Tokyo: Nihonryori Ryugin (***, #22)

Sampling a variety of Japanese cuisines was one of my main goals during my brief stay in Japan. Having already booked a traditional kaiseki in Kyoto, I opted for a more modern interpretation in Tokyo. I picked one of the best, 3 Michelin Stars (at this point, of course), currently ranked #22 best restaurant in the world. I have been restraining myself to use the words “best meal of my life” when I started this blog, but I’m reluctant to say that this was perhaps the most sophisticated and intricate meal I’ve ever had.

Like other top restaurants in Japan, the exterior was non-descript. It was located in what looked like an alley, just off to the side of a busy area in the bustling Roppongi district – I actually missed and passed by it several times. The restaurants’s accolades are anything but non-descript: it has received 3 Michelin stars. It is currently ranked #22 in the World’s 50 Best Restaurant (up from #28 in 2012). It is ranked #2 in the newly debuted Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2013 and its chef, Seiji Yamamoto, was voted as the Chef’s Choice from the same publication.

This post contains mostly pictures with minimal commentary.

Seasonal Vegetables with “Pine Nuts” dressing and a sip of “Clams” Clear Soup

“Grilled Firefly Squids” Egg Custard with “Burdock Roots” Soup and “Green Peas”

Ichiban Dashi Soup… “Kuruma Prawn” Dumpling and “Simmered Abalone”

Today’s Array of Ocean Delicacy RyuGin Style

“Kinki fish” from HOKKAIDO Grilled on Charcoal “Grilled Eggplant” stuffed inside Grilled “Avocado” with Sea Urchins “Pickled Fuji Apple” with Ginger flavor

“Chicken Wing Tip” filled with “Shark Fin” “Rich Chicken” Starch Sauce and Spring Vegetables

Kuroge Wagyu Beef “Filet” Grilled on Charcoal with “White Bamboo Shoots”

Prawn Rice

Signature dish “Sanshoo pepper Rice” with Seasonal Vegetables in Spring presentation Miso Soup and Pickles

One Piece of Strawberry. What looked like a single strawberry was presented to me on a plate. I was instructed to crack it open, and the thin nitro-frozen shell shattered into pieces revealing the milk powder inside.

The server quickly poured some hot strawberry jam on the mixture. The interaction between the -196°C nitrogen frozen strawberry shards and the 99°C strawberry jam cracked and popped in my mouth. A fun, technically complex and Michelin stars worthy dessert.

Baked Ginjou Sake “Oyaki Souffle”, Feathery Soft Served Ice Cream



Name: Nihonryori Ryugin
Address: Side Roppongi Bldg. 1F, 7-17-24 Roppongi, Minato, Tokyo (Map)
Phone: +03-3423-8006
Menu: Link
Dishes You Must Try: Everything!
Tabelog Rating: 4.18/5 (out of 171 reviews, as of this writing)
Finest Dish’s JAPAN™ Quality Rating: 5/5
Finest Dish’s JAPAN™ Service Rating: 4/5

JAPAN™ Ratings: The average food and service quality in Japan far surpass the same we have in Vancouver, it is only appropriate that they should be rated on a different scale.


This entry was posted in 3 Michelin Stars (***), Japanese, Kaiseki, Reviews, Tasting Menu, The World's 50 Best Restaurants, Tokyo. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Tokyo: Nihonryori Ryugin (***, #22)

  1. avatar S Lloyd says:

    I am planning to do there, so glad to see a positive reviews (I do not mind reading that some have not enjoyed their meals at Ryugin, but I was intrigued by the number of ppl who like it the 1st time, less so on their second visits). Did you have the impression that your meal at Ryugin, despite its price and luxury, was still superior to anything similar you had in Tokyo? Despite the good and bad reviews I read on Ryugin, I am more than excited to give it a chance. I am just wondering if the exact same level of cooking (both in taste and execution) is easily found in Tokyo at most restaurants offering kaiseki with a twist.

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