NIHONRYORI KANDA

Hiroyuki Kanda's eponymous restaurant in Moto-Azabu is an ideal place to experience true Japanese cuisine at its finest.

One of four Tokyo restaurants that have maintained their Michelin three-star status for the full 11 years since Michelin Guide Tokyo was first published in 2007, NIHONRYORI KANDA is celebrated throughout the world for its quintessential Japanese cuisine. Upholding the ichi-go ichi-e principle of cherishing each encounter as a once-in-a-lifetime experience, owner-chef Hiroyuki Kanda plans each day’s menu based on that morning’s freshest available ingredients. While his restaurant attracts diners from around the globe, Kanda does not alter his cooking to any great extent, offering to one and all the essence of Japanese culture passed down through the generations.

Kanda believes that simple is best. “For instance, take ayu sweetfish,” he explains. “It is best served salted and grilled. When I first started out I tried preparing it in many different ways. But when a recipe lacks a solid foundation, you soon tire of it and eventually abandon it. Today’s discerning diners are asking for the ‘superbly simple.’ Teiichi Yuki, who founded Kitcho in 1930, cherished Japanese cuisine and knew that one day the world would, too. I take his approach to heart. Those of us whose restaurants have had the honor of receiving stars have a duty to show our customers what authentic Japanese cuisine is. Of course, it is impossible to understand any culture the first time around. The more you learn about it, the better you appreciate its beauty and richness. It’s the same with Japanese cuisine. I want my restaurant to be one that unlocks a door for those who yearn for the unknown—to be a place where customers experience the joy of discovering food outside their own culture.”

Example image ©Nihonryori Kanda

This version of sukiyaki over rice was created in response to customer requests for a meat dish. The Wagyu beef melts in the mouth.

At times, morsels of sushi are served between courses. Fatty tuna is popular with guests of all nationalities.

Example image ©Nihonryori Kanda
Example image ©Nihonryori Kanda

In a small bowl, a dish that heralds the arrival of summer: abalone, savory egg custard, and leaves of water shield (Brasenia schreberi), which have a distinctive jellylike texture.

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