Dining Out 4 minutes 06 December 2023

MICHELIN Guide Tokyo 2024 Inspectors’ Favorite Dishes

Year round, MICHELIN Guide inspectors sample an endless procession of dishes. Once in a while, a dish lands on their tables that is simply unforgettable.

Japan Memorable Dishes Tokyo Inspectors Editor's Pick

The selection of restaurants for MICHELIN Guide Tokyo 2024 was announced on 5 December 2023.

We asked several of our inspectors to look back on the year just passed and select, from their many dining experiences in Tokyo, the dishes they found especially memorable.

The list the inspectors shared with us was as varied as the Tokyo culinary scene they observed. Some were dishes that could only be savoured in a particular season. Others were products of venerable tradition, while still others sprang from the unique experience and sensibility of the chefs who created them.



Pastry-baked imperial pigeon in salmis sauce

MONOLITH

This aromatically baked pastry is sleek, even aerodynamic, a beauty to behold. Tucked away inside is breast of imperial pigeon, kept company by minced pigeon, truffles, foie gras and spinach. Salmis sauce from viscera is tweaked to avoid heaviness. A modern update of a classic dish.


ⒸMONOLITH
ⒸMONOLITH

Fugu caviar

Kanda

Nothing says ‘winter’ to the Japanese palate like fugu (pufferfish) . Caviar, a Western delicacy, finds expression in classic Baccarat crystal, in a combination conceived in a Japanese restaurant in Paris. Fugu, caviar join sesame tofu to resonate in three-part harmony. An interlacing of Japanese culinary tradition and modern innovation.


ⒸKanda
ⒸKanda

Nigiri of young gizzard shad and shiitake

Hiroo Ishizaka

Young gizzard shad is a summer delight for sushi lovers. Each nigiri piece is crafted of three layers of young gizzard shad, pickled in vinegar to brace the delicate flesh. Shiitake mushroom nigiri was inspired by the astounding flavour of Yairo shiitake from Minamiuonuma. The refreshing tang of citrus is a natural companion for the sultry aroma of baked shiitake.


ⒸMichelin
ⒸMichelin
ⒸMichelin
ⒸMichelin

Mineoka tofu

Ginza Fukuju

Mineoka tofu, a mystery unravelled from the literature of old Edo, is silky-smooth and richly flavourful. Wasabi enhances its sweetness, for a lingering, flavoursome finish that lasts and lasts. The plate , crafted to depict a tree frog on a lotus leaf, whimsically complements the simplicity of the arrangement.


ⒸMichelin
ⒸMichelin

Nigiri of tiger prawn and simmered Orient clam

Harutaka

Sushi items are meticulously selected, allowing no compromise in quality. Prawns have their sweetness drawn out at a freshly-boiled temperature, with their innards carefully sandwiched between the prawn and the rice for optimal taste, Orient clam is brushed with soy syrup and simmered to impart a deep, rich flavour. Each piece is a study in beauty, dignifying the flavour within.

ⒸMichelin
ⒸMichelin
ⒸMichelin
ⒸMichelin

Freshwater–225 MASL watermelon, watershield , sweetfish

MAZ

Maz interprets the food culture of Peru through Japanese ingredients. With stunning originality, char, watershield, and watermelon interweave with powdered sweetfish. Vessels are placed on mats fashioned from the skins of freshwater fish from the Amazon. A spiritual atmosphere pervades.

ⒸMAZ
ⒸMAZ

Baked sesame tofu and pea pureed soup

Kutan

The unripe fragrance of pea soup wafts in the air. Orient clam is also in season. The pungency of baked sesame tofu contrasts with its smooth texture. The olive green of the pureed soup suggests sprouting buds, while the flower and butterfly motifs of the lid announce the advent of spring.

ⒸMichelin
ⒸMichelin

Straw-grilled duck

RyuGin

Fragrant straw smoke wreathes the blood-red meat, transforming the iron in the duck into a soup stock -like aroma. A little salt draws out the flavour imparted by the flawlessly-kindled straw. Tenderloin is served with sieve-pureed liver and chopped ginger.


ⒸMichelin
ⒸMichelin

Linguine of lobster and velvet shrimp

Il Ristorante - Niko Romito

Pasta as al dente as only dry noodles can be, the sauce rich in the flavour of crustacean and tomatoes. Richard Ginori plateware complements the red of this Italian pasta offering. The japonisme of the plate’s motif, influenced by Imari ware from the Edo period , is rich with meaning.

