We were lucky to come across this famous restaurant in Ginza area around 2 - 3 pm for lunch and even luckier to have a seat despite without reservation. The restaurant was pretty much full and hence we were allocated to the sushi bar seats. Since we love to watch Chefs preparing cuisine anyway, of course we didn't mind at all.
THAT - turned out to be the best experience ever.
It is an art for Japanese Cuisine preparation - they prepared the ingredient carefully and professionally. It was enjoyable to just watch from the Sushi bar, every cuts were clean and precise.
Just after we had ordered the lunch sets, we couldn't believe we saw Master Chef Japan, Rokusaburo Michiba walk into the Sushi bar area! Within seconds, all chefs/ kitchen staff bowed to him and greeted him with respect in Japanese.
The waitress said he only goes to the restaurant fortnightly and only stays for 30 - 60 mins. What are the chances to "come across" Michiba Restaurant by chance, visit during late afternoon around 2-3pm (instead of a proper lunch hour) and sitting at the Sushi Bar with the best view in the restaurant? Oh ~ my GOD!
We checked with the waitress if we could take a photo with him, she rejected politely with the reason to let him focus on what he was doing as he was a very low profile man. Chef Michiba appeared to be experimenting some new dish and stayed in the kitchen for 30 - 60 mins on that day.
Chef Michiba is famous for his Calligraphy, it was his style writing in Japanese Calligraphy for his menu before his cooking competition in Japan Iron Chef long time ago.
In this restaurant, there was calligraphy menu besides the English translation for foreigners. I really like the Japanese Kanji words that used by the restaurant, it provided a traditional feeling towards the dishes that about to serve.
There were two sets of Lunch menu, hence we ordered both of them (Feb 2015) - Motenashi Lunch Set (JPY 6480) 8 course meal and Shunsai Zen Lunch set (JPY 4860) 6 course meal.
Soup: Clam fish-cake served in sun-dried-bonito consomme with donko-shiitake, baby tunip and yuzu-peel
Hors d'oeuvre - a selection of seasonal delicacies!
Grilled Dish: Oyster gratin filled with prawn, shiitake, gingko nuts and tofu-milk skin baked with yuzu & white miso bechamel in a sanpokan citrus cup.
* Simmered yellowtail and daikon garnished with spinach and kinome herb
* Oven-baked monkfish, seared leek, burdock and konnyaku hard jelly with iso sauce
* Hiryo-zu (deep-fried tofu mixed with Jew's-ear fungus and gongko nuts)
* Dish of the day
Main Dish: Grilled tender Japanese beef and vegetables steamed on a hot stone serrved with sansho miso paste
Dessert of the day! Absolutely delicious ~
It was an awesome experience to enjoy each and single dishes from the set lunch. Every single dish was perfectly designed and with different layer of texture that really tickled our taste buds. You just have to try it and find out yourself.
Below are my personal evaluation for reference only:
Food Quality: *****
Amazing with skillful preparation and premium ingredients
Service Quality: ****
It was a busy day and they answered our questions with patience and politeness.
It was reasonable to me.
It was great considering located in a busy and expensive Ginza area but would be even better with more traditional Japanese decoration/ atmosphere. P/S: It is easy to miss as located in a building at level 8.
Japan is easily at the top of my travel list despite I have been there multiple times. I will update some travel information and tips from time to time.