Rising Star

Tucked away in an unassuming Tokyo basement, Seizan is a remarkably good Kaiseki restaurant. What is striking about the food here is its simplicity, and the lack of pretence in its presentation

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As is the case with so many Tokyo restaurants, Seizan’s entrance is not one that will make finding the restaurant any easier. Once you find it, however, you walk into a dining room where everything has been thought about, and an air of calm reigns.

The remarkable thing about the food at Seizan is its delicacy, and absolute focus on the product. In Tokyo this is obviously not all that uncommon, and yet this is a restaurant that really pushes things forward. Take for instance the classic clear soup course. In this case, the young chef Haruhiko Yamamoto serves it with crab dumplings. The contrast between the delicately smoky soup, and the sweet, juicy, and lightly seasoned crabmeat is truly remarkable. Another simple, but clever addition is a thin layer of daikon (radish), which gives the dish just a touch of bite that makes it that much more complex.

The dish that encapsulates the brilliance of Yamamoto’s cooking best is deep-fried octopus and sweet corn. Served without any garnish or condiment, this is some of the most remarkable deep-fried food we have had over the last years. The octopus is cooked until tender before being coated in a paper-thin, brittle batter. The result after the frying is a piece of octopus that bursts with flavour, and has a fat-free, perfectly cooked coating. Whilst this is remarkable, the sweet corn is no less so. Of incredible sweetness, and juiciness this is yet another example of Japanese produce trumping anything that might come from other parts of the world. Again, the batter’s delicacy, and texture make this an outstanding dish.

With the number of Tokyo top restaurants so large, Seizan might have a difficult time gaining the recognition it deserves. It’s young owner/chef’s food, however, is a great talent, and will undoubtedly continue to work hard, as he opened the restaurant not too long ago.

A visit here, is doubly exciting, not only because of the food itself, but also because this is a restaurant that has the potential to go very far in the future. We certainly look forward to visiting again in the future, and follow Seizan’s development.


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