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Smack your lips for the atmospheric Japanese ambiance and superb flavors of Yamazaki. Working within the clear definition of Japanese cuisine, the result of Yamazaki’s deep deliberation is a cooking style that bursts with the wholesome flavors and umami of each ingredient. At the helm is a culinary genius who graduated top of the class and created a formula that food lovers cannot get enough of. He demonstrates his unique sensibility to great acclaim and jostling among regulars and new guests to secure a coveted counter seat.

On a corner away from the bustling intersection of Nishiazabu in the district of Nogizaka, a white stucco wall is accented by a traditional Japanese shop curtain called noren. The curtain changes each season into colors with poetic names that you likely did not learn in Japanese class and that it's hard to find an equivalent in English. Think the light yellowish-green color of a freshly sprouted onion (moegi) in spring and pale indigo (asahanada) in summer. Autumn and winter mean enji dark red and kinari ecru, respectively. When you enter the restaurant, your eyes are drawn to the centerpiece – an L-shaped counter of Yoshino hinoki cypress from the forests of Nara. Here, four highly skilled apprentices flank the chef, a testament to the satisfaction of working here when chefs can take their pick in the current job market. Once seated, cast your eyes upward to find delicate cedar latticework and fixtures shining gentle light on the whole scene. The flowers displayed on the wall are arranged each day by the chef himself.

The experience is more entertaining and satiating because of the sight of the chef’s incredible craftsmanship, which plays out right before your eyes. It whets your appetite as you witness the charcoal grilling of fish, vegetables, softshell turtle, beef, and all manner of ingredients to perfection. The dishes are served on a tableware collection that includes designs from the chef's favorite artisans, like Akira Yamada and Toshihiko Hirono.



The perfect manifestation

With a foundation of the precision techniques of Japanese cuisine, the dining experience at Yamazaki is the perfect manifestation of the chef’s experience in diverse genres and his rich, innate sensibility. He does not set out to be an eccentric in Japanese cuisine but rather to serve clear and approachable food and create dishes that no one else makes. As the flow of the meal is paramount, Yamazaki makes sure not to repeat ingredients or techniques and to calibrate the methods and acid levels from one dish to the next. There is no sashimi or hassun dish from kaiseki cuisine here; the specialty is chargrilled softshell turtle.

The chef's tasting course of nine to ten dishes begins with steamed rice, a soup dish, and a vinegar dish before advancing to grilled and fried dishes, the softshell turtle signature, and a meat dish. It changes pace again to close in order of soba buckwheat noodles, rice, and ice cream. It is a tradition in Japanese meals to begin with a mouthful of rice, thus putting something hearty in the belly of hungry diners. Yamazaki serves steamed glutinous rice with caviar, tempura of kisu white fish, fava beans, and Shimane prefecture ita-wakame seaweed sheets gently roasted over charcoals. The vinegar dish may feature Ise-ebi lobster cured in kombu kelp before broiling and filled with a reduction of the lobster’s innards, popularly referred to as miso. It is topped with wakame, butterbur, and shiso flowers. The lidded bowl dish on a recent spring day highlighted green peas, hamaguri clams and tamago-tofu savory steamed egg custard. Amadai tilefish in a glutinous rice flour batter is deep-fried and topped with a thickened sauce containing shiso flowers atop a hidden bed of chargrilled canola flowers for a true taste of spring. By chargrilling torigai egg cockles, Yamazaki accentuates their umami and sweetness before dressing them in a vinegared miso with cucumbers and thinly shredded Japanese leek. The meal concludes with a dessert of a kaleidoscope of textures, like freshly churned ice cream, a duo of homegrown citrus fruits, lemon syrup, and meringue.

Throughout the evening, we recommend you dip into the wine pairings, which typically flow from champagne to white wine and on to red. The sake varieties and wines carefully chosen by the certified sommelier chef truly complement the elements of his unique culinary viewpoint.

Toyosu Market is the source of much of the seafood delivered to Yamazaki, but the chef also lauds the exquisite tilefish, softshell turtle, and cod milt supplied by Fukueisuisan in Fukuoka. He takes direct delivery of seasonal specialties from around Japan, including bamboo shoots from Kyoto’s Tsukahara.

Yamazaki cuisine #0
Yamazaki cuisine #1


Shiro Yamazaki

Shiro Yamazaki was born in Tokyo in 1987. Around fifth or sixth grade in elementary school, he first considered becoming a chef. He was later drawn to other careers, like pâtissier and lawyer, but he entered Ecole Tsuji Tokyo culinary school and graduated top of the class. The Akasaka introduction-only restaurant Morikawa was his training ground for eight years until he went independent with Kasumicho Kashiwakappo Shiro in September 2015. The Nishiazabu restaurant was subsequently reinvented as Kasumicho Shiro.

Wishing to expand his horizons beyond Japanese cuisine, Yamazaki trained at CHIUnE and aca in the leadup to the August 2018 opening of Yamazaki. He chose Nishiazabu again, much to the delight of his former guests. An avid wine lover, Yamazaki holds a sommelier certification.

Yamazaki has his sights set on opening a New York restaurant in the near future. The idea emerged from a brainstorming session: having achieved his dream of becoming the chef of a restaurant so popular that people struggled to book a seat, Yamazaki contemplated the paths that might thrill him and encourage him to carry on.


The chef shaves the bonito flakes as guests arrive at the restaurant. Using the same hammer and plane for the last five years, Yamazaki’s movements and minute adjustments to the blade show his fastidiousness about the flakes and his talents as a chef. He prefers bonito containing dark flesh but lacking the typical acidity associated with it, resulting in bonito blocks rich in delicious, punchy umami. It is his practice to shave the blocks into paper-thin flakes that instantly release their flavor.


5:30PM- or 8:30PM-
Yamazaki Omakase course
  • The price includes our booking fee of ¥8,000
  • The price includes our booking fee of ¥8,000
Reservation Request




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Kaiseki, Nishiazabu
Nishiazabu UOU building 1F,, 1-15-3, Nishiazabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo
5:30PM, 8:30PM
Sundays and Mondays


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