Inspired by the vibrant Hong Kong food scene from street food to fine dining, Ippei Hanten’s contemporary Cantonese cuisine brings together layers of hidden flavors. Leveraging his 20-year expertise in Chinese cuisine, Chef Ippei Adachi’s dishes are delicate and complex, from tofu-skin wrapped cheung fun and Shangtang superior soup. With a vision to bridge Hong Kong and Tokyo, his cuisine is constantly evolving to incorporate new ingredients, techniques and experiences.
Tucked away in a quiet alley in Azabu Juban, Ippei Hanten's minimalist exterior is pleasant and inviting. You will find a small sign of the restaurant and a big bowl of goldfish outside its wooden door. Once you step inside, the mud walls and the soft lighting create a warm ambiance that reminds you of streets in Hong Kong. In addition to the 8 seats set across the wooden dining counter, there are also 3 private rooms for a more exclusive setting.
Ippei Hanten's original Cantonese menu expands on traditional recipes by using high quality Japanese ingredients. Every dish is built on umami that comes from a variety of Chinese dried foods that are used in the broths and sauces. The wine pairing is also excellent, helping unleash the complex flavors.
Adachi’s sophisticated aesthetics are not limited to his culinary talent, as you can see in the restaurant’s refined decor. The beautiful crockery on the shelves are works of his favorite contemporary artists including Shanghai-born Kazuo Toyomasu and Hanako Nakazato. He enjoys collecting artifacts from the Pond Gallery in Ginza.
Layers of hidden flavors
Ippei Hanten's cuisine is sophisticated and clean, transforming traditional Cantonese foods into modern gastronomic experiences. The exquisite omakase menu begins with a bowl of warm congee, an idea the chef borrowed from Japanese cha-kaiseki cuisine. The entire course is made up of about 15 seasonal dishes.
“The inspiration of my recipes comes from a wide range of street food and high-end restaurants I got to experience in Hong Kong,” Adachi explains.
The cheung fun rice noodle rolls, a classic dim sum dish, is a new experience at Ippei Hanten. Sweet shrimp meat is wrapped in two layers, first in flavored tofu skin and then in the silky rice noodle wrap. The chef drapes the original sauce all over the rolls as they are served. The harmony of textures makes it a dish that guests keep on coming back for.
The Shangtang superior soup is a recipe that was born out of his relentless pursuit for perfection. Standing over the pot for 4-5 hours, he infuses the broth of Jinhua ham to bring out the umami of the seafood and vegetables. If the flame is too strong, it will alter the flavor or make the soup go cloudy. If there’s not enough heat, the soup will not have enough flavor.
Adachi’s cuisine draws heavily on his learnings from the years he spent in Hong Kong. For example, he greatly values traditional concepts such as wok hai (鍋氣), which stresses the importance of temperature in cooking. He pays careful attention that hot dishes are served right away to the guests, while cold dishes are chilled to the right temperature.
The gyoza astonishes the guests not only for its complex flavor but for its presentation. Served next to the small bowl of the dumplings is a huge plate of Chinese dried foods so guests can see what is hidden in the soup. Layers of umami from the shark fin, cod fish maw, dried sea cucumber, Jinhua ham make the perfect broth to complement the dumplings, made from shrimp, snow crabs and minced meat.
Served in its shell, soft steamed abalone is topped with shrimp glands, dried shrimp, and glass noodles. The assortment of colors, texture and flavors make this an unforgettable dish. The bowl of warm noodles is simple but deep in flavor. Thin, curly noodles bath in a clear clam broth and served with shrimp wontons.
The longtooth grouper hot pot is served sizzling and bubbling from the heat, flavored with sweet long chili, doubanjiang and shacha sauce. The savory and spicy soup warms your entire body. To wrap up the evening of flavors and aromas, a scoop of jujube sorbet cleanses the palette.
The essence of Adachi’s cuisine is the layers of hidden flavors, which come from all kinds of dried foods he procures, mostly from Hong Kong. His favorite ingredients include mushrooms, deer Achilles tendons, dried scallops, fish maw, shark fins, soft shell turtle collagen and Jinhua ham.
He also spends time searching across Japan for quality producers. Mame-hamaguri clams is an excellent source of umami that he likes to use in his broth. This rare batch of clams are caught only once a month off Kujukuri Beach in Chiba Prefecture. Echigo mochi-pork, a top brand from Niigata Prefecture, is famous for its tender meat and sweet fat.
The drink pairing at Ippei Hanten is carefully curated, matching Adachi’s delicate and complex flavors with western wines, Shaoxing wines and Chinese teas. They stock an impressive selection of 100-150 vintage, many from Burgundy and Champagne regions as well as America, Australia and Italy.
- The price includes our booking fee of ￥8,000
- The price includes our booking fee of ￥8,000