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Restaurateur Nat Lee-Joe on Tokyo

Restaurateur Nat Lee-Joe on Tokyo

June 10
12:21 2018

In Tokyo, you can take any corner or catch any lift and stumble upon an interesting place to eat. I’ve found my way into so many bars that are essentially a host’s living room, yet serve the perfect drink. It’s hard to have a bad meal.

— For a special breakfast, Yakumo Saryo is a beautiful, traditional setting. Everything is served faultlessly. Afterwards, especially in cherry blossom season, you should walk through the Nakameguro neighbourhood. One of my favourite things is to spend the day exploring, then find a spot near the station for yakitori (skewered chicken) and a beer.

— In the evenings, one of my favourite yakitori-ya (yakitori restaurants) is Fuku. It was introduced to me by my cousin, who is in the restaurant trade and always has good tips. Get a seat at the counter if you can — a general rule for dining in Japan.

— On my last trip, I met chef Daisuke of Sushi Yuu at the paradise that is Tsukiji Fish Market. His restaurant is expensive but not stuffy and Daisuke is the most accommodating host.

Tsukiji Fish Market © Alamy

— You’ll find buttery, melt-in-the-mouth wagyu katsu (fried beef cutlets) in Tsukiji Market. For ramen, I enjoy Gogyo’s burnt miso variety. There are always queues, but it’s worth it. I also can’t resist a trip to Butagumi for their pork tonkatsu (breaded pork).

— If you want to take something home for your own kitchen, the department stores are insane. Akomeya is a two-storey temple of rice: different types of rice, condiments, utensils . . . that’s how crazy Tokyo is.

Nat Lee-Joe is restaurateur of Jidori in Covent Garden and Dalston, London

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