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tokyo food file
Tokyo
Food writer and restaurant reviewer for the Japan Times contact: foodfile (at) me (dot) com
Recent Activity
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In April 2014, chef René Redzepi was riding the crest of a wave. Noma, his iconic Copenhagen restaurant, had just been voted back to #1 on the World 50 Best list, cementing its place as one of the top global dining destinations. And then, at the awards ceremony, he dropped... Continue reading
Posted Dec 17, 2016 at tokyo food file
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A few sticks of kushi-age and a pint of Wabi-Sabi Japan Pale Ale. That can only mean one thing: another session at Baird's spiffy new Takadanobaba Taproom. As featured in my column tomorrow (‪#‎sneakpreview‬)… … which is now up in The Japan Times here… Continue reading
Posted May 20, 2016 at tokyo food file
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It was a pleasure – and yes, a great honour – to spend a good part of an afternoon last month with a chef who has long been one of my culinary heroes. My interview with Pierre Gagnaire, condensed down into 20 key questions and answers, runs in the Japan... Continue reading
Posted Mar 12, 2016 at tokyo food file
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December 2015: After a prolonged (4-year) stay of execution, the wonderful Omotesando Koffee is due to finally close its doors at the end of the month. That leaves only a few more days to revisit – or discover for the first time – this modern/retro Tokyo classic. This was my... Continue reading
Posted Mar 1, 2016 at tokyo food file
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I do like a nice formal invitation — especially when it comes from an embassy. This, though, was special: the Brazilian embassy inviting me to a formal sit-down meal cooked by Alex Atala and Yoshihiro Narisawa no less. An opportunity not to be missed. One of the great things about... Continue reading
Posted Feb 26, 2016 at tokyo food file
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Introducing Matsubara-an Keyaki in Harajuku. It's the sister restaurant to Matsubara-an, the wonderful soba house in the residential backstreets of Kamakura. Apart from the urban setting, the Harajuku restaurant has much in common with the Kamakura original – from the moment you relinquish your shoes at the door to the... Continue reading
Posted Feb 5, 2016 at tokyo food file
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Another great year for dining out is drawing to a well replete close. But before the bonenkai (“forget the old year” parties) erase the old memory tapes for good, let’s quickly hit that pause button and rewind a few of the finest highlights of the past 12 months… My year-end... Continue reading
Posted Dec 19, 2015 at tokyo food file
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One last pilgrimage to this run-down shopping street in the western suburbs… One last confrontation with this seen-better-days ticket machine… And one last bowl of this remarkable, genre-busting, one-of-a-kind mazemen — the "Everything roasted garlic men"… Yes, sad but true. It was the final weekend for the original Ivan Ramen,... Continue reading
Posted Dec 6, 2015 at tokyo food file
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Japanese Soba Noodles Tsuta, in Sugamo. The first ramen restaurant ever, anywhere, to be awarded a Michelin star (in the 2016 Tokyo Red Guide)… Don't be fooled by the name: you won’t find buckwheat noodles in your bowl. The name is a proud declaration that ramen is so much a... Continue reading
Posted Dec 4, 2015 at tokyo food file
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Three things you need to know before searching out Salmon & Trout: It lies in the suburbs, a ten-minute walk from the nearest station; both inside and out it looks as much like a bicycle showroom as a restaurant; and rarely if ever will the two namesake fish appear on... Continue reading
Posted Nov 21, 2015 at tokyo food file
Thanks Ryan, much appreciated. It was interesting to compare your photos with my recent visit — and also with my previous visit, which was back in early July. So many similarities, and of course lots of the same serving dishes. But also so many dishes that were different. I especially loved that ayu dish (the second course). cheers!
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"Tradition looks quite different in Tokyo than, say, Kyoto. Concealed and evolving under constant layers of renewal and reinvention, you have to search it out. Where to start? Just head to the atmospheric nightlife district of Kagurazaka and make your way to Kohaku…" My review of Kohaku is now up... Continue reading
Posted Nov 8, 2015 at tokyo food file
Hey Ryan, I took a breather on the blog for a bit as I had too much on my plate. But I'm going to crank it back up again from now… Thanks for the comment. I do appreciate it!
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Kamiyama. Style and elegance, just steps away from the bustle and bling of Shibuya. As featured in my Japan Times column this week. Arriving at Kamiyama could hardly be more atmospheric. The entrance is set into a black wooden wall along a quiet residential side street. Ankle-high traditional lamps illuminate... Continue reading
Posted Sep 20, 2015 at tokyo food file
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Bamboo shoots. Takenoko. Dug in the morning in a K... Continue reading
Posted Apr 11, 2015 at tokyo food file
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Chef Massimo Bottura, of the exceptional Osteria Francescana in Modena, was in town for a couple of days earlier this week. He was brought over as part of the remarkable and groundbreaking series of events, called "In Cibo Veritas" ("in food there is truth"), organised by Bulgari Il Ristorante in... Continue reading
Posted Apr 1, 2015 at tokyo food file
On my recent trip down from Haneda to Singapore, I was treated to a spectacular view of Mt. Fuji from my window-side seat, with the Japanese Alps in the background. I've never seen the sacred mountain look so impressive. No further words needed… Cruising altitude over Mt. Fuji on Vimeo. Continue reading
Posted Mar 16, 2015 at tokyo food file
Hi Ryan, I'm very interested to hear about your experience at Gaggan, which dovetails with a lot of what I've heard. Great to see your photos too! I haven't visited yet. But having met the chef during my visit to Singapore, I will definitely try to get there when/if I am next in Bangkok. Did those cocktails taste as spectacular as they looked? cheers, Robbie
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In late January, I was back in Kyoto, this time to attend the Washoku-do symposium, an event — hopefully annual — sponsored by the Japanese government to back the propagation of washoku (Japanese cuisine) around the world. The event brought together some of Japan’s most revered chefs, including Yoshihiro Murata,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 11, 2015 at tokyo food file
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Just back to Japan from Singapore, where I attende... Continue reading
Posted Mar 11, 2015 at tokyo food file
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Kasu-jiru: miso soup made with plenty of warming s... Continue reading
Posted Feb 27, 2015 at tokyo food file
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Zinc counter. Macchiato. Afternoon pick-me-up. #ac... Continue reading
Posted Feb 24, 2015 at tokyo food file
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Special tonkatsu. Kuroge Amami no Shimabuta. Rosu.... Continue reading
Posted Feb 23, 2015 at tokyo food file
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Tennen buri (wild yellowtail). Landed this morning... Continue reading
Posted Feb 22, 2015 at tokyo food file
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Have you heard? There’s a Michelin two-star chef running a two-month pop-up in central Tokyo. But this one is not inside a plush, high-rise hotel. It’s a food truck – or kitchen car, as they’re known here – and it’s the brainchild of one of Japan’s most renowned chefs, Yoshihiro... Continue reading
Posted Feb 6, 2015 at tokyo food file