ⒸIl Ristorante - Niko Romito
ⒸIl Ristorante - Niko Romito

Extreme enoki sausage

TROIS VISAGES

A sausage stuffed with lashings of enoki mushroom. The glossy sauce is a reduction of vegetable bouillon. Soft-boiled quail eggs take a hint from tsukune, the meatloaf skewer served with a raw egg yolk of yakitori fame. The marvellous side ingredient elevates the main star of this dish.

ⒸTROIS VISAGES
ⒸTROIS VISAGES

Boiled spring vegetable, masu salmon tempura

Mutsukari

This dish testifies to the vital role of food producers in providing the flavours of the season. Green peas and fava beans herald the first green shoots of spring; tomatoes from Awajishima arrive at peak deliciousness. Gelatine of a mix of soy sauce and vinegar defines the contours of the taste. Announcing the Hokkaido spring, tempura of masu salmon takes the seasonal mood up a notch.


ⒸMichelin
ⒸMichelin

Tomatoes

HOMMAGE

Bright red tomatoes are dressed with clear jelly and sherbet. Temperature and texture are varied to assemble multiple layers of sour and sweet sensations. Caviar and smoked sauce create a dense, lingering finish. This cuisine is an homage to the ingredients.



ⒸMichelin
ⒸMichelin

Pineapple

Gucci Osteria da Massimo Bottura Tokyo

Okinawa is the inspiration for this tarte Tatin. ‘Butterfly’ chips alight on this work of art, drawn by the aromas of singed meringue and pineapple drenched in the Okinawa sun. A summer dessert rich with the fragrance and sweetness of fruit.

ⒸMichelin
ⒸMichelin

Impepata of white asparagus and Orient clam

PRISMA

White asparagus, with its vibrancy, faint sweetness and hint of bitterness, multiplies the flavour of steamed Orient clam, while the sauce, an emulsification of shellfish extract, brings it all together. Fragrance of pepper lends an accent. The degree of perfection in this dish is astounding.

ⒸMichelin
ⒸMichelin

Biwa

Piao-Xiang

This botan shrimp dish takes its name from the biwa, a type of lute, which it resembles. Botan shrimp is enrobed in an emulsified sauce of pickled-vegetable juice called pao cai; micro-herbs trace the ‘strings’. A two-part harmony of Sichuan culinary traditions and modern innovation.


ⒸPiao-Xiang
ⒸPiao-Xiang

Crème Chantilly of Miyazaki mango shortbread

SÉZANNE

When you dip your spoon into the mango, the texture is like nothing you expected. Below the fruit flesh lie layers of sorbet, whipped cream and meringue; on top, whipped cream studded with shortbread. Simple, yet bursting with creativity.


ⒸSÉZANNE
ⒸSÉZANNE

Sichuan sliced spicy garlic pork

Sazenka

青磁の大皿に精緻かつ整然と並べられた茄子と豚肉。四川料理では胡瓜を使うところ、茄子を代用して昇華させた。大胆な盛り付けは、輪花なのか鳳凰の羽なのか。想像を巡らせるロマンがある。

ⒸSazenka
ⒸSazenka

Boiled new-season’s onion

Myoujyaku

A disc of the new season’s onion floats amid a black bowl, like the moon shining on a pitch-black night. Aiming to present Japanese cuisine that is not dependent on kombu kelp and dried bonito flakes, in preparation as well as arrangement Myoujyaku adopts a ‘less is more’ aesthetic. Salt and water are this dish’s only seasonings.

ⒸMichelin
ⒸMichelin

Orient clam, rhubarb, temple juniper berries; quiet voice

ESqUISSE

The red and purple inflorescence of perilla leaf reflect in the pure white of the plate. Orient clam is par-cooked with steam. Butter awakens the umami of the succinic acid in the sauce, bringing it together. Roasted temple juniper berries are agreeably fragrant, forming a lasting impression of the aromas of herbs and spices.

ⒸMichelin
ⒸMichelin

Beef-wrapped bamboo shoots

Seizan

When you lift the lid on the cherry-coloured ceramic box, the delightful fragrance of young pepper leaves wafts from within. Multiple paper-thin layers of beef wrap bamboo shoots like a ceremonial kimono. Vegetables wrapped in meat is a common household dish in Japan; here, the gossamer layers of beef elevate it to a masterpiece of Japanese cuisine.

ⒸMichelin
ⒸMichelin

Dining Out

Keep Exploring - Stories we think you will enjoy reading