Tsurutokame :: A Cultural Japanese Dining Experience

7.19.2018

*A complimentary dining experience was provided in exchange for this post, views and opinions are of my own.*
If you're looking for an authentic meal in Japan, this is it...
(Jumping ahead to share a food tasting we experienced while we were honeymooning on the other side of the world.) 
Nestled in the popular Ginza district of Tokyo is a hidden restaurant called Tsurutokame that you may have walked passed without even noticing it. This high-end restaurant is unlike others in Japan and you can tell the moment you arrive inside. In fact, you don't even enter through a front door, you take an elevator to go down to the basement where it'll open up right into the restaurant.
Tsurutokame has been open for several years now but, surprisingly, still remains as one of Tokyo's best kept secret (and that's probably what makes it so special)! The chefs spend all day preparing for the multi-course feast so only dinner is served here starting at 5PM and there is a limited number of available tastings per day so making advanced reservations is highly recommended.
FOOD TIP: Last call is at 8:30PM so get there beforehand!
What sets this Japanese restaurant apart from others is that all the chefs are women. That's right: women! A very uncommon thing in Japan. The owner wanted to create a place to show that women too have the skills to run the kitchen and be recognized for their talents as well. AMEN. Gotta love that women empowerment vibe.
From the warm hospitality right when you enter to seeing the itamae sushi chefs preparing the dishes right in front of you (when sitting at the counter), it's almost like a dinner and a show in one. The chef's tasting menu varies depending on the season but you can tell - and taste - all the love and care that goes into making each delectable dish.
At Tsurutokame, everyone was so respectful and attentive. You not only get to experience the Japanese cuisine but also the Japanese culture which we very much enjoyed. It was a nice different pace from all the tourist attractions where it felt like time slowed down so you could sit back, taste, and savor each course.

The chef's tasting menu for this night included the hanakago-mori (in the little flower basket), owan (soup with tofu and ginger), otsukuri (sea urchin in the box - probably my favorite!!), shinogi (crab with soft roe and firefly squid), susume-zakana (abalone with bamboo shoot and tempura), yakimono (grilled Japanese Spanish mackerel with scallop and soft roe), shokuji (eel and rice in tea flavored soup), and amami (pink mochi dessert with ice cream).
What topped the night off was when they knew it we were on our honeymoon and sang a beautiful Japanese song for us at the end of the night. It was such a sweet gesture of kindness that made me get a litte teary-eyed. These women - these incredible women - at Tsurutokame work really hard to get to where they're at and have proven that they are here to stay. If you're in Japan or visiting soon, bookmark this place for one of your dinners! Obviously we were so in the moment of eating that we forgot to take pictures together inside so hope you enjoyed (and salivated) over these photos of the delicious creations.
Sometimes words and pictures alone cannot fully describe everything you're trying to share. This video (here) gives more info and an inside look of Tsurutokame and the wonderful ladies running the kitchen behind it.

***Thank you Powerhouse Communications and the Tsurutokame team for an incredible Japanese dining experience that we will never forget!***

Thanks for reading and sending you hugs!


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{DINE HERE} Tsurutokame, B1 Iwatsuki Building, 6-7-15 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo.
For reservations, call 03-5537-7045.

#dinewithATK #LuuTravels


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