Every nation needs a Heston Blumenthal. And in Japan, the closest equivalent – without quite as much of the chemistry – is Seiji Yamamoto. The larger-than-life chef at the helm of Ryugin is famous for his passionate temperament and imaginative culinary explorations alike.
This is, after all, the man who famously sent an eel for a CT scan in order to fully comprehend the intricacies of its anatomy, and on another occasion quite randomly created a functioning barcode out of miso-squid ink paste. Ryugin is a showcase for his culinary creativity. During any visit to the restaurant, be prepared to surrender to the chef: a set course of more than a dozen dishes changes daily, depending on the availability fresh, seasonal, locally-grown ingredients and quite possibly the whim of the chef.
Personalized creations are also common at the Michelin-crowned establishment, which, in the words of the impassioned chef, aims to offer a ‘piece of my heart and soul’. A word of advice: forget the perfume. One of the chef’s pet hates is the smell of overpowering scents filling the restaurant and overpowering the delicate flavors. You have been warned.