For a setting as elegant as a calligraphic stroke, head to Higashi-Yama. Located in the bohemian Nakameguro district, shafts of light filtering through the stone latticed facade mark the low-key entrance. Inside is an exercise in contemporary Japanese design. The dimly lit décor is minimalist and modern but firmly imbued with traditional Japanese zen aesthetics.
From the organic curves of a simple white sake cup to the deep red splash of an abstract paintings, the impeccable style of the designer and owner Shinichiro Ogata is clear throughout – right down to the modern ceramics created by his design studio Simplicity.
Simple Japanese cuisine served at the upstairs wooden counter or in the intimacy of three private rooms are a visual and culinary treat – from the simmering vegetable and meat niku-jaga dish down to the green tea crème brulee. A sultry low-lit bar also provides the perfect nightcap venue – ideally a signature matcha no shochuwari, a cocktail prepared with the Japanese spirit shochu and traditional powdered green tea normally reserved for tea ceremony. No English spoken, the menu is only in Japanese. Reservations essential.