Five Select Restaurants in Tokyo that Have Been in Business for Over 100 Years
Tokyo, which has thrived as a city for ages, has many restaurants that have been in operation over 100 years. Here, we introduce five select restaurants that have maintained their outstanding flavors for more than a century.
1. Hibiya Matsumotoro
This restaurant was founded in 1903, at the same time Hibiya Park, which is Japan's first Western-style park, opened. It is a restaurant that ignited a boom in yoshoku (Japanese-style Western cuisine) at a time when Western culture was spreading in Japan. It is in a veritable urban oasis surrounded by greenery that expresses the beauty of the seasons. The super popular Omelet Rice Hayashi Rice Sauce (1,274 JPY (incl. tax)) and the Haikara Beef Curry (1,026 JPY (incl. tax)), with a sauce made with a secret recipe unchanged since the time the restaurant was founded, are recommended. This is a restaurant nestled among trees where you will forget you are actually in a business district. Be sure to enjoy its specialty cuisine on the terrace.
2. Nodaiwa Azabu Iikura Main Branch
This is a famous unagi (eel) restaurant that was established about 200 years ago and was awarded a star in the 2018 Michelin Guide. The Unajyu (2,900 JPY (incl. tax) and up) unagi box, made with a secret sauce that has been handed down since the time the restaurant was founded, is a work of art that has impressed even those with the most refined tastes. The fifth generation restaurant owner, who has introduced new Western-style ways of enjoying unagi, such as with wasabi, caviar and wine, while maintaining the traditional flavors, has been recognized by the national government as a modern craftsman. The main restaurant is in a building in the style of an old residence made by dismantling and reassembling a Gassho-style house from Hida Takayama and is a wonderful backdrop to enjoy traditions and new flavors.
*There are also branches in Ginza, Shimokitazawa, and in Nihonbashi Takashimaya.
3. Nihonbashi Tempura Uoshin
This is an established restaurant that opened as a fishmonger in 1890, and is now a tempura restaurant. Tempura is a dish of vegetables and seafood deep-fried with a batter of water and flour. It is a simple dish that is determined by the quality of the ingredients and the chef's skills. At this restaurant, you can enjoy fresh tempura that is fried on the other side of a large counter. The Take (Bamboo) Course (4,000 JPY (incl. tax)), which will enable you to enjoy authentic tempura, is recommended. It is a course through which you can savor seasonal ingredients.
*There are also branches in Nishi-Azabu and Ebisu.
Established 250 years ago in 1760, this restaurant is the oldest among those introduced here and is a chicken restaurant known as the originator of oyakodon. Oyakodon is a dish of chicken simmered in a soy-based sweet and savory sauce then cooked with eggs and served on top of rice. The name oyakodon (oyako means parent and child in Japanese) is derived from the fact that chickens are the parents of eggs. There are lines out the door at lunchtime for the reasonably priced Oyakodon (1,500 JPY (incl. tax)). The chicken mixed with fluffy and melty eggs and the sweet and savory dashi stock is so good there is no wonder there are lines every day. If you want to enjoy the food in comfort without lining up, the evening courses (6,800 JPY (excl. tax) and up) are recommended.
This is an established aigamo (cross between a mallard and domestic duck) restaurant that has been serving the same flavors since its establishment in 1872. The menu consists of just the Aigamo Duck Sukiyaki Course (10,000 JPY (excl. tax)). The sukiyaki of five-month-old aigamo, which is at its tastiest, grilled on an iron grill, is outstanding. You can choose to have white rice at the end of the course, but the Fried Rice with Ground Duck (500 JPY (excl. tax)) is recommended. The rice that is fried on the grill that the sukiyaki was cooked on soaks up the flavors of the duck and is perfect to close off a meal. All service is in private rooms that require reservations, so don't forget to make reservations.
Each of these restaurant are managed with intense dedication to quality and detail worthy of restaurants that have been successful over 100 years. Be sure to visit them to enjoy the flavors of restaurants that have been beloved in Tokyo over the ages.
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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