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Tofu-ya UKAI, Tokyo

The Place

A traditional, Japanese tofu restaurant with incredibly polite service and a super-tasty set menu of tofu, meat and fish.

Tofu-Ya Ukai isn’t a last minute kind of joint. It gets booked up a few days ahead even for lunch sittings. So think about reserving your table before travelling to Tokyo if you don’t want to miss out.

The Neighbourhood

Tofu-Ya Ukai sits right underneath Tokyo Tower. I actually came across this unassuming place accidentally when I took a wrong turn by the tower and ending up walking through Shiba Park.

A Good Shout for…

Tofu lovers – this place makes its own tofu in the Okutama mountains and delivers it daily. Also, anyone looking for a 100% authentic Japanese dining experience.  

The Best Bits

  • Everything about the borderline surreal interior. Looking up to see the Tokyo Tower. Eating in a softly lit room with tatami mats, screen doors and waitresses in kimonos. I felt like I’d wandered into a film set. Kill Bill came to mind, in fact.
  • Cooking my own tofu. They bring you a little wooden box with raw tofu and hot water. You can then cook it yourself. Or watch as the experts show you how to do it.
  • Wandering the labyrinth of buildings and gardens that make up the restaurant. In these beautiful, peaceful spaces you really do forget that you’re slap bang in central Tokyo.

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