A Foodie Mecca in Downtown Roppongi
Consistently ranking in S.Pellegrino’s prestigious ‘World’s 50 Best Restaurants’ list since its 2003 opening (peaking at number 3 in 2011), Seiji Yamamoto’s triple Michelin-starred blockbuster RyuGin is, to put it simply, a sure thing.
When a restaurant is placed alongside the likes of globally-renowned culinary superstars Noma and Per Se year after year, there can be little doubt that the experience will be impeccable from start to finish.
Tucked away in a Roppongi backstreet, RyuGin’s unassuming façade belies the artistry within. Ryu means dragon, and the theme is woven throughout the simplistic but elegant interior, with walls of floating clouds and a collection of 22 dragon-decorated ceramic plates providing the perfect backdrop for Yamamoto’s famed modern Kaiseki gastronomy menu.
The 11 courses appear via faultless servers, and feature exquisitely delicate seasonal plates alongside molecular innovations like the chef’s specialty dessert, “-196 degree candy strawberry served with +99 degree strawberry jam”. Expect a series of sublimely light courses that are heavy on fish and seafood, like Matsuba crab shabu-shabu style in crab broth, and monkfish liver with ‘special’ miso sauce.
Yamamoto’s gift lies in his ability to retain the integrity of traditional techniques while simultaneously embracing inspiration and ingenuity, and the result is nothing short of spectacular. With only 24 seats (plus a private room for 4) reservations generally need to be made weeks in advance, so be sure to plan ahead.