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“Overrated, Expensive”
Review of Nihonryori RyuGin

Nihonryori RyuGin
Ranked #60 of 10,879 Restaurants in Minato
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $224 - $314
Cuisines: Japanese
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Reservations
Neighborhood: Akasaka / Roppongi
Description: We are a small Japanese restaurant on a corner of Roppongi and openned our restaurant on December 23, 2003. To prepare Japanese cuisine and present the amazing ingredients of Japan to customers daily is sharing the spirit of "Wa (harmony)" with many people and convey the richness of the whole of Japan, and provide a space to admire a moment of a delicious banquet together. The dinner and the preparer resonate with each other through the food and recognize the preciousness of the richness of Japan... To be able to convey this everyday with pride to people might be akin to doing our important "national duty" for Japan. As a Japanese cuisine chef with this sense of a self imposed mission I felt during my training, I opened this small Japanese restaurant on December 23, which is a special day in Japan with the feeling of raising the flag of Japan. The origin of our name "RyuGin" comes from the words of "Zen", and is derived from "龍吟雲起(RyuGin-Unki)". During my training, I came across a book of “Zen” and within it, a hidden meaning of "龍吟雲起(RyuGin-Unki)"... "When a heroic person makes a decision and takes action, his comrades will mutually resonate and gather there..." That lesson moved my heart, and made me decide on the name of my restaurant.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level 6 Contributor
145 reviews
56 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 147 helpful votes
“Overrated, Expensive”
Reviewed December 4, 2012

Two of us went to Ryugin for dinner. The restaurant had just been promoted to 3 stars by the Guide Rouge for Tokyo and claimed spot no. 28 on San Pellegrino's list of top 50 restaurants in the world. Naturally, expectations were high.

They were disappointed. The key problem was quite plainly that the food was not tasty (with the exception of the chargrilled kinki fish). Ingredient quality was very good, and technical execution was flawless. But in general, the dishes had very little taste, far less than what one would expect even for Kyoto kaiseki, which is usually considered "bland" even by Japanese. What use is fancy cooking if there is no taste?

Service was polite but extremely slow; expect to take 3 hours for the set menu. Forty-five minutes after we had arrived, we finally got the second course (out of about 10). Best not to be hungry.

Slow progress through the courses would have been be OK if the chairs had been comfortable, which they were not because they have very thin cushions. Ryugin is also not a great place for a leisurely chat, as diners sit so close together as to be able to overhear their neighbors (and there are lots of foreigners in the place, so speaking English offers no protection).

Strange was that the restauranton its web page correctly warns against wearing perfume but put to use a heavily perfumed liquid soap in the bathroom. Peculiar, given that most dishes are fish-based, was further the presence of a fairly extensive selection of red wines (which usually do not pair well with fish). A few other lapses of service occurred, including a staff member who was standing right next to my wife not moving a finger to help her put on her coat (I was coming to the reception area after her and was not close enough yet to help).

Overall, a disappointment. We would not recommend this place to our friends, not even if the price were halved.

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
5 Thank gumshoe7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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181 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Level 5 Contributor
84 reviews
52 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“RyuGin perfects Japanese food with a contemporary attitude”
Reviewed November 14, 2012

We went to RyuGin on the second night of our honeymoon in Japan. After eating here we had a number of other memorable meals which echoed RyuGin in terms of the ingredients used due to the seasonal focus of much of Japanese cuisine. However, nowhere quite reached the levels of perfection attained by RyuGin in terms of preparation, presentation and service.

The highlight of the meal (for me) were our two desserts: the first including a sparkling grape and another grape containing grape powder over which was poured the most delicious warm jam I've ever tasted, the second a souffle made from sake lees and a soft, egg ice-cream. We ended up being served glasses of warm sake lees across Japan as we made our way through the countryside and this flavour became a firm and distinctive favourite.

The Chef waved us off into the night: a nice touch at the end of a wonderful meal.

A night to remember.

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank LondonZoeJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Corvallis, Oregon
Level 5 Contributor
50 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Lovely meal”
Reviewed November 10, 2012

We traveled to Japan primarily for the purpose of having one of the world's best Japanese dinners. It did not disappoint. The staff was helpful and friendly, with excellent English. The courses were explained and when necessary told how to eat them. Such as one of the desserts, "Two Grapes" which had one on a pick next to another in a bowl. We were to eat the one on the pick whole, first. It turned out to be fizzy carbonated and exploded with flavor in my mouth. The other one had been frozen in liquid nitrogen and was broken open to show a sharp powder which was then covered in a warm sauce by our server. Delightful.

Sure it was expensive, but the autumn seasonal presentation was a delight for all of the senses. Fresh seafood, matsutake mushrooms and abalone, wagyu beef with a warm somehow crispy poached egg over it sukiyaki style, it was all wonderful. The room is small and well decorated. Some things were just perfect, like a slice of pear in ginger. We will always remember this dinner fondly.

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank BlueJazz7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Try once and form your opinion”
Reviewed October 17, 2012

I tried at least 10 times in Ryugin over the last 5 years. I think the restaurant is becoming more arrogant. It's worth trying once as the food is very good and some of the dishes are quite creative. However, it's not cheap and unless you have a large entertainment budget, you will be thinking twice when you want to make the second visit. Again, worth visiting it but I am rating as poor given that I have seen a better days of Ryugin.

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
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1 Thank UmaiUmai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chennai (Madras), India
1 review
“Good seasonal menu”
Reviewed October 16, 2012

The food was very good, presentation was classy and the restaurant went to the extent of arranging for an English speaking server for us. Wanted to be blown away with the concept of food... just left a tad unfulfilled.... but nonetheless, was a dinner to cherish for some time.

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Vikramjit R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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