A seven-minute walk from Tokyo Metro Meiji-jingumae Station will take you to a traditional two-story house with no signboard on a narrow side street lined with trendy boutiques and modern condominiums. Housed in an over 70-year-old dark brown wooden building with a modern interior that creates a striking contrast with the discreet, classic exterior design, RESTAURANT HYENE strikes a balance between retro and fresh.
The restaurant is helmed by Chef Yoko Kimoto. Born in 1991, she worked at L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon in Roppongi and then moved to South Korea, the homeland of one of her ancestors, to further pursue her culinary career at Hanmiri, which is renowned for its traditional Korean court cuisine. While working at Hanmiri, she found that Korean court cuisine, which does not use pepper or garlic, uses meat stock such as beef tail stock, like Japanese kaiseki and French cuisine. Based on her experience in South Korea, she has invented a new dish: Two-year Aged May Queen with Chocolate Fondant Sauce. It is a chef’s specialty that brings out the sweetness of aged potato by reinterpreting Baekseolgi, a popular Korean rice cake, with French culinary techniques. In addition, she offers innovative French dishes, creatively combining three different culinary heritages of South Korea, Japan, and France.
Another feature of RESTAURANT HYENE is its drink menu with a large selection of Japanese sakes. The restaurant also offers a food and alcohol pairing menu, which features Japanese sakes, rather than wines, to pair with dishes. The non-alcoholic drink menu includes a wide selection of homemade beverages, including original teas made with seasonal fruits.
While the original beauty of the exterior is preserved, the modern interior in dark brown tones was redesigned by a relative of Chef Kimoto and won a design award at CAFERES JAPAN 2022, one of the largest trade shows for cafe, bakery, and restaurant professionals in Japan. The main dining room has an eight-seat counter, while the private dining room on the second floor seats up to six guests. The counter has the same height as the worktop, so diners can enjoy watching their food being prepared. As the chef and other staff are close by, diners can share their impressions while tasting their food.
The restaurant’s name, HYENE, means hyena. Hyenas are cooperative as they live in groups. They are also known as voracious eaters who have no likes or dislikes. Chef Kimoto admires these characteristics and uses the name to represent her hope that her guests will enjoy her dishes to their heart’s content. So, why don’t you come to enjoy the exciting dining experience at RESTAURANT HYENE?
* The availability of this webpage does not guarantee that the restaurant presented provides services in English, unless otherwise stated. Please be aware that English services may also depend on staff availability at the restaurant.
6 min. from Meiji-jingumae Sta. on the Chiyoda Line (Exit 4)