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Fukuoka

Sagano

料亭 嵯峨野

For more than half a century, Ryotei Sagano has been refining a culinary experience that conveys the true essence of Japanese culture. Set in breaktaking traditional architecture overlooking the Naka River, the authentic kaiseki restaurant embraces every aspect of local craftsmanship and hospitality that must be enjoyed with all five senses.

Surrounded by lifeless office buildings, Ryotei Sagano is set in a walled sukiya-zukuri house on a 10,000 square feet plot in central Fukuoka. The historic building is hidden with all kinds of wonderful details such as the intricate engravery on every kawara slate of the roof. The striking calligraphy by the grand gate, a work of Kyushu Electric Chairman, welcomes every guest majestically.

Ryotei Sagano’s long and evolving history reflects the family’s dedication in building the best Japanese restaurant in the city. It first opened as a small restaurant in 1967 by the father of the current okami, the lady of the house. Over the next three decades, the family invested in expanding and upgrading the property, such as adding the tea room, until the place became what it is now.

Today, the restaurant is led by the veteran okami and the rising young chef, who together strive to offer every guest the most memorable cultural experience. As signs of warm welcome, she designs fresh flower arrangements and selects a different piece of art for each room, all carefully curated with the day’s guests in mind.

You slowly slide the gate open and step into a peaceful courtyard with swaying bamboo trees. You remove your shoes and are escorted through a number of fusuma panels to your private room. Today, we are invited to dine at the Takao room, one of their largest classic tatami rooms.

The spacious room is filled with works of craftsmanship. The nails on the pillars are covered by kugikakushi, buttons designed to hide the head of nails. The ones used here are made of bamboo and decorated with the restaurant’s emblem. Behind the sliding doors with ink wash painting of bamboo hang colorful donchos, drop curtains used in theater. Peeking through the drapes of fabric, you can gaze at the beautiful scenery of the river and garden. Here, you find true peace.

As the okami and team explored the roots of Japanese culture over the years, traditional tea ceremony, naturally, became an important integral of the Sagano experience. In their peaceful tea room, guests can enjoy a time of quiet reflection and celebration of grace, mindfulness, and beauty.

To accommodate groups or host cultural events, there is also a large banquet room that can fit as many as 60 guests. The restaurant also offers chairs if some guests can’t sit on the tatami floor, to make sure the experience is as comfortable and pleasant for everyone.

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CUISINE

The true essence of Japanese culture

The monthly menu, created by joint effort of the chef and okami, is made up of 7 seasonal courses followed by a rice dish and dessert. To welcome early summer, every dish this month is designed to bring about a sense of coolness.

The opening dish is a trio of small appetizers: a salad of white and green bitter melons topped with dried bonito strips, vinegared octopus on top of crushed okra and sweet plum, new jumsai watershields with shiso flowers. Covered by a beautiful rectangular basket with red rims and green netting, the dish mimics dancing fireflies on a summery night.

“Delicious is a given,” the chef explains. “My motto is to communicate the beauty and excitement of Japanese culture through food.”

The soup comes served in an exquisite black and red lacquer bowl with purple flowers and gold leaves painted on the inside of the lid. This month’s recipe is a simple clear broth with hamo shinjo, pike conger dumpling. The flavor is so deep but also clean, thanks to the chef’s choice in using dashi from aged fish flakes that only use white meat.

Next is a picturesque bowl with pieces of white taro stalks, wax gourd, sea urchin, corn, and asparagus. Each colorful ingredient brings about its own flavor of the season. In Japan, ayu fish is a sweet sign of summer. As if it’s still swimming against the current, the grilled sweetfish is placed on a long green plate that looks like a bamboo leaf. Enjoy the sweet and smoky fish with a refreshing and flavorful sauce made of dashi and vinegar.

