For almost two decades, Azabu Yukimura has continued to evolve the long-established art of Kyoto cuisine in the heart of downtown Tokyo. From sweet fish in the summer to winter Hokkaido crabs, the three-star restaurant perfects seasonal flavors with refined recipes born out of conversations with its beloved fans. Reimagining traditional methods with modern aesthetics, every dish brings about a fresh breeze of the Japanese four seasons.
Tucked away on a busy block of the Azabu Juban strip, Jun Yukimura’s treasured restaurant feels like a secret find. The moment you step out of the elevator on the third floor, you walk into peaceful air. Made with polished wood, the diamond-shaped counter that hugs around the kitchen is intimate and inviting, fitting just ten guests. Enjoy the little details in the artwork and architecture as they celebrate the seasons and Japanese craftsmanship. The calligraphy behind the counter is by the Kyoto artist, Akira Kago.
Trained in the old capital for 25 years, Yukimura is a true master of the Kyoto cuisine. His culinary world continues to expand with growing number of gourmet fans at all three of his restaurants. Besides Azabu Yukimura, he owns two sister restaurants. Azabu Shingetsu is the cozy restaurant that opened in 2009 in the same building. Azabu Rokkaku is also in the neighborhood.
Unafraid to break old mold and create a new culinary experiences.
The Omakase menu at Azabu Yukimura is made up of eight or so seasonal delicacies. Founded upon authentic Kyoto principles, Yukimura is unafraid to break old mold and create new culinary experiences. His cuisine is a true celebration of the seasons starting with spring beef shabu shabu with sansho peppercorn flowers, sweetfish in the summer, hamo pike conger with matsutake mushroom in the fall, and Hokkaido crabs in the winter.
From early summer to autumn, the opening of the meal is a signature sea urchin dish. Inspired by a sea urchin and cream cheese grill he ate at a French restaurant in his 20s, Yukimura came up with this unique recipe and has been perfecting it over 25 years. Served on a blue Ercole Moretti glass mosaic plate, the lightly-steamed sea urchin is topped with Ise shrimp jelly and flying fish roe.
In the autumn months, “hamo-matsu” brings together two of the most flavorful seasonal delicacies. Thin sheets of hamo pike conger are wrapped around aromatic pieces of matsutake mushroom. The broth is purely ichiban dashi, the first stock made from kombu seaweed and bonito flakes. Gently let the mushrooms and sliced hamo pieces swim in the water until they start rising to the surface.
Karasumi soba is another must-have dish at Yukimura. The simple yet incredible dish uses fresh nihachi soba noodles, covered with heaps of salted mullet roe. The delicate and moist noodles mix beautifully with the potent flavor of the roe, creating an unforgettable bite. It also goes so well with sips of crisp sake.
Every one of Yukimura’s dishes conveys his deep passion for food. He celebrates the flavors of the season in the most impeccable way, whether it’s the cooking technique or the selection of tableware on which the food is placed.
Take the simple dish of fried sweet fish, for example. Two curvy fish are placed delicately on the a light-colored plate with pale green tints as if they are still swimming in the river. The thickened dashi sauce blends hints of sourness and bitterness. With most restaurants serving grilled sweet fish, this dish offers a pleasant and refreshing surprise. To end the meal with a light sweet finish is green tea jelly, made of uji matcha powder. Infused with the fresh aroma of bamboo, the flavors melt beautifully in your month.
The restaurant proudly presents the best of seasonal delicacies. From sansho pepper flowers in the spring to hamo pike eel in the fall, guests visit this establishment throughout the year.
In the early days, Yukimura used to use Taizagani, a type of snow crab local to Tangocho in Kyoto, but he has widened the selection to other brands like Matsubagani. He sources many of his ingredients from Kyoto vendors he’s known for years. The salt inside the little pot on the counter also come from Kyoto.
Every piece of sakeware in the restaurant is a part of Yukimura’s collection of antique and modern artists that he has accumulated over the years. When you order a drink, they will first bring you a tray with an assortment of sake glasses, each unique in color, shape and style. Selecting your favorite from the stunning collection is part of the fun. “When I was young, I used to like subtle designs, but as I got older I’ve come to like brighter pieces,” he says. “It’s funny how your taste changes over the years.” Equal to the sakeware, the selection of the sake is top class. He owns a separate storage outside the restaurant where all the bottles are kept. Both the food and drink menu change with the season.
- The price includes our booking fee of ￥4,000
- The price includes our booking fee of ￥4,000