This restaurant is practically in the shadows of Tokyo Tower, but it has such a serene setting and lush gardens that it instantly transports customers to another time and place. Specializing in classic tofu cuisine, the restaurant is spread over several structures that are remakes of traditional architecture, from the warehouse with its thick, white walls and vaulted door to the main building with its heavy beams and foot-thick lacquered pillars that were once part of an old farmhouse in Takayama. Surrounding the buildings are exquisite gardens, tended to by three fulltime gardeners and boasting ponds, streams, gnarled pines, stone lanterns, arched bridges, and strolling paths (be sure to walk through the back garden after your meal). The main dining hall overlooks the back garden, but most guests opt for one of the private tatami rooms, many also with garden views. It offers only set meals, which change with the seasons and are explained on an English-language menu. The least expensive lunch, for example (available only weekdays), may start with a quail meatball with taro cake and deep-fried tofu coated with miso sauce, followed by assorted sashimi, deep-fried simmered tofu with crab, a dish that contains salmon roe, mushrooms, vegetables and scallop sushi, tofu boiled in a seasoned soy milk, rice with sweet potato, and dessert. But as beautiful as this restaurant is, it pales in comparison to sister restaurant Ukai Toriyama on the edge of Tokyo near Mount Takai, which specializes in charbroiled chicken and has an even more elaborate garden and a series of small houses with private rooms.
Tokyo Shiba Toufuya Ukai
Our Rating Neighborhood Tokyo Tower Hours Daily 11am–10pm (last order 8pm) Transportation Station: Akabanebashi (5 min.) Phone 03/3436-1028 Prices Set dinners ¥8,720–¥12,920, set lunches ¥5,500–¥6,800 Cuisine Type Tofu Web site Tokyo Shiba Toufuya Ukai