I knew the moment I walked into Michiba Rokusaburō’s restaurant, Kaishoku Michiba, that I was in for a mighty treat. I was dazzled and left super satisfied by the last course. If you are in Japan and in Ginza, the expensive area in Tokyo, you will want to book a reservation at Kaishoku Michiba.
Kaishoku Michiba is one of two Michiba Rokusaburō’s restaurants in Ginza. The other restaurant is just down the road and is more pricier. Both restaurants require a booking and bookings are taken in Japanese. You can book online at Toreta Easy Web Reservation. I booked for a 2:00 pm session for two people for their kaiseki, the Goho-zen, for 3,000 yen per person.
If you have ever wanted to try a kaiseki in Japan and used English-speaking channels, you would easily be paying the equivalent of $AUD120 or $AUD130 per person. Plus, while you may have delicious meals cooked for you at those high prices, you miss out on some real gems at more affordable prices. So my recommendation is to have someone book for you who knows Japanese or try your way around Google Translate. Like they say easy peasy, japanesey.
Trust me, if you don’t reserve online and in advance by at least four weeks, you won’t get a seat at this popular and now well established Ginza restaurant. I booked a whole two months in advance.
This restaurant is famous because its founder chef is the former Iron Chef Michiba Rokusaburō, who finished his tenure on the show with a formidable win rate. As Iron Chef Japanese, Michiba Rokusaburō was known for his Japanese fusion dishes and his philosophy of “there are no borders to ingredients.
Iron Chef on Australian television screens on the SBS were a popular hit with the family. The Iron Chef series we saw was dubbed by some very enthusiastic American dubbers. The show was captivating and exciting to watch. The episodes involving Iron Chef Michiba was definitely the ones to look out for.
The restaurant does not appear very prominently from the streets. All that you will see from the streets is a humble sign with the Japanese name of the restaurant Kaishoku Michiba, with Michiba in big hiragana characters.
We had to take the lift upstairs. When we arrived, we were in a very tight foyer with lots of people waiting and lots of staff moving about. The place already felt bustling and busy, but not stuffy and cramped like being in the Tokyo trains.
The table and settings was more spacious. We were seated at a four person table, even though it was just me and my wife. We were given the menu and asked to select which main we wanted.
I noticed this main dish: the tender Japanese beef prepared roast beef style, served thinly sliced on steamed rice with sweet-soy sauce (+ ¥1,000). I went straight for this dish, because I had a feeling it was going to be good.
Our hosts were very polite and provided water and other things to ease us into the lunch session.
We began with some hors d’oeuvre, which consisted of some seasonal delicacies: grilled cheese aged in miso and sake lees. deep-fried baby ayu-river-fish, crimson sea-bream sushi with salt-pickled cherry flower, simmered sea-bream soft roe, blanched wild onion served with spicy vinegared miso and mozuku tofu. I loved the grilled cheese aged in miso and sake lees, it was so tasty and flavorsome. All the other delicacies complemented each other incredibly well. I slowly ate each one.
We also were provided some lemony-salty soup with tofu. Our hosts came to our table, served the soup before us and then used a wooden device to push long tofu strings into a beautiful glass boat. The tofu was silky smooth and texture of the soup was impeccably delicious.
We were then served some delicate bonito consommé. The soup was clear, yet packed with magical flavors. For a soup so clear, almost like water, it was surprisingly rich in flavor. It was a real contrast to what I expected.
We were then served the main course, which consisted of sashimi of the day, cherry salmon grilled with butterbur-miso garnished with butterbur and lily bulb and deep-fried flounder, lotus root and okra served with thick grated daikon sauce. The sauces on each of these dishes was yum. the deep fried flounder was my favourite of the three. It had a nice harmony of intricate umami flavours. You could tell that the deep fried flounder was deep fried to the right moment where it crisped, but not browned.
We were then treated to our chosen dish, here is the roast beef on rice. The beef was delicious. I love rare beef. This beef was cooked amazingly well. The whole dish was beautifully crafted and put together. The miso soup and pickles were also fantastic additions to this dish. This was a winning a dish.
Here was the dessert of the day. My memory of the dessert is hazy, because I had already tried some amazing food already. I was full and I just remember eating this and thinking it was a very pleasant end to such a phenomenal feast.
Here is the interior of the restaurant. We were seated in one corner. You can see that the restaurant is not that big. There are plenty of photos of Michiba on the walls (which I haven’t captured in this photo). To the left of the photo and off screen is the open kitchen.
At this stage, the restaurant was nearing the end of its lunch service and we were one of the last groups to leave.
This photo below is a glass of water sitting on top of the Michiba coaster. All cool is this.
I highly recommend coming to Kaishoku Michiba. You won’t be disappointed. I have been to Iron Chef Chinese’s restaurant in Hakata, but even if I went to his one in Tokyo – I think this one would still win hands down.
I recommend coming for a lunch session, because the prices are more affordable. Dinner sessions get incredibly expensive. It is quite a jump in price between lunch and dinner sessions.