Tofuya Ukai, Tokyo
Tel: 81 3 3436 1028
Concierge.com's insider take:
Located at the foot of Tokyo Tower (a flashy copy of the Eiffel Tower), Tofuya Ukai is set in an old sake brewery in the middle of peaceful rolling gardens, pebbled paths, and koi-filled ponds. Inside you'll find a traditional restaurant of private tatami dining rooms and kimono-clad waitresses. At first glance, it's as improbable as a giant flying saucer landing by the Imperial Palace. But it's all ersatz, as a Las Vegas–esque re-creation built recently on the site (oh, wonderful irony) of a former bowling alley. Yet, everything about it works, and the experience and the multicourse meals (which highlight tofu but also include fish and meat) are as evocative as any you'll find in ancient Kyoto. So sit back and enjoy being fooled. Go for lunch, so you can enjoy a daylight view of the lovely gardens.
Open daily 11 am to 8 pm.
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