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šNagamine/
Ginza: Japanese
₯3547-8083
€Data
Vegetable kaiseki is
the unusual special-
ty at Nagamine, a
relatively new res-
taurant in Ginza
that's run by a
long-established
vegetable wholesaler
based in nearby
Tsukiji. With no
meat or seafood to
distract one's at-
tention, the vegeta-
bles really stand on
their own merits,
and Nagamine show-
cases the most beau-
tiful and most fla-
vorful produce of
the season. At
Y5250, the vegetable
menu offers a chance
to experience a
different take on
kaiseki at a very
reasonable price.

The menu follows a
typical kaiseki
structure, with a
procession of ingre-
dients that are
vinegared, steamed,
stewed, grilled and
served raw, all
simply and tasteful-
ly presented. A
late-autumn menu
started with a small
glass of sweet toma-
to juice, a
hollowed-out yuzu
filled with vine-
gared greens, and a
sesame-tofu-like
dish made with an
unusual variety of
imo (potato). This
was followed by an
outstanding (and
vividly colored)
thick soup made from
red turnips, then
steamed vegetables
with an excellent
moromi miso sauce.

Many of the ingre-
dients seemed to be
chosen for color and
texture as well as
flavor, and a sea-
sonally appropriate
red-purple color
theme ran through
the entire meal. The
dramatic high point
was a tray of five
beautifully present-
ed pieces of vegeta-
ble sushi, which
seems to be Naga-
mine's signature
dish. This was fol-
lowed by a memorable
dessert of
cauliflower-cream
cheese mousse with
rum-soaked raisins.

The sake menu is
small but unusual,
and it includes a
Y1200 three-part
tasting set, with
the selection chang-
ing monthly. The
interior is taste-
ful, with numerous
private rooms, in-
cluding for parties
of two. We found the
service rather hit-
or-miss (some dishes
were explained in
detail, while others
were simply deposit-
ed in front of us),
although perhaps it
was a busy night for
the staff.

Nagamine also offers
fish- and meat-in-
clusive kaiseki
menus priced at
Y8400 and Y12,600
respectively, plus
an Y18,900 extrava-
ganza that requires
negotiation and
consultation several
days in advance.
Lunch ranges from
Y2620 to Y12,600.
Note that even the
vegetable-centered
menu is not strictly
vegetarian - the
chefs prepare each
dish to fully bring
out the flavor of
the constituent
ingredients, and
that process gener-
ally involves a bit
of fish-based stock.
English menus are
available, although
ordering is pretty
simple - just pick
your price level.
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Chuo-ku, Ginza 4-
9-5, Ginsho Bldg
B1F.  Open 11:
30am-3, 5:30-11pm.
Closed Sundays.
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