7-17-24 Roppongi | Side Roppongi Bld 1st. F
Tokyo, Japan Minato 106-0032
Why did we dine here? – RyuGin (Inspired by a Zen poem that describes a powerful dragon) is a 3 Michelin Star Japanese restaurant in the Roppongi district of Tokyo. We had planned to dine here about 5 years ago, but the Tsunami got in the way. We finally crossed it off our bucket list.
When asked about their food, they have the following statement: “It is something that communicates to people the wonderfulness of “Japan” through food and is a way for Japanese people to express their “feelings” of pride in the richness of the natural environment that Japan has. The blessings of ingredients that are nurtured from the four seasons of Japan’s natural environment is something that the Japanese can boast to the world.”
There are locations in Hong Kong (Tenku RyuGin) and Taipei with slightly different menus. We finally were able to visit this well respected restaurant in 2015. The restaurant is formal with no T-shirts, men’s sandals, or even short sleeves allowed. Big digital SLR cameras should be left at home. They have stands for handbags, and their bathroom is really cool. After you enter it, the toilet will automatically open up for you. Definitely check it out. You are allowed to take pictures of the food but not of the room.
Insider Tip – Reservation are a must.
Cuisine – Modern Japanese
Location – Roppongi district of Tokyo
Opened – 2008
Service – RyuGin had an English speaking eastern European waitress for us. They’re very knowledgable, and helped us understand the different dishes.
Verdict – RyuGin is an innovative modern Japanese restaurant with top notch food. We liked the numerous courses. Each was fairly small but the overall meal added up to quite a filling amount. Prices here are high, but quality and service are there. You can order a la carte from 9-10pm. Appetizers, “Ochazuke” and Rice dishes, to desserts and including Chef’s specialties are served. This restaurant was quite a change of pace from a sushi temple or tempura place, but we liked this experience. Having visited once, we feel it is time to move on.
Is this restaurant worth a 5 minute drive? Yes. 30 minute? Yes. 1 Hour? Yes.
RyuGin Signature Dishes – Hirame (flounder), charcoal-grilled wild eel, Candy Fruit Dessert.
RyuGin’s Menu consists of a set menu for Y27,000. It changes from time to time especially with the seasons. A la carte menu is available only from 9-10pm.
RyuGin Food Picks:
We started the meal with a warm Yuzu tea with a slightly sweet grape essence. We also noticed that the placeholder was a 300 year old plate. They brought a large selection of glasses to choose from after we have selected some sake.
Their ever changing menu is artfully divided into several sections tied to nature, seasons, ingredients, etc.
Beginning with a variety of Sensations…
Seasonality, Aroma, Temperature, Texture and Assemblage
Sea Urchins, New Fresh Ginger and Green Peas – with Shiso, nori and a fried rice paper. A crisp and chewy combination that was made more interesting by the sea urchin and earthy green pea.
Grilled Firefly Squid and Ending Yuzu Citrus – a delicate dish with slightly chewy squid along with shrimp essence in a Chawan mushi. As with the previous course, it came in a beautiful bowl. The yuzu flavor kicked in at the end along with some charcoal essence. Be sure to check out their website for a video describing how to difficult it is to create this dish.
Owan Soup: Philosophy on the Ichiban Dashi – Taste of the Wind that Captures a Moment
Bamboo Shoots Dumpling and Simmered Hamaguri Clam with Spring Flavors – another beautiful dish. They told us to wait one minute before digging in. You could smell the different aromas blending together. One huge chewy clam along with mini bean sprouts, miyoga, all with a clam benatoo.
Sashimi: A Message from the Coast of Japan Richness of the Sea, Tidal Current
Spring’s Ocean Delicacy – Displayed in 7 plates – a cold dish for a change. Seven tastefully arranged bites of seafood. It included squid, abalone in soup, turbot, fatty tuna, Monkfish liver, octopus, spiny lobster, sea cucumber. These were nice little bites although our sushi lunch at Sushi Kanesda had higher quality seafood.
Binchotan – A Powerful Scent of Charcoal grill…
Kinki fish from Hokkaido stuffed wtih grilled Eggplant – Bamboo Shoot and Butterbur Sprouts – what a name for a fish! We really liked the stuffed eggplant and the charcoal effect on the tender fish.
Spring in Full Bloom – Taste of Hills and Dales
Famous Array of Spring Vegetables – another beautiful course of vegetable shabu-shabu. This fun course had us dipping the spring vegetables into the broth for 15 to 20 seconds. You could then utilize the optional peanut-like dipping sauce. It was interesting that the soup was so filled with other vegetables already. A nice contrast to cleanse our palette between fish and beef.
Grace of the Hometown – as Ambassador of Kagawa’s Heritage…
Sanuki Olive Beef – On Stonesware in Sukiyaki style with Young Yam – a tender flavorful thinly sliced piece of waygu carefully piled together. A slightly sweet and savory gravy. The poached egg was cooked to a perfect 62 degrees, making it a perfect addition to this wonderful dish.
The land of Rice plants – Pleasure of eating of the same trencher,
Simmered rice flavored with Cherry Blossom tea – and Sakura Shrimp from Surugawan Bay – perfect timing as we were in the middle of cherry blossom or Sakura season. The tiny shrimp were fried with shells on, making for an interesting combination with the rice and the cherry blossom tea. We have never tried a dish like this before.
Lusciousness – Coolness, Warmth, Playful Spirits, Nostalgia and Temptation
One Piece of Strawberry … – their signature dish of a nitro’d strawberry that was later cracked open. Ahh this tasted good.
Hot Sake and Cold Sake Sweet Flavors – we were given a pearl spoon to eat the weird flavored souffle cubes. Unfiltered sake ice cream had very light flavors. Blood orange ice was a nice touch. And we rounded out the meal with a strong matcha tea.
Do you agree with our review? Have you found other similar restaurants that are better?