Whether it’s an extravagant fine dining restaurant or a humble street side hawker stall, we are perpetually on the quest for delectable foods — whatever the occasion. So, for the ultimate insider scoop, who better to personally recommend the best eats around the world than top chefs who’ve seen and tasted it all. We go right to the source as international culinary legends reveal where they eat and what they order when the aprons come off.
Taking over the space formerly occupied by three Michelin-starred Sushi Shikon is Zuicho. Tucked away and easily missed, the kappo cuisine restaurant is where kaiseki formality meets izakaya intimacy. Head Chef Fumio Suzuki is a traditional kappo chef, mastering the “cut and cook” method to prepare an omakase format menu drawing out the flavours of the most seasonal ingredients. We spoke to the Tokyo native to find out where his top spots for wining and dining are in the world.
For an evening of fine dining…
Ginza Kudo is a traditional Japanese restaurant in Tokyo. The chef is special to me as he has been instrumental in my development and inspiration to be a kappo chef. The owner was the long-time chef of a very famous restaurant before he opened this (his own) restaurant in 2017. I think he’s a true master of constantly innovating and producing new dishes for his guests, and I learn a lot every time I experience a meal there. It is well worth a visit if you are in Tokyo, but best to book well in advance as it has become one of Ginza’s most popular spots.
Ginza Kudo, 3/F, Sunlit Ginza Building III, 5-14-14, Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo; +81 03 3545 1091
For a cheeky cheat meal…
Kozy Okonomi-yaki Teppan-yaki is my favourite comfort food and I always enjoy this style where you are served directly by the chef from across the counter (like Zuicho!). The quality here is as good as my favourite places back in Japan, and the price is reasonable too.
Kozy Okonomiyaki Teppanyaki, 9/F, Circle Plaza, 499 Hennessy Road, Causeway Bay; +852 2591 1281
For a romantic date night…
For kaiseki in Tokyo, Kitaohji is a fantastic place for a great meal on a special date or occasion. The food is excellent and the beautifully decorated private rooms are perfect for a memorable date experience.
Several locations including:
Kitaohji, Second Ulu Eagle Building, 1/F, 8-5-12, Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo; +81 03 3575 0707
For getting friends and family together…
I love 298 in Hong Kong to eat with family and friends. Yakinuku is fun and interactive for a group. The meat here is excellent, and the overall dining experience reminds me of my favourite yakiniku spots back home in Japan.
298 Nikuya Room, 2/F, Pearl Oriental House, 60 Stanley Street, Central; +852 3568 9298
For a healthy detox…
Cooking hot pot meals at home! I love experimenting with hot pots and mixing fresh ingredients both from Japan and sourced locally in Hong Kong. Food prepared at home gives the most control over nutrition and healthy eating, too.
For happy hour tipples…
Bar Calma is a personal favourite as I enjoyed drinking there with my brother-in-law in Tokyo. It’s got a dark, calm, and chilled out atmosphere with nice cocktails and a good selection of wine and whiskey. I like these kind of places that are popular hang-outs for locals in a residential area.
Bar Calma, 5-14-8 Shirokanedai, Tiny 3F, Minato 108-0071, Tokyo; +81 03 3449 2706