Review: Asakasa Tan-Tei

2 December 2015

I woke up with a nasty hangover, but yesterday was nearly a perfect food and drink day. The wonderful lunch at Sushi Masuda, and then the fabulous kaiseki dinner at Ichi, all closed with a superb night of cocktails at Bar High Five. The hangover was a small price to pay — but I’m glad I set my alarm!

I got myself up for my final full day in Tokyo as I had to do a bit of shopping today. But first, lunch at a place I had been eyeballing for a year, one that I reluctantly skipped in January — the Okinawa-specialty restaurant Asakasa Tan-Tei. They also kept their 1 Michelin star with the new guide, and as I mentioned I tend to prefer places with 1 star over those with more, so…

It was a bit of a hike up a hill from Roppongi (yet again) towards Asakasa. I got there at midday and was shown to my private room. Wow, how cool is that… Wee odd for 1 person, but would be great for a date. I chilled out and they brought me my menu for the kaiseki lunch. I ordered a glass of awamori to their approval. If you don’t know, awamori is an Okinawa liquor that’s as strong as vodka…

I enjoyed some of the awamori on the rocks when the first item arrived, and I was smiling. Not as intriguing as last night’s opener, but this was something…

01-tachiuo opener

This had an assortment of items from millet in walnut sauce to fig with tumeric yoghurt sauce, as well as a charred Okinawa scallion. But the star of this plate was the tachiuo, or the hairtail. Perhaps not as excellent as at Sushi Masuda yesterday, but excellent. A great start! My server knocked and relaced the dish with the next item, and I Was like wow…

02-shark-fin soup

I know, some of you will not like me eating shark fin, but look at this…look at the size of that thing… Wow… It is a huge Okinawan delicacy, so… It was just dreamy… The taste is rich and amazing, and the soup was awesome. What a fabulous lunch so far! I should have come here earlier! Then my server knocked again and then the next item was presented…

03-sashimi and sushi

It was the day’s sushi and sashimi. We had a selection of snapper and mackerel, which was excellent and fresh. I also finished my drink but ordered another as I worked on this dish. When the drink came the next dish also arrived, and the aroma reached me almost before the door opened…

04-braised pork

This was a braised pork dish that was just heavenly. It was extremely rich and soft, one of the best pieces of braised pork I’ve had. Succulent, and the vegetables worked just perfectly. I was dipping my chopsticks in the sauce afterwards and enjoying it before the next dish arrived…wow, this was awesome. The next item was not on the menu but a little surprise — vegetable pancakes.

05-vegetable pancakes

The vegetables were all seasonal rarities, from sprouts to cucumber, but the star was the fiddleheads. Wow. That, with a bit of the sweetish sauce, made this as good as any meat wraps you’ll ever have. What a pleasant surprise! Lovely stuff. Then the next item came, and it was beautiful — and aromatic once again.

06-teriyaki red snapper

This was a grilled teriyaki red snapper, looking quite lovely. Tasted wonderful also, with the light sauce working perfectly in unison with the fish’s natural flavours. The Japanese eggplant was also very nice as were the onion and pepper. What a nice dish! I love these Okinawa vegetables being presented! Then my server knocked and the last item arrived, the closing course.

07a-barracuda rice set

The obligatory miso soup, the very colourful radish, and finally, the rice — this was cooked with an ample amount of barracuda. Barracuda rice. How awesome. The rice was rich and flavourful, something I can eat bowls and bowls of frankly. Fabulous. I really enjoyed this lunch! And just as I thought it was over I forgot there was a dessert…


Wow. This was so darn good, these mini-cakes of various soy and nut flavours. Just sweet enough to make you want even more! What a wonderful close to this lunch!

I thanked the staff and headed out into Asakasa very happy, having had a wonderful lunch with some very awesome dishes. I need to come back for dinner one night next time! What a fabulous meal! Highly recommended, a rather different type of kaiseki. You get Okinawa delivered to you without the 2-hour flight.

Now for some last-minute shopping…

Asakasa Tan-Tei* [赤坂潭亭]
6-16-11 Akasaka, Minato-ku
Tokyo, Japan


2 thoughts on “Review: Asakasa Tan-Tei

  1. Pingback: Review #3: Satou | melhuang1972

  2. Pingback: Review: Akatafu | melhuang1972

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