No.5

Nihonryori RyuGin

Tokyo, Japan

On the pass:

Head chef Takeo Ozawa with chef-owner Seiji Yamamoto (pictured)

Pastry chef:

Hideyuki Kaneda

Style of food:

Modern Japanese

Standout dish:

7 kinds of Japanese Fishes

Contact:

Ground Floor, 7-17-24 Roppongi, Minato, Tokyo 106-0032

+81 3 3423 8006
http://www.nihonryori-ryugin.com/

Traditional Japanese kaiseki cuisine with contemporary genius

Chief reason to visit: Chef Seiji Yamamoto marries Japan’s kaiseki tradition with a style and sensibility that is both contemporary and highly accessible, even for those visiting Tokyo for the first time.

A few words on the chef: For 11 years, Yamamoto trained under one of Japan’s most revered chefs, Hirohisa Koyama of Aoyagi restaurant. After opening Nihonryori RyuGin in 2003, he gained acclaim for his use of modernist techniques. These days his approach is more traditional but always with an emphasis on premium seafood and produce at the peak of its season. 

Typical dishes: The menu at Nihonryori RyuGin changes constantly to reflect each new season. Among the highlights are bamboo shoots and wild herbs in spring, sweetfish in summer and the wild mushrooms of fall. Signature dishes include ‘A Message from the Coast of Japan’ and ‘Sanuki Wagyu Beef and Matsutake Mushrooms in Toban Sukiyaki.’

What’s in the name: Nihonryori RyuGin means “Japanese cuisine;” and RyuGin, meaning “dragon’s voice,” derives from a teaching in Zen Buddhism. 

Other ventures: In the spring of 2012, Yamamoto set up Tenku RyuGin in Hong Kong. He opened Shoun RyuGin in Taipei in 2014.

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