RyuGin (Tokyo) - astonishing

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    carendt242's Avatar
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    Default RyuGin (Tokyo) - astonishing

    It's very rare that I am this impressed with a restaurant - call me jaded, a snob, or impossible - but RyuGin is truly something special. The skill and ingredient quality was higher quality and more consistent than 95% of the restaurants in France and Spain.

    They served me a piece of sashimi that was *clearly* the best piece of fish in my life.

    For anyone that has eaten the cooked or prepared dishes of Masa (NYC) or Urasawa (LA) - imagine these dishes being a level better! As for that fish, it was two levels better - a perfect 10/10.

    Too hard to import everything here so some teaser pics and link to blog below.

    price: $250/person before alcohol, decent Burgundy list

    pics:
    the snapper (white fish) on the far left - insane - it was probably line caught and still breathing seconds before it was served to me


    fried uni wrapped in seaweed


    Blue Swimming Crab and Shanghai crab (with roe aplenty!) topped with Chrysanthemum Gelee


    full review:
    ChuckEats blog RyuGin (Nishiazabu, Tokyo) - Pure Excellence


    This was my second to last meal in Tokyo and it changed the fine dining game for me - my standards have definitely been even more elevated.

    - chuck
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    Done_ is offline Senior Member
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    That looks great! Thanks for sharing.

    On a side note, your blog is written amazingly well and has given me a few ideas for dinner in nearby cities.

    Japan is on my list of places to see eventually, I did go to a lot of great places in Europe, it just sucks that I can't keep track of where.

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    nothing beats an awesome japanese meal, i will kill to have that everyday of the week!

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    This meal at Ryugin did not deliver the non-stop hit after hit of the last meal; instead, it sputtered along at a low-mid 2-star level, hitting absolute high 3-star peaks at times. The fact that he is still at 2 stars with these ingredients, every bit as good as Koju, and after my 2 meals, suggests that maybe it is just a little too inconsistent for 3 stars - but the potential is absolutely there. It is obvious he goes to *extremes* to get the best ingredient possible and when it hits, it's out of the park good (to continue using a bad metaphor.)

    I don't remember all of the dishes, nor all of them in detail, so the notes are a bit scarce.


    i want to say soybean something or other but not sure - doesn't matter - obviously forgettable


    abalone and potato


    blue crab w/ Shanghai crab guts, apple vinegar jelly - one of the stand-outs from last year, excellent balance, tasty, decadent yet understated, it reminds me of Urasawa, just better


    grilled matsutake & fish soup - this is one of those subtle dishes that doesn't wow but just sits with you for awhile - broth was very good and quite clear


    sashimi - tuna, red snapper (osaka), & lobster - the snapper was not as good as last year (that is asking too much) but this rivaled even the best sushi restaurants for quality


    ankimo


    sea perch, grated chestnut, puffed rice - beautiful piece of cooked fish, not sure about the textural accompaniments, a bit too busy


    steak & figs - conceptually, i am not sure how it all fit together; aesthetically, its beauty rivaled any dish I've seen; taste-wise, without question, this was the single best bites of beef i've ever had - wagyu marbledness, incredible mouth-feel, with a distinct and strong dry-aged flavor - it was tremendous.

    and then.... *that* fig - words can not describe.

    it alone was nearly worth the price of admission.



    grilled anagi over rice, pickles in nori - excellent eel, i'm a very big fan of his rice dishes. they served us another rice dish (they will if you ask for more) - ikura over rice - the ikura, popping in the mouth, made the rice risotto-like - excellent.


    a sorbet that i remember being quite good - blanking on the flavor


    Caramel Ice Cream with “Wasanbon Sugar”, served with grated Milk-Curd - the *masterful* dessert from the last meal - ruined. the ice cream was icy, as if it had melted and been re-frozen. the texture of this dish is so delicate, the milk curd blending with the melting ice cream in your mouth, that those ice crystals completely ruined the magic. it's really too bad.



    chestnut cakes


    writing this, more dishes succeeded than not, and some of those at a very high level. but it didn't "click" like last time and, dish for dish, it's not quite as strong. it is worth going b/c the ingredient quality can be so high - just keep your fingers crossed.

    - chuck
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    Looks good! If only I had time to travel to Tokyo.
    I design things and stuff...

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    You have an AWSOME blog. Great read. I have a question though...

    How would you rate Tojo's in Vancouver and Sasabune in LA?

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    Quote Originally Posted by CityConnection View Post
    You have an AWSOME blog. Great read. I have a question though...

    How would you rate Tojo's in Vancouver and Sasabune in LA?
    never been to Tojo (or Vancouver) and i never make it past Urasawa in LA. i hear enough about Sasabune that i feel i should give it a shot though.

    - chuck
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    I wouldn't have even guessed this was beef. It really must have been superb. As for the figs, one thing that stands in my mind vividly from my trip was the constantly-superb produce in Japan. I still cannot get over how good the strawberries are there, we bought ones grown in volcanic soil next to an onsen.



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    Quote Originally Posted by Turbology View Post
    I wouldn't have even guessed this was beef. It really must have been superb. As for the figs, one thing that stands in my mind vividly from my trip was the constantly-superb produce in Japan. I still cannot get over how good the strawberries are there, we bought ones grown in volcanic soil next to an onsen.

    there is a tempura place in Tokyo that costs something like $500/person - with a *supplement* of $200 for 2 pieces of fruit.

    turns out, it's the fruit that is also served to the emperor

    i nearly went but did not in the end...

    - chuck
    01 996tt - GT700
    forged pistons, forged rods, clubsport intercoolers, upgraded fuel system, gen 1 fabspeed loud exhaust, sachs stg 3 clutch, 964 light-weight flywheel, b&m short shifter, motons, oz superleggera III wheels, strosek rear spoiler, lots of carbon fiber inside, custom lamborghini titanium metallic paint

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    Quote Originally Posted by carendt242 View Post
    there is a tempura place in Tokyo that costs something like $500/person - with a *supplement* of $200 for 2 pieces of fruit.

    turns out, it's the fruit that is also served to the emperor

    i nearly went but did not in the end...

    - chuck
    I've only once had good tempura, and it was homemade. It falls into the category of one of those things that seems so easy to do, yet rarely is that the case.

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