Japan and especially Tokyo is one of the world’s foremost places when it comes to food, it is at the forefront of having the best restaurants in the world. It is not at the forefront when it comes to gender, it is extremely male-dominated and very hard for women to make a career as a professional high-end chef. What’s so unique with Tsurutokame is that the chefs are all female. Together they serve an excellent multi-course Kaiseki dinner.
The owners Harumi Mikuni and her husband Osamu have several restaurants and opened Tsurutokame to create an opportunity for talented women chefs to develop as leaders in this male-dominated industry. The chefs work together and also live together in a dorm provided by the Mikunis. Together they train and hone their skills and hopefully their example will lead to a change of this patriarchal industry.
The food and service at Tsurutokame rival that of other excellent restaurants in Japan led by male chefs so their only challenge long-term to achieve change are the outdated views in our society.
They have a great selection of unique sake which is recommended to pair your food with. Service is friendly and food is plentiful. The sake is even poured so that it spills into a bowl, just as a metaphor for that extra you will enjoy when dining here.As all Kaiseki a multitude of seasonal dishes will appear in front of you. Expect both cold dishes like sashimi and hot that are flame-grilled in front of you and then the meal will finish off with matcha tea and some sweet dessert. The common denominator is seasonal and the freshest of ingredients. Tsurutokame can even cater to vegans which is quite uncommon in Japan.
The best seats are counter seats so you can follow the action and be served directly. THere you can sit and enjoy and excellent kaiseki meal prepared by head chef Yubako Kamohara and her professional and friendly team.
Written by Joakim