Best places to eat – chef Hitoshi Miyazawa’s picks

BREAKFAST

My favourite place for breakfast, Higashiya Man, serves traditional steamed manju Japanese sweet buns, which for me, evoke a nostalgia amid the trendy neighbourhood of upscale Minami Aoyama. The Japanese tea salon and confectionary store also sells a wide selection of sweets including freshly made seasonal wagashi as well as tea blends and tableware products. The steamed buns are served up using very fresh, seasonal produce. I could eat them every day. See higashiya.com

COFFEE

Intersect by Lexus is a cafe in the same area as Higashiya Man. It’s a concept cafe by Lexus and I like coming here to simply relax, enjoy a coffee and people watch. It was designed by Wonderwall, one of Japan’s most prominent architects. The cafe also houses the latest and greatest Lexus cars. If you want to keep moving, I recommend grabbing a coffee to go and taking a stroll down the Nezu Museum, which is home to an incredible collection of Japanese and Asian pre-modern art. See lexus.jp

LUNCH

Tucked away behind one of the busiest streets in Tokyo lies Kanetanaka. I come here to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. It offers a set menu or a la carte. I recommend the set menu, which comes in different sizes depending on how hungry you are. Try the trio of marinated tuna, sea bream and Pacific saury sanma sushi – delicious. Access is a little tricky but follow the stone facade. See kanetanaka.co.jp

AFTERNOON TEA

Everything is so hidden in Japan – Kosoan is no different. From the outside it’s just a little old house but inside is, in my opinion, one of the best tea houses in Tokyo. Serving up a very traditional tea ceremony, I recommend the macha tea and wagashi, which is a traditional Japanese unbaked sweet which helps balance out the bitterness of the tea. There is also an incredible selection of Japanese antique art to take in. See kosoan.co.jp

DINNER

In 2018, Narisawa was named 22nd best restaurant in the world and boy, does it live up to expectations. Head chef Yoshihiro Narisawa​ creatively marries his Japanese heritage with his eight years of culinary exploration in Europe. You are restricted to the set menu only but it is fantastic. You could be treated to a broth made from a poisonous snake that resides in the waters near Okinawa. Dinner here is really experiencing the finer side of Tokyo. See narisawa-yoshihiro.com

With a career spanning 20 years in specialist Japanese restaurants, Hitoshi Miyazawa is head chef at Melbourne’s internationally acclaimed Kaiseki-style restaurant, Ishizuka, founded by Tomotaka Ishizuka. In 2018, the restaurant celebrated wins at the Australian Good Food Guide Awards, Restaurant & Bar Design Awards in London and Best Restaurant Design at the Eat Drink Design Awards.

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