Occupying the second floor of a newish office building, Nakamura is a very tastefully appointed modern izakaya, with sophisticated lighting and sleek furnishings. A full crew of chefs work in the open kitchen area behind the massive central counter, which is the most entertaining place to sit. There's also a big shared table off to one side and several private dining rooms. The food is the sort of original seasonal cuisine that's popular in upscale dining bars, and there's a good sake list to match.
The attention to visual appearances extends from the decor to the food - everything coming out of the kitchen is artfully arranged and appetizingly presented. The emphasis is on premium, seasonal ingredients prepared with clever original flourishes. Our nicely peppery grilled chicken was served with a giant ume plum; the seasonal grilled vegetables came with a captivating side dish of chunky miso and ground meat; and the seafood salad featured a whole cold baked onion at its heart.
The two dozen or so sake selections are also quite good, balanced between familiar names and lesser-known breweries. Unfortunately the service, while not bad, wasn't quite up to the same standards as the food and decor. Reservations are essential, and the staff will call on the day of the booking to confirm. Budget around Y6000 for ample food and drink at dinnertime - all in all excellent value for money.
This book will introduce you to more than twenty of Japan's favorite specialty foods that are less well known abroad, along with a guide to the best places in Tokyo to try them and expert tips on what to order. From Bento.com.