Ginza Toyoda, Tokyo
February 11, 2014
Ginza Toyoda was awarded its first Michelin star in 2008 and now has two stars. It is a kappo ryori kaiseki restaurant, meaning that preparation is done in view of the diners, which seems normal for sushi or tempura, but less so for kaiseki. Linda and I went for dinner on April 4, 2013.
We were seated near the middle of the ten-seat counter with a good view of the proceedings.
There are also three private rooms with tables. The restaurant was only half full that evening.
One of the sous-chefs spoke some English and gave us the descriptions I have used below. Linda ordered beer and I had Kokuryu sake.
I was offered a selection of sake cups on a tray. I chose this one as the prettiest, although it wasn’t the most practical.
The first course was sticky uni tofu with seaweed sauce and a dab of wasabi on top.
This was very good with a silky texture and subtle flavors of the sea, not your usual tofu. A superb start.
A big piece of eel wrapped around warm rice, pickled rapeseed blossom
The rice softened the richness of the eel and the pickling offset the sweetness of its grilling sauce. Very good.
Grated white asparagus soup with a big white onion in the middle and little green onions on top.
This was okay, but became boring quickly.
Grilled black sea bass.
Deep-fried lobster and tempura of edible wild plants.
Bamboo shoot, kimone, dashi.
This was seasonal, with a fresh elegant flavor good enough not to get boring.
Chef Okamoto prepares rice for the diners at the end of the counter.
The chef prepared and presented to us a bowl of hairy crab rice.
The pickles to spark up the rice were very good.
The rice was exceptionally good. I had two bowls and we finished it.
A small (good size) cup of miso soup.
Dessert was sticky rice with red bean paste and cherry leaf.
Green tea to finish.
We thoroughly enjoyed our meal. Its overall composition and the composition of each dish was well thought out. There was not too much complication, allowing the ingredients to speak for themselves. Watching the ingredients being put on the counter; their preparation, plating, and presentation was excellent, relaxing restaurant theater. We could also see the meals of the other diners, which added variety. Bravo.