Hands down, one of the fanciest restaurant I’ve been to. This is not your typical run of the mill, throw a prawn in your pocket teppanyaki place (those places make me nervous because I’m so anxious the chef will fail). This restaurant is placed on the top floor of the Gyre building (Chanel building) in Omotesando. Take the glass elevators to the top floor where you enter a restaurant that looks part museum, part old country estate.
We were escorted into the main dining area, however off the hallway were a few little private rooms where small groups of people could enjoy dinner with their own personal chef. We were then sat at the cleanest looking teppan grill I’ve seen in my life and behind me were views looking out over Jingumae and beyond to the Tokyo Sky Tree.
I recommend selecting a course menu as you are able to try a variety of the dishes. Lunch courses range from ¥6,830 to ¥12,600 and dinner from ¥12,600 to ¥24,150. We opted for the Special Lunch Course for ¥9,450 each which included a seasonal entree, soup, seafood, premium sirloin Ukai black beef, a choice of rice, soba or bamboo shoots and dessert. The dishes were unsurprisingly perfectly timed and presented and were obviously high in quality.
The seafood and beef course were cooked with great skill and precision in front of you by your own personal chef who didn’t throw the food around, but did have some neat tricks which left me wanting to get a grill for my own home.
I need to take a moment here to talk about the beef. Japan is known for its good beef, and this black beef was superb. Perfectly cooked (they understand “medium rare” in English) and accompanied simply by fried garlic, horseradish, pepper and a side of onions with ponzu sauce, it was almost one of those “so good I could cry” moments – of which I’ve had twice in my life.
Once we’d finished our mains, we were escorted to another room – the dessert and tea room. Here we selected tea or coffee and a dessert from a choice of three. We were pretty full by this point and ready to sink into a post delicious meat coma but then… DESSERT TROLLEY. So I’m not the world’s biggest dessert fiend, but you present to me a trolley of mini desserts and I turn into a bit of a crazy lady. And then when he says, “you can have whatever you want, as much as you want”, I nearly died. Macarons, cheesecakes, cinnamon cakes, marshmallows, scones and muffins… Oh my.
After we finished our second dessert, we were full and giddy from all the sugar. As we were leaving they presented us with little cakes for the road and then escorted entirely out of the building. Amazing service, if not a little awkward catching the lift in silence with them.
Visiting or living in Tokyo, please do yourself a favour and go to Ukai Tei. It’s certainly not in the budget price range, but it’s definitely an experience and well worth the money. I plan to go there every time I go to Tokyo and next time I’ll be ordering the salt cooked abalone (a specialty of the restaurant).
Ukai Tei Omotesando’s details:
Address: 5-10-1 OMOTESANDO-GYRE 5F, Jingu-mae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Telephone: 03-5467-5252 (Reservations recommended)
Opening Hours: Weekdays Lunch: 12:00 – 2:30pm, Dinner: 5:30pm – 9:00pm (last order); Weekends 11:30am - 9:00pm (last order)
English Menu: Yes