says Barthelmess. “It only has 14 seats, so book in ad­vance and make sure to give your­self plenty of time to find it, as it can be a bit con­fus­ing in that part of Ginza.” It also happens to be the Fratelli Par­adiso team’s tip for sushi, too: “Very good, high-end sushi that won’t break the bank.”

Of course, Ja­panese fare is not all about raw fish: one of Sam Christie’s favourite meals is tonkatsu (think a Ja­panese take on pork schnitzel with a dis­tinc­tive, ad­dic­tive sauce) at 2. Maisen (4-8-5 Jingu­mae, Shibuya-ku): “There are a few Maisens in Tokyo, and prob­a­bly the most fa­mous is in Aoyama. Go there for juicy, panko- crumbed pork cut­lets and cab­bage salad. It’s busy, but the queue moves fast. This is worth the wait.”

Shibuya-ku): “There are a few ta­bles and a whole lot of fun to be had here. If the lan­guage bar­rier in­ter­feres, let the staff or­der for you – you will be in safe hands. Super-fresh sashimi, clas­sic Ja­panese cur­ries and stand­out dishes such as oily fish grilled over char­coal and served with omelette on the side will all blow your socks off.”

The Ja­panese have long been ob­sessed with French cui­sine, so you’ll find plenty of great Gal­lic-in­flu­enced bistros in Tokyo. Both the Fratelli team and Barthelmess rec­om­mend 6. La Pioche (1–18–1 Ni­hon­bashikaki­garachō, Chuo-ku). “This is pos­si­bly the best wine bar in Tokyo,” Barthelmess says. “[Shinya] Hayashi-san opened his doors only two years ago, but has a large fol­low­ing al­ready. The food is French and very good, the wine is nat­u­ral, with many rare, hard-to-find gems to be discovered. Book in ad­vance.” The Fratelli team adds: “It’s a bit out of the way, but well worth it … good food, and the wine is out of this world.”

Both the Fratelli team and Neil Perry rave about 3. Fuku (3-23-4 Nishi­hara, Shibuya-ku), which serves up chicken grilled over hot coals. “Our favourite yak­i­tori, great skew­ered bits of pro­tein and veg on the coals, washed down with beers and sours,” say the Fratelli part­ners. Perry adds: “Sit up at the counter and watch the chef’s hyp­notic turn­ing and care­ful tend­ing of skew­ers on the grill. The final hand­held treats are dunked in a thick yak­i­tori sauce. It’s the ul­ti­mate fast food, us­ing the fresh­est of in­gre­di­ents, which are treated re­spect­fully, a Ja­panese phi­los­o­phy that we em­u­late at Saké Jr.”

For a more the­atri­cal meal, Christie sug­gests 4. Punk Rock Iza­kaya (base­ment level, 30-8 Saru­gaku­cho, Shibuya-ku). “It’s a great place to start or end the night, with loud rock’n’roll and a di­verse menu,” he says. “Try to get a spot up­stairs for din­ner. Hope­fully you get to sit on the floor and drink whisky high­balls. This place is a hoot.” Perry also rec­om­mends the bois­ter­ous iza­kaya 5. Narukiyo (base­ment level, 2-7-14 Shibuya,

Af­ter eat­ing your­self to a stand­still, try a tea cer­e­mony at 7. Saku­rai

Ja­panese Tea Ex­pe­ri­ence (5th floor, Spi­ral Build­ing, 5-6-23 Mi­namiAoyama, Mi­nato-ku). “The tea cer­e­mony is amaz­ing,” says Barthelmess. “They do five teas and tra­di­tional Ja­panese sweets – one of my favourite ex­pe­ri­ences.” The Fratelli part­ners are fans, too: “A great way to lose 45 min­utes. Cool peo­ple do­ing cool stuff with tea.” For the ul­ti­mate cul­tural ex­pe­ri­ence, Christie rec­om­mends

8. Yakumo Saryo tea­house (3-4-7 Yakumo, Me­guro-ku): “A to­tal Zen foodie and de­sign ex­pe­ri­ence. This place rep­re­sents to­tal im­mer­sion in ar­chi­tect and de­sign lu­mi­nary Shinichiro Ogata’s vi­sion of time­less Ja­panese style.” “The cul­ture of Ja­pan is in­dis­pens­able in a world seek­ing bal­ance be­tween mankind and na­ture,” Ogata says. “I con­tin­u­ally strive to ex­press this in my own way, through food, table­ware and space.” Yakumo Saryo isn’t ex­actly cen­tral, but, says Christie, it’s “def­i­nitely worth the drive”.

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