7chome Kyoboshi *** , Tokyo

7chome kyoboshi18

 

World’s first and only .. 3 Star Michelin Tempura

A word about the misleading name … the restaurant (originated from Kyoto) initally opened at 7chome of Ginza before moving to the current 5chome but the name remains. So be warned …

Be warned too … that this is in our opinion, one of ,if not the most, Overpriced restaurant in the world!

Make no mistake, the tempura here is top-class (as you would expect and demand for the price) but charging 32,000 yen per person is sinful enough not to mention this ain’t no Robuchon/Ducasse , no caviars, truffles, but just Tempura!

As a comparison, 1-star Fukamachi ( http://sfreelife.com/2011/08/10/fukamachi-tempura-tokyo/ ) whose tempura is one of the best we’ve eaten , in nearby Ginza location too, costs less than a Third of the price. And you do get goodies like Hotate (scallop) , Uni (sea urchin) and Anago (sea-eel)

Wait, it gets ‘worse’ …..  the exorbitant price  serves you mainly vegetables (kyo-yasai or vegetables from Kyoto) and BITE-SIZED tempura!!

And …. for worshipers of ‘regular tempura’, note that the restaurant does NOT serve the ubiquitous TEN-YU (tempura soy sauce) .. all tempuras are dipped in Salt and Lemon (SUDACHI)  here. It’s a perfect combination but a choice of either would have been appreciated. Daikon-oroshi (grated radish) is however served as a STAPLE ‘munchies’ throughout the meal. Yes, plain (seasoned) grated radish without the sauce! (excellent taste though!)

Grated Radish (palate cleanser)

Here’s an excerpt from Michelin guide : ” The chef’s constant trial of new ingredients accounts for his wide repertoire , giving diners the chance to savor some rare treats, albeit at a high price.” SPOT ON!

The meal began with a juicy and sweet but millimeters-small KURI (chestnut) followed by traditional prawn-cake (han-pen) tempura…

A ‘non-tempura’ ZUWAI-KANI TOFU ..

The signature SAIMAKI-EBI (small-sized Tiger prawnes) are served intermittently throughout the meal …. Though sweet and delicate, we saw no ‘value-added’ in serving these small prawns as compared to quality, big-sized tiger prawns.

 

Signature "Saimaki Ebi"

Quail-egg Tempura with ‘burst-in-your-mouth’ sensation… nice!

Awabi (abalone) and seasonal HAMO (pike conger) Tempura … luxurious!

Konyaku (konjac or devil’s tongue) Tempura … a revelation!

Ten-Cha … ZEN-like (slightly too bitter for our liking)

The Master (english-speaking) ..

Certainly , a ‘once-in-a-lifetime (suffice)’ experience!

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Comments
6 Responses to “7chome Kyoboshi *** , Tokyo”
  1. Luxeat says:

    Last time i was to Tokyo, i went to Kondo ( 2 Michelin ). The tempura there didn’t even come close to the tempura at 7 Chome Kyoboshi. But i do agree that the omakase at 7 Chome is overpriced …

  2. Velvet says:

    I had dinner at 7chome Kyoboshi tonight. The place is very significantly better than Fukamachi. I agree it’s too expensive, but the quality of the ingredients and chef’s skill is completely unparalleled. Some of the best vegetables, by some margin, I have ever had in Japan, and I have eaten at hundreds of kaiseki places including all those the Michelin guide deems worthy of three stars during my 7 years living in Japan. Making the argument that you get scallops at Fukamachi and yet it’s cheaper sort of misses the point. How memorable was the scallop? I will remember my meal at 7chome Kyoboshi for many years, mainly for the vegetables – the tempura wagyu he served (Oki; by far the most expensive ingredient of the night) was nice – worldclass beef in fact – but so what? Just a good piece of wagyu. The cuttlefish was the best-textured cuttlefish I have ever had, no idea how on earth he did that. I would much rather go to 7chome Kyoboshi once than three times to Fukamachi. Same expense, much more memorable.

    • sfreelife says:

      Wow hundreds of Kaiseki.. a very fortunate life you’re living!

      In a funny way, I do not disagree with you. However, this blog exists not just for people like you (and probably I included)… In fact, most of our readers are planning their first trip to Japan and I do assume that at some point, budgets do figure a part for most ppl’s trip, especially to places like Tokyo.

      If I can choose just 1 tempura in Tokyo tomorrow, there’s no doubt Kyoboshi will be the pick. However, if resources aren’t unlimited, I’ll still insist most people will be wiser to allocate 35,000 yen to meals at Kaiseki-institutions or top-class Sushi-yas.

      Put it this way, a meal at Kyoboshi or a double Koju-and-Saito , for instance?

      Or a ‘more basic’ tempura at Fukamachi followed by Kikunoi?

      The best tempura i’ve tasted is at Yotaro Honten in Osaka. It costs less than 10,000 yen for the basic course. Highly recommended for tempura-purists!

      • Velvet says:

        The hundreds of kaiseki meals I have had have a lot to do with very frequent client dinners rather than an absurdly large wallet! If you work in a business that involves entertaining clients, you could do worse than picking Tokyo as your base…

        I completely understand what you are saying, and I did agree with you in my first post that 7chome is too expensive. I think where we differ is on the weight / value we attach to the ingredients and to the uniqueness of the experience. There were several items at Kyoboshi which a year or two from now I will still remember very vividly and treasure. This contrasts with many great meals I get to eat which are excellent, but not that different from other excellent meals. It rarely happens that I fall off the chair in amazement over the quality of ingredients in a country where ingredient is king.

        Yes, 7chome is too expensive, but call it the marginal cost of uniqueness (or something else pretentious :-)) – I can live with having paid what I paid (although I certainly would not repeat it anytime soon because of the cost), and rate the experience much more highly than my meals at some of the restaurants you mention (Koju and Kikunoi Tokyo branch – both very good kaiseki places, but nothing unique about them in my view). Kikunoi Kyoto may be more “unique” but I have not eaten there (and understand that it would not be cheaper than a meal at 7chome, though i might be wrong). I really like Mr Okuda at Koju and enjoy eating there very much, but it’s just very good kaiseki on a par with many other very good kaiseki places.

        I do appreciate that if anyone is planning their first trip to Japan, priorties will and should be different – if you have never been to a top class kaiseki restaurant and sushi place, that should be your first port of call within the sphere of high end dining. I still feel though that your review focussing primarily on price doesn’t do 7chome’s quality justice, despite the clearly overinflated price tag.

  3. JW-OH says:

    Was planning to drop by this restaurant sometime in july where I’ll be travelling to tokyo. Just wondering, how difficult is it to get a table/reservation for dinner here?

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