Luca Fantin (pictured) with Katsuhito Inoue
Spaghetti with sea urchin and lettuce
Ginza Tower 2-7-12 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
What makes it special: Il Ristorante Luca Fantin is the work of the Italian chef of the same name, who arrived in Tokyo in 2009. Fantin’s creative, contemporary, seasonal cuisine is complemented by the desserts of fellow Italian chef Fabrizio Fiorani, who wins this year’s Asia’s Best Pastry Chef Award, sponsored by Valrhona.
Worth getting dressed up for? Absolutely. Il Ristorante Luca Fantin is as sophisticated as its setting — a soaring 9th-floor dining room overlooking the famous avenue that runs through the heart of Tokyo’s Ginza neighbourhood.
Signature dishes: Fantin’s menus reflect the ingredients he sources throughout Japan. In winter, look for his Variation of carrot, featuring special carrots harvested under snow in the coldest season, as well as his Hokkaido venison with salsify. In summer, don’t miss the spaghetti with sea urchin or the eel risotto.
Sweet touch: Pastry chef Fiorani tops off the meal with sweet constructions focused on a single ingredient, like Lampone 1.1, built from 11 different textures of raspberry, or the more playful Tiramiso Naso (Tiramisu Nose), which incorporates two textures of the classic Italian coffee and cream dessert.
He’s well regarded back home: In 2014, the Italian culinary guide Identità Golose anointed Fantin as the Best Italian Chef in the World.
Other ventures: Bulgari has a property in Osaka and recently opened a resort in Bali. As executive chef, Fantin oversees all three.