Higashi-yama Tokyo


1-21-25 Higashi yama, Meguro-ku

In a city filled with a seemingly never-ending array of chic eateries, Higashi-yama Tokyo stands out. A simple-is-best mentality brings an array of delicious dishes together, making this Naka-meguro haunt an ideal date spot.
Opening time
Open Mon-Sat 6pm-1am (LO midnight)
Average price

Editorial Review

Higashi-yama Tokyo

Published on May 28th, 2006

In a city filled with a seemingly never-ending array of chic eateries, Higashi-yama Tokyo stands out. Often called “the date place” and a favorite of media types, this restaurant is the creation of designer Shinichiro Ogata, whose studio, Simplicity, makes traditional Japanese pottery with a modern twist and more, under the brand Simplicity Super Studio.

Higashi-yama Tokyo has some private rooms and a bar downstairs, but we chose to sit at the 12-seat counter that surrounds a giant stone island, upon which Ogata’s team of chefs painstakingly prepares each dish on his own delicate pottery. The menu offers three different omakase menus for ¥4,500, ¥6,000 and ¥8,000, but we opted to go à la carte with the help of a waiter who patiently helped us navigate the kanji. Then we sat back as dish after tiny dish came our way.

For our second visit, we took along two native foodies—and a special guest from overseas—so as not to miss any treasures that might have slipped past us on our solo trip. We started with a divine dollop of silky zarudofu served with fresh wasabi and rock salt (¥800); crispy potato and beef croquette (¥800); a small serving of kampachi, flat fish, fatty tuna and mackerel sashimi (¥2,600 for two); and a unique shabu-shabu daikon and cabbage salad (¥1,400), among other things. Some standouts included cold Inaniwa udon noodles with a soy dipping sauce, a specialty from Akita (¥900), and nikujaga (beef, potato and carrot) nabe, served in a small hotpot (¥2,500). All were simple, fresh and as beautiful to look at as they were to eat. And the velvety 2004 Santa Barbara pinot noir (¥7,200) we drank with it made the whole dining experience that much more memorable.

Clearly Ogata and his team are obsessed with detail, and this extends to the friendly service; one of our party let slip that there were two March babies among us, and we were treated to a complimentary glass of champagne. And our overseas guest (aka Mom) was presented with a coconut creme brulée with green tea sauce—an exotic twist at the end of an otherwise traditional feast. 

The locals declared the meal “tasty and authentically Japanese,” and with six and a half years to refine our tastebuds, we had to agree.