[Tokyo] 1* Ginza Shinohara 銀座しのはら

 Rating: ❤❤❤❤❤ (5/5)

My first visit to Ginza Shinohara was actually in February earlier this year when it was ranked #1 out of all of Japan on Tabelog! Originally located in Shiga, the kaiseki restaurant relocated to Tokyo a few years ago and quickly became one of the hottest table in town (and consequently hard to book restaurant). Luckily I got to try thanks to try as part of the gourmet tour by TastyTrip and what an impressive meal it was. Half a year later, I found myself back at the counter and it was another fantastic meal with great food and fun atmosphere! Not only was the food creative with the utmost attention to plating, but the chef was super friendly as well and at some time everyone starting chatting with each other. Some kaiseki restaurants can be very sterile but it’s definitely not the case at Shinohara - no wonder the restaurant is already fully booked until May of next year.

Our meal started with an elegant Hokkaido Uni Tofu with Botan Ebi and Shiso Flower.

Soup with Tai Fish, Matsutake Mushroom and Yuba

Sashimi of Maguro and Hirame

One of the prettiest dish of the night was the Glutinous Rice with Watari Crab, Ikura, Chrysanthemum Flowers and Gingko Nuts.

I also loved the looks of the Komochi Ayu (pregnant ayu fish) which looked like a little dragon - the flesh was plump and oily with a bitter aftertaste.

I was intrigued when the chef started doing flower arrangements in the middle of the meal and then I realized it was for the Hassun: a dish which sets the seasonal theme with many small dishes - fig with sesame miso, kohada, ebi-imo, duck, salmon, edamame, tomato, tamagoyaki, and sweet potato.

Handroll with Maguro and Pickled Daikon

Monaka with Foie Gras, Mango and Passion Fruit - the wafer was fantastic but I wasn't convinced that the fruity flavors truly worked with the foie gras.

The Fried Porcini Mushroom was an interesting dish served handheld like a hot pocket.

The grilled Suppon (soft-shelled turtle) has always been a highlight at Shinohara.

Simmered Matsutake Mushrooms with Hamo Fish

Usually there's always a special dish(es) available as an add-on to the regular menu and this time it was grilled Hida Beef - a premium Wagyu beef from black-haired Japanese cattle raised in Gifu prefecture.

The rice course changes seasonally and ours was a flavorful Unagi Rice.

Nyumen (somen noodles in hot soup) - at this time, the chef will asks how full you are in order to adjust how much noodles to give you.

Ending our meal with a traditional Chestnut Wagashi and Green Tea.

Gochisousama deshita ご馳走さまでした - until next time!

Ginza Shinohara
2-chome-8-17 Ginza Chuo City, Tokyo-to, Japan
Tel: +81-3-6263-0345

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