Review: Hinokizaka at the Ritz-Carlton Tokyo

Review-Hinokizaka at Ritz-Carlton Tokyo-Tempura Chef

 

This Review of Hinokizaka Restaurant at The Ritz-Carlton Tokyo is from a Club Tower Deluxe Room recent stay. As we arrived in the evening and wanted a quick dinner before getting