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Eating is the Most Important Besides Sleeping,
Eats Out About 400 Times a Year:
@pateknautilus40’s Top 10 Restaurant Recommendations in Japan

Interested in Delicious Food since he was a Child

Born, raised and currently living in Tokyo, @pateknautilus40 runs a company. His hobbies are collecting paintings and watches. He has liked to eat delicious food since he was little, and even though the food he eats is different now, he still eats and walks around as he did when he was a child, now that he has become an adult.

Compatibility is Important Aside from Deliciousness

@pateknautilus40 usually eats out at night and eat out about 400 times a year. There are many restaurants that he visits regularly. There are many kinds of restaurants, such as those he visits every month, bi-monthly, and every three months, but basically he is a loyal customer who regularly visits his favorite restaurants. The most important thing is delicious food, but the next most important thing is compatibility of the food with the restaurant. No matter how much you think it is extraordinarily delicious, you can't go if it doesn't match. For him, eating is the second most important thing besides sleeping. He feels happiest when he eats.
Completed visiting all 30 Gold Winning Restaurants in Japan

@pateknautilus40 goes to Hokkaido, Nagoya, Osaka, Kyoto, Kanazawa, Fukuoka and other regional cities as well as Tokyo. It was before the publication of a certain gourmet guide, but the restaurants he has visited all over the place got a star. He mainly posts information about food on Instagram. In addition, he has completed eating at all 30 gold winning restaurants on the well-known gourmet website.

Photo by @pateknautilus40

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An authentic counter-style kappo restaurant in Ningyocho

A Japanese kappo restaurant with only 6 counter seats. The size and design of the restaurant was deliberately created with the desire to provide meticulous service with an intimate dining experience, preparing the food in front of the guests, and serving the dishes directly to them.


I have been visiting “Iyuki”, the restaurant run by Chef Ueda, said to be among the top chefs from “Kyoaji”, in Higashi Ginza for over 10 years. Chef Kawada is one of Mr. Ueda’s disciples and trained under him for 13 years, before opening this long-awaited restaurant. At Iyuki, he has experience in all aspects of cooking, grilling, and sashimi. If you know Kyoaji well, you will know how difficult the training is.

The preparation is long, but all the dishes made by Chef Kawada, who is silent and serious, are beyond delicious. After all, there are more than 20 kinds of dishes served each time. Other than Iyuki, I don't know any other restaurant that serves so many kinds of dishes. Surprisingly, the chef prepares everything by himself. Also it’s difficult to express just how much the chef desires the customers to be happy and enjoy their food. It will be hard to make a reservation from now onwards, so I recommend you to visit early.


Kioicho Mitani
A well-known restaurant with a fresh, hospitable setting, that is difficult to reserve

The cuisine includes courses selected by the chef, beginning with side dishes using seasonal ingredients, followed by nigiri (thin slices of raw fish served on top of rice). Their sushi is to be enjoyed with sake, a unique experience at a sushi restaurant. In order to ensure the customer experiences the food at its best, it is served to you directly, which is the Mitani style.


“Kioicho Mitani” is the sister restaurant of “Mitani” in Yotsuya. I myself have been visiting Mitani several times a year, for over 10 years. The manager of Kioicho Mitani, Mr. Takano, and Mr. Mitani have known each other since the “Sushi Rosan” era, and when he was asked to open this restaurant and manage it, he was also working at Mitani for a short time.

Also, if you say “Mitani”, you think of pairings that simply cannot be missed. In addition to sake, these pioneers serve champagne, wine, etc. in small quantities in pairings with the sushi. The true essence of the Mitani experience is the number of side dishes that go so perfectly with the alcohol. Everything is perfectly cooked or prepared for guests allowing them to taste a variety of truly delicious dishes at their absolute best, such as hammered fatty tuna with shark fin and sea urchin shabu-shabu. My favorite is “Sukeroku”, which wraps Toromaki and Kanpyomaki with sweet-boiled Aburaage in addition to the above mentioned side dishes. The sweet boiled Nanko-ume served as dessert is also not to be missed. It seems that making dinner reservations here is getting more and more difficult, but there seems to be some availability for lunch, so why don't you go and try the amazing pairings with side dishes that you can't experience at other sushi restaurants?


Sushi Sakai
A 3-star Edo-mae sushi restaurant, evolving in Fukuoka and inheriting the taste of many famous restaurants

Sushi Sakai uses only the freshest ingredients from locally caught fish to high-grade seafood from all over the country which is transported by air on the same day as it was caught. “Blowfish sashimi with liver sauce”, is a very popular otsumami dish which is served only between October and March. With recommended sushi like the “Pickled Akami”, a small nigiri that is slightly dyed red from the red vinegar used, you can always enjoy continuously evolving Edo-mae style sushi here.


Speaking of “Sushi Sakai”, isn't this the hottest sushi restaurant in Fukuoka? It received 3 stars on the gourmet guide 2020, and although it was already popular, it has since became even more popular. I've been a customer since it had opened its original location in Akasaka, before it moved to Nishinakasu. It was a very small shop, but I remember that they were working hard with their apprentices. At that time, I received a greeting card for the relocation, and I was impressed by their extraordinary determination and consideration for their customers. I still clearly remember the greeting card which was on a 1-meter-long piece of paper which conveyed the chef’s decision to relocate and feelings for the customers. I was very impressed by the card, which was written as if it was in the Edo period. I'm afraid there aren't many of those commanders who have made it this far.

