JUNICHI IKEMATSU’S MODERN JAPANESE CUISINE is a hybrid that reflects his own unusual culinary background. Despite being a native of Kyoto, he was schooled in French culinary tradition rather than the locally paramount kaiseki. And while his sophisticated offerings are currently available for takeout, nothing beats the experience in this serene 45-seat room, warmed with wood and ceramic frescoes from local artist Pascale Girardin. Order exquisite dishes like local sea bass cured in kombu with white sesame and blood orange; confit of Montebello trout with leeks, plum and pea tendrils; and duck tartare with amazake mayo. Then pick from the elaborate sake selection, bolstered with private imports from Yamagata, Sendai and beyond. Even better, put yourself in Ikematsu’s masterful hands and opt for the omakase. Or, if you are in the mood for something less formal, note that Ikematsu has now opened his long-planned relaxed comptoir, Ôkini, featuring a casual daytime menu and wine, beer and sake to go.
Photography by: Melanie Bellemare