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“Enchanting ! ” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Takazawa

3-5-2 Akasaka, Minato, Tokyo Prefecture, Japan
+81 3-3505-5052
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Ranked #2 of 6,454 Restaurants in Minato
Cuisines: French, Japanese, Contemporary, Fusion
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Enchanting ! ”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2014

What an amazing restaurant, my partner and I had such a beautiful time. The chef and his wife were extremely welcoming and kept the necessary distance in order to create a mysterious atmosphere for us to fully experiment every dish that in my opinion looked like art from time to time :) I suggest that you leave and trust the chef to choose your wine to accompany every dish, it's amazing and allowed us to discover some fantastic Japanese wine !
Go with your loved ones, it's an amazing experience I highly encourage

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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56 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“once is ok”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2014

The ideas are good, it looks interesting but execution(actual tastes) so-so. Ambiance is nice, but many plates are over-salted, idea over the taste. Once is OK, but there would be no second time. Personally, it is hard to understand how it can be rated so highly on this site.

  • Visited January 2014
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kongsberg, Norway
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2014

A sublime experience, the best meal me and my family have ever experienced in a restaurant. 3 hours of bliss. Attentive service and an amazing set of courses.

  • Visited July 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Top Contributor
135 reviews 135 reviews
48 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 71 cities Reviews in 71 cities
156 helpful votes 156 helpful votes
“Molecular gastronomy”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2014

Food was mind-blowing and unlike any other restaurant experience we had. It’s molecular gastronomy. The entire meal was occupied with discussing the food taste and its presentation. We had a great time, dinner was 3 hours and service was impeccable.

But I had to admit, the bill was a bit hard to swallow the next morning. The drink prices are not listed – you’re just given your personalized menu for that day when you sit down. 30,000 yen for the chef’s tasting menu (it’s so hard to get reservations, might as well), 15,000 yen for the wine pairing. Water is not free, but at these prices I wouldn’t expect it to be (1,600 yen for a large bottle, 1,000 yen for a small bottle). Then there is a 10% service charge and 8% tax on top of that , so at the end of the day, it was almost 100,000 yen for 2 people for dinner, 1 wine pairing, and a couple of bottles of water.

On the other hand, we got to eat a rock, a beautiful plate of fish swimming, and the foie gras creme brulee candlestick was fabulous. Every dish was an elegant surprise. Not every dish had perfect taste – none were disasters, but some tasted ordinary (like the pork plate).

We’ve dined at a lot of nice restaurants, this one we will definitely remember for a long time. I don’t think we’ll return because it was too expensive, and I’d rather go to Joel Robuchon at lunch for better value for my money.

  • Visited June 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
san diego, CA
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
“What? No Michelin Stars?”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2014

Kaiseki cuisine is a Japanese art form that has been practiced for hundreds of years. The rules are fairly rigid. The sequence of dishes is well defined: Sakizuke (appetizers) followed by Hassun, etc. The last dish is a rice dish. There is always a seasonal theme. This type of high-culture, expensive cuisine is still widely practiced in Japan and Tokyo has its share of Michelin-starred kaiseki establishments. In the last several years, there has been a movement to inject new blood into this century-old tradition. Some chefs feel that the cost is too high, which discourages young people from participating. Indeed given the aging Japanese population, this is an acute concern. Every time I look around me while eating at one of these kaiseki places, I can’t help but wonder if this art form will die out. Only older, more affluent people can afford it. They would be least likely to demand innovation. The practice may fossilize and one day, wither away from irrelevance. From what I can tell, rejuvenation of kaiseki cuisine is being attempted by two schools of chefs. Some are trying to reduce cost in order to build a younger, more modern clientele. Others are trying to incorporate ideas and techniques from Western cuisine and thus modernize an old art form. This is typical of how Japan has absorbed foreign cultures throughout the ages. Mr. Takazawa belongs to this second school.

A dinner at Takazawa is a big deal that starts with an online reservation. Emails follow to determine if guests have any food allergies and preferences. There are several fixed menus. My girlfriend and I chose the 10-course menu, the most expensive option. As others have noted, the small restaurant can only accommodate ten guests. During dinner, the chef works behind a counter, in full view of the guests. There is a small kitchen in the back where some of his assistants work. Two others help his wife with the service, which is impeccable. Some found the restaurant hard to find. For me it was not an issue as my hotel is on the hill across the main boulevard so I know the neighborhood well. The décor and atmosphere are thoroughly modern. The chef and his assistants are wirelessly connected so he can give them instructions in real time. His wife speaks English fluently, which is a rarity in a kaiseki establishment. Thus in terms of physical space, Mr. Takazawa has completely dispensed with the trappings of a traditional kaiseki restaurant. No tatami mat rooms, no shoji screens, no ikebana arrangements…

Mr. Takazawa’s technical mastery is breathtaking. Most of the ten dishes were virtuoso displays of techniques and skills. Take the foie gras course. The foie gras was laid down on a crispy pastry foundation. Then it was tiled with thin slices of radish, arranged to simulate the look of carp (koi) scales. (This was to celebrate boys day when carp flyers are flown everywhere.) A bit of rose jam, rose-flavored salt, and various other tidbits accompanied the slice of “carp”. The visual effect was spectacular. Some courses were clearly designed for show. Take the squids. They are luminescent and came from a special place on the Japan sea coast. They were shown alive to the guests before being cooked (to perfection). Then they were served on top of a bowl of water illuminated by blue LEDs. Some dishes pushed technical virtuosity to the limits. Take the “Scallop Spaghetti”. Fresh scallops were ground up and somehow reconstituted into thin noodles, which were topped with sea urchins. Sometimes the cleverness worked well. Take the “Spring rolls”. A thin, perfectly humidified Vietnamese rice paper was stretched over a deep soup plate at the bottom of which there was a bit of dipping sauce. The perfectly cooked prawn rested on top of the rice paper together with a sprinkle of flowers and herbs from the chef’s farm. After presenting and describing the dish to us, Mrs. Takazawa deftly rolled up the whole thing. It was a visual feast followed by a gustatory one. Fashionable techniques from “molecular cuisine” were abundantly evident: foams, methyl cellulose, liquid nitrogen…

At this level of cooking, given all the technical brilliance, one is compelled to ask: How does it all add up? A meal is necessarily a sum of many parts, a kaiseki dinner even more so. The question of harmony and synthesis inevitably arises. I am sad to report that the ten dishes did not add up to a coherent ensemble. Some dishes were successful. Some were downright ordinary, even the visually gorgeous “koi” foie gras. Some, like the Scallop Spaghetti were too clever for their own good. I must commend Mr. Takazawa for his effort to master and inject Western ideas and techniques into the age-old kaiseki tradition. Yet in spite of this frenetic attempt at innovation, the most satisfying dish was the clam soup with bamboo shoots from Kyoto. Purely traditional, simple, honest, and delicious. In the end, while I was disappointed that the ten courses were unequal in their tastes, I felt most let down by the disparate nature of the meal. Too much technique yet nothing fits together.

There were four tables that evening. My girlfriend was the only guest whose native language was Japanese. The other three tables were occupied by people from Mexico, Singapore, and China. Mrs. Takazawa spoke to them only in English. For our meal and three glasses of sake, we paid almost ten times as much as we would for a decent, above average meal in the United States. This restaurant is fast becoming a fashionable place that only caters to the global nouveau riche. International, un-grounded, uprooted, and ultimately soulless. Now I know why there are no Michelin stars.

  • Visited May 2014
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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