Michelin Three Stars: Yukimura
Yukimura is a small, 15-seat establishment in Tokyo's Azabujuban district that serves Kyoto kaiseki cuisine. Yukimura is tucked away on the third floor of an unremarkable building and can be very difficult to find.
Featuring Kyoto cuisine, Yukimura's menu is completely seasonally based, and many of the ingredients used are not readily to be found in lesser restaurants.
Owner-chef Jun Yukimura, originally from the Tokyo area, spent 10 years in a Kyoto ryotei learning his art before he returned to Tokyo at around the beginning of the century to start Yukimura.
Notwithstanding its three Michelin stars, Yukimura is a very unpretentious little restaurant that, once you have located it (not easy!), is very welcoming and relaxed - suitable even for the solitary diner.
The food here is consistently good, the service is good, the owner friendly, and the atmosphere relaxed and adult. Yukimura lacks, perhaps, the fireworks associated with a visit to some of the other feted Michelin three star restaurants in Tokyo, but that is testimony to Yukimura's art of presenting seasonal produce at its most delicious to the discerning palate more than any lack of flair.
One particularly good feature of Yukimura is that the counter is exactly the same level as the bench on which the cooks are doing their work. So you are right up close watching your meal being prepared and, more likely than not, chatting with the chef.
To sum up, the dining experience at Yukimura is casual in feel, but can also be extraordinary in terms of a culinary experience - with a bill to match!
Yukimura cost per person
30,000 yen +
5.30pm-8pm (last order)
3F, Takayanagi Building