There are said to be more than 80,000 restaurants in Tokyo, which makes eating out an exciting proposition. Every neighbourhood is well endowed with a vast array of eating houses catering for all tastes and budgets.Japanese cuisine is, of course, represented in all its glory and visitors are recommended to take the plunge and try foods that may be unfamiliar, but will probably be delicious.
Cooks in Japan place enormous importance on the process of preparation and presentation. Basically, a formal meal will have numerous courses, some of which may contain no more than a single morsel. This system of serving food lends itself to more artistic decoration and happens to be easier to eat with the ubiquitous chopsticks. Seafood lovers will be in heaven; with its long coastline and age-old ban on meat eating, it's not surprising to find that Japan consumes a greater variety of marine life than any other single nation.
Sake is more than a drink, it's a tradition that almost passes as the very life-blood of Japanese social and cultural life. Sake ranges greatly in price and quality. The cheapest factory brews are best consumed at blood temperature while the top-quality, handmade nihonshu, known as ginjo-shu or daiginjo-shu, is served chilled. Sake is usually served in ceramic flasks (tokkuri) and drunk from thimble-sized cups (choko). It is customary to only pour for your drinking partners, never for yourself. They, in turn, will pour for you.
A very popular theatrical dining experience with food prepared before your eyes. Reservations not accepted. Open 5pm-5am.
Reine Bldg., 1st fl., 5-3-4 Roppongi, Minato-ku
Tel: +81 3 3408 5040
Upscale restaurant, shrine and traditional teahouse. Reservations essential. Jacket and tie required.
1-1-1 Shirokanedai, Minato-ku
Tel: +81 3 5401 2820
Fine Cantonese cuisine with excellent seafood dishes. Closed Sundays.
Fukoku Seimei Bldg., 28th fl., 2-2-2 Uchisaiwai-cho, Chiyoda-ku
Tel: +81 3 3508 0555
All-you-can-eat Brazilian grilled chicken and barbecued beef.
4-3-24 Jingu-mae, Shibuya-ku
Tel: +81 3 3796 0571
Nouvelle French food in a sophisticated Western-style setting. Reservations essential.
1-23-15 Shoto, Shibuya-ku
Tel: +81 3 3485 0566
Le Papillon de Paris
Very fashionable French dining with an excellent dessert selection. Reservations essential. No dinner on Sundays.
Hanae Mori Bldg., 5th fl., 3-6-1 Kita-Aoyama, Minato-ku
Tel: +81 3 3407 7461
Innovative French cuisine in elegant surroundings. Reservations essential. Jacket and tie required.
Meiji Seika Honsha Bldg. 1F, 2-4-16 Kyo-bashi, Chuo-ku
Tel: +81 3 3274 2020
An upscale Indian dining experience in very fashionable surroundings.
Ginza Inz Bldg. 1, 2nd fl., 3-1 Nishi Ginza, Chuo-ku
Tel: +81 3 3567 2377
A trattoria style restaurant which is very popular with media professionals
TBS Garden, 1F, 5-1-3 Akasaka, Minato-ku
Tel: +81 03 3582 3241
Superb contemporary cuisine served in glitzy ambience. Jacket and tie required. No lunch.
Sunroser Daikanyama Bldg. B1, 11-6 Sarugaku-cho, Shibuya-ku
Mediterranean and Japanese cuisine accompanies karaoke in 33 private themed rooms. Reservations essential.
Hotel Ibis 3F-4F, 7-14-4, Roppongi, Minato-ku
Tel: +81 3 5771 5511
The Japanese do not give or expect tips. To them it is a Western tradition that is considered a little vulgar. Service charges tend to be included in the bill - a 5% consumer tax and a service charge of around 10–15% may be added in pricier restaurants. The Japanese often insist on picking up the tab for their foreign friends. It's polite to refuse three times, then let them pay, promising to get the next one. At table, guests should wait for their host to indicate where they should sit. It's the Japanese custom to place guests in the most comfortable chairs facing the best view.
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