Innovative, serious, and very well-established, Wakuriya is the rare restaurant that successfully combines deep respect for kaiseki tradition with a contemporary touch. This is largely thanks to the lone chef behind the counter, Katsuhiro Yamasaki; his wife is the one so deftly managing and serving the entire dining room. The location is charmless and the décor verges on nonexistent, but there is a sober elegance here to balance the low-key vibe. The room is fully booked on a nightly basis so reserve in advance. Each month brings a new set menu, perhaps beginning with fresh New Caledonian blue shrimp and squid seasoned with soy, grilled tableside over a heated stone. This may lead to appetizers that highlight pristine ingredients and jewel-like presentation, as in Tasmanian ocean trout sushi topped with mascarpone cheese and olives, or barbecued unagi rolled into an omelet. Comforting and fragrant soups may brim with fine noodles, shimeji mushrooms and duck magret that finishes cooking in the warm broth. Once you are halfway through the clay pot filled with madai snapper and hot dashi, go ahead and empty the rest of your rice into the broth-it is the best way to ensure you do not miss a drop.
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