INGREDIENTS
In order to present the best of Japanese seasons, the chef sources most ingredients from local farmers and fishermen. The rice has been carefully picked from a number of organic brands. Saga beef is another favorite produce of his. The dashi broth—the single most important ingredient of Japanese cooking—is brewed from kombu seaweed from Hokkaido and aged bonito flakes. For soups, he uses a type that doesn’t use the darker parts of the meat, while all other dishes are flavored with 3-year old bonito flakes.

The restaurant is also stocked with a wonderful sake selection. When doing a pairing, they ask the local breweries to sample their dishes so that they know exactly which sake will be the best match.

Sagano cuisine #0
Sagano cuisine #1

CHEF

Yuichi Uchiki

Born in Fukuoka, Uchiki’s favorite memory from childhood were the fishing trips with his father, who ran a local pub. On these trips, the father and son would cut up and cook the caught fish themselves. By high school, he used to help out at the pub, naturally pushing him to a career in dining.

Uchiki chose Tankuma as the place to start his apprenticeship. He spent the next 10 years at the famous restaurant, mastering the basics of Japanese cuisine. It was 9 years ago that he was invited to join Sagano as the head chef. The team he leads is young, hardworking and always muling for new ideas, while also committed to traditions.

He is a passionate learner and spends weekends tasting all sorts of cuisines for new inspirations. He has studied various Japanese crafts, especially classic tableware.

VISION
“In promoting Japanese culture, there are some things only we can do because we are a ryotei,” explains the team. While treasuring long-time customers they’ve known for years, they appreciate newer clients including young people and international guests. In order to attract a more diverse client base, the restaurant has staged a number of successful events, including rakugo, the traditional verbal entertainment and panel sessions on topics such as western vs Japanese desserts and biwa (Japanese short-necked fretted lute) and oral storytelling.

The okami also hopes to recruit a foreign staff that can help communicate these cultural experiences to international guests. Such new ideas and flexible thinking help the restaurant keep old traditions alive. “We have a great foundation to showcase our traditional culture,” she says. “Going forward, we want to establish our own unique style and experiment with our cuisine to realize a new level.”

TABLEWARE

The priceless collection of antique tableware is stored in the second floor of the restaurant. Designed by the previous chef, the set of wajima-nuri bowls feature magnificent artwork of traditional imagery like hakkei, cherry blossoms and cranes. The collection of Bohemia crystal is also a true find. The round designs are especially rare, and perfect for serving sashimi. The meal at Sagano should indeed be enjoyed as works of art.

Course

Lunch
Sagano Lunch A Course
  • The price includes our booking fee of ¥4,000
  • The price includes our booking fee of ¥4,000
¥13,500
¥13,500
Reservation Request
Lunch
Sagono Lunch B Course
  • The price includes our booking fee of ¥4,000
  • The price includes our booking fee of ¥4,000
¥17,000
¥17,000
Reservation Request
Dinner
Sagano Dinner A Course
  • The price includes our booking fee of ¥4,000
  • The price includes our booking fee of ¥4,000
¥24,500
¥24,500
Reservation Request
Dinner
Sagano Dinner B Course
  • The price includes our booking fee of ¥4,000
  • The price includes our booking fee of ¥4,000
¥31,000
¥31,000
Reservation Request
Dinner
Sagano Special course
  • The price includes our booking fee of ¥4,000
  • The price includes our booking fee of ¥4,000
¥38,000
¥38,000
Reservation Request

Fukuoka

Sagano

料亭 嵯峨野

MICHELIN
3
STAR
PRICE
¥13,500
~
CHILD
14
& UP
VEGAN
WELCOME
LUNCH
OPEN
MIN GUESTS
1
PERSON
~
GENRE
Kaiseki, Hakata
ADDRESS
1F, Fukuoka Prefecture, Fukuoka, Hakata Ward, Sumiyoshi, 2 Chome−21−19
OPEN
11:30-20:00 (LO)
CLOSED
Sunday
URL
NA
PHONE
+81-92-271-5745

RESERVATION

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