As for the food, there are no exceptions, everything is very delicious. The tuna is especially delicious because it is from “Yamayuki”. Also, the chef is particular about using fresh fish caught in Kyushu as much as possible. This makes customers visiting from other prefectures like us, very happy. The collaboration observed between the restaurant apprentices was smooth, and above all, it was wonderful that both regular customers and new customers were treated equally. The personality and ability of the chef are truly captured in Sushi Sakai. This is a restaurant that I would strongly recommend to visit when you go to Fukuoka.


Nikusho Horikoshi
The original courses use brand-name wagyu beef sourced directly from the cattle ranches nationwide

The wagyu beef at Nikusho Horikoshi includes the very best of Japan's top class beef such as Kobe beef from Kawagishi Ranch, Tajima beef from Ueda Livestock Farm, and Ozaki beef from Miyazaki. The delicious offal is prepared and delivered on the same day from the producers.


“Nikusho Horikoshi” is located near Number 246 along Nisseki Dori. There is a sign at the entrance that says “I’ll serve you delicious meat”, allowing guests to immediately begin looking forward to it from their first step inside. The feature of this restaurant is that it is a Japanese and Western style meat kappo unlike a normal yakiniku restaurant. The restaurant only stocks meat that suits the owner's taste, from Japanese black beef to red beef. My favorite dish here is the filet bowl. A large and thick fillet with egg yolk truffle sauce is placed on top of the rice. It's incredible. In addition, the beef tongue of Japanese black beef has just the right thickness and is chewy and filling, and it's indescribably delicious, so you can't miss it.

Also, as I mentioned at the beginning, they not only serve marbled meats, but also red meat and rare parts, so it is truly irresistible for meat lovers. Every time a dish is served, there is an explanation which is fun to understand their endless obsession with meat. One of the other things I always look forward to is enjoying one of their variety of wonderful desserts. The selection changes every time which makes it exciting to see what is on the menu each time you visit the restaurant.

Reservation is required, but please try the owner's special grill once. Try the “I'll serve you delicious meat”. I would recommend that any meat lover should visit this restaurant.


A new world in Shirokane Takanawa - combines Tokyo-style Sushi and Kyoto cuisine

Sushi ICHIKAWA has a keen interest in tuna and the chef has created special sushi rice to match it; thus his nigiri sushi primarily consists of tuna. Performing with traditional Tokyo-style, you can taste the subtle gems of traditional Kyoto cuisine. The chef prepares the sushi with a small amount of rice that is easy for everyone to enjoy.


“Sushi Ichikawa” is located near the Sannohashi intersection in Minamiazabu. It is also close to Shirokane Takanawa Station. The restaurant was originally opened in Ueno where there used to be a 3-star restaurant called, “Araki”, but it moved to its current location in 2017. Araki and the famous “Kikunoi” in Kyoto are the places where Chef Ichikawa was trained.

The restaurant’s tuna is carefully selected from “Yamayuki”, and is always perfect. Usually sushi restaurants serve only about 3 to 4 pieces of tuna, but here it is different. Lean tuna, medium-fatty tuna and fatty tuna are basically served in portions of 2 pieces each. This is great for tuna lovers. The red vinegared rice matches perfectly with the tuna, bringing out the taste even more. In addition, you should not miss the many side dishes that make use of the chef’s experience of Japanese cuisine. It's no surprise that Chef Ichikawa received 1 star. The restaurant is also open on Sundays, so please enjoy the tuna and meet the resident chef.


Enjoy sushi made with the best seafood in Yokohama

Chef Nakajo explains that his concept is to seek the perfect harmony between the finest fish and the vinegared rice on which it is placed. To that end, he says that all types of nigiri sushi served at the restaurant are specialties, meaning that all the seafood used at Nakajo are of the highest grade.


Located just a few minutes' walk from Kannai Station in Yokohama, “Nakajo”, originally called, “Sushi Kappo Kiyokawa” was located in Motomachi, Yokohama. It changed its name and moved to its current location in 2017. In addition to the counter seats, there is also a private room, allowing families with small children can visit.

The most distinguishing feature of this restaurant is that the owner is very particular that everything must be the best. For example, the tuna is the best available from “Yamayuki”, and the white tilefish and sea urchin are always the best of the day because Nakajo is one of the oldest customers of “Yamayuki”. In a sense, it means that you don't have to go all the way to a high-class sushi restaurant in Tokyo to enjoy the best seafood. I don't think there are any high-class sushi restaurants in Ginza that are so particular as Nakajo.

Listening to the stories directly from the chef is very enjoyable and makes it well worth a visit.


