Our favourite modern Kaiseki
Kihuu (紀風). When you're in Japan you have to try (if your budget allows it) kaiseki cuisine. This is a traditional Japanese meal that consists of 14 courses served in a precise order. The Michelin guide loves kaiseki restaurants - they throw more stars around Tokyo than ninjas in a bad karate movie. And the stars aren't all created equal; some are very traditional, whilst others offer more modern inventive menus. Traditionally a kaiseki menu is very seasonal and follows a strict format of appetisers, sashimi, steamed, soup, grilled, hot pot, rice and pickles, and finishing with dessert. Kihuu adheres to these traditions, but doesn’t feel like they are restricted by it. It’s a little like having dinner at a friend's house, if your friend happens to be a super talented Japanese chef with a designer kitchen who also knows where to find great sake. In some kaiseki restaurants you feel like you can't talk without offending the chef or other customers. At Kihuu you’re encouraged to ask questions, to engage with the chef, to enquire “what is this”, “should I eat now”, “more sake please!”, or “can I move in”. They may not always know the answer in English, but they will try. You can book online for dinner, for lunch either call or message them over Twitter.
Dinner is a set menu of ¥10,000 -15,000. If you don’t want to dive into an expensive dinner, Kihuu also do a smaller set lunch for ¥4,000-6,000. See the photos below for some examples.