Yakiniku Komiyama
A meat lover's dream, run by a chef who buys Japanese Black beef, literally a whole cow at a time

Chef Komiyama carefully selects the meat himself from a market in Shibaura, where he purchases A5 grade Japanese Black beef by the whole cow. The beef is then prepared by hand, expertly cut according to how it will be served. While the fillet is a good place to start, we also recommend the yaki-shabu—thinly sliced, grilled sirloin dipped in sauce with egg yolk. The Chateaubriand fillet katsu is another popular choice.


“Yakiniku Komiyama” is located near the Nishi-Azabu crossing. The owner, Hideki Komiyama, opened the shop after taking about three years out to recharge and refresh. The restaurant has a stylish counter as well as semi-private rooms. There are 2 ~ 3 seats at the counter, and you can enjoy conversation while watching the chef cook, or you can spend time in the private room if you want to have fun with your companions. Rather than being a traditional yakiniku restaurant, it is a stylish eatery that is popular among young people.

The basic menu is the omakase course where Mr. Komiyama, who is a meat expert, will take care of you, ensuring you can enjoy a pleasant and relaxing dining experience. The meat is delicious, but the spicy tsukemen that is served at the end of the meal is superb. It is of higher quality than what you will receive at many tsukemen restaurants. The restaurant opens until late at night, so why don't you pay it a visit?


Yakiniku Komiyama

Ginza Ishizaki
A 1-star wagyu beef cuisine restaurant in Ginza

What might well be the pinnacle of Ginza Ishizaki’s beef dishes, are their steaks, which they cook with a unique method to be crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. This is achieved by using beef with rigorously regulated storage methods to control the optimal moisture level. First, it is heated in sesame oil to warm it, and left to rest for 30 to 40 minutes. Then it is heated and pan-fried in plenty of sesame oil and cooked to perfection resulting in an exquisite balance of aroma and juiciness.


Chef Ishizaki used to work at a steak restaurant, “Katogyu”, in Ginza. After he opened his restaurant, it soon received 1 star. The feature of this restaurant is the beautiful A5-grade marbled meat. The meat is cooked until it is crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside and is simply delicious. You should also not miss the restaurant’s wide repertoire of beef dishes. Other than the main steak, meat lovers cannot resist their homemade corned beef, hamburger steak, sukiyaki and menchi katsu.

The only disappointment is that I couldn’t eat all of the dishes I wanted to enjoy as I didn’t have enough space. The shaved ice served at the end is a fluffy delight that is like powder snow because the restaurant uses a real ice machine. Even though Chef Ishizaki looks a bit tough, he is actually very friendly so please come visit Ginza Ishizaki to enjoy its superb variety of meat dishes.


Ginza Ishizaki

Teppanyaki Akasaka
Presenting breathtaking views over Tokyo with a memorable feast of Kobe beef and Toyosu seafood

Extra care is taken in selecting the ingredients used at Teppanyaki Akasaka. The restaurant prides itself in using only the best produce such as Kobe beef and luxurious seafood such as spiny lobster, abalone and seasonal vegetables.


“Teppanyaki Akasaka” is located on the 37th floor of ANA Intercontinental Hotel Tokyo. When you step inside the restaurant, you will feel a sense of calm as the hustle and bustle outside is quickly forgotten. You can enjoy fresh seafood, vegetables and meat such as Kobe beef, Kuroge Wagyu, Ise lobster and abalone. Also, because it is a teppanyaki restaurant, you can enjoy dynamic cooking in front of your eyes. Especially, the best part of teppanyaki, when the cooking flames rise. The hotel service is excellent, ensuring you can have a very comfortable and stress-free dining experience.

The incredible view of Tokyo Tower and the surrounding skyscrapers and highways that you can see from the counter are both beautiful and breathtaking. There is no doubt that you will be dazzled while enjoying delicious food. This restaurant is well worth a visit and can be enjoyed by couples, families, friends or used as a perfect venue for business entertainment.


Sumibi Yakiniku Fuchioka
A restaurant by chef Fuchioka, who became independent from Sumibi Yakiniku Nakahara, where he honed his craft

This yakiniku restaurant boasts many different highly-recommended course options, each using assorted parts of carefully selected, highest level quality Wagyu Beef, which is charcoal grilled to perfection. Sumibi Yakiniku Fuchioka is more casual in comparison with Sumibi Yakiniku Nakahara and the yakiniku is equally as delicious.


“Sumibi Yakiniku Fuchioka” is a restaurant independent from “Sumibi Yakiniku Nakahara”. The location is a few minutes’ walk from Kyodo Station. The restaurant uses only Kuroge Wagyu, the best breed of cow available, regardless of the production area. There are many restaurants that use a lot of wagyu, so I am happy to be able to eat the highest grade of beef here.

The restaurant cuts the meat by hand after taking your order. The beautifully cut sirloin is especially famous, and is arranged neatly in layers, so you can easily imagine how delicious it will taste before eating. There are many other must-have items from the menu that you should try including the filet, which can be ordered in a thick cut, the plump and delicious thick sliced tongue as well as both the fillet cutlet and minced cutlet sandwiches which are also irresistible. This casual restaurant has a counter and semi-private room where friends and family can enjoy a feast of delicious Japanese black beef. There is no doubt that you will return home feeling incredibly satisfied.


Information is as of 11th December, 2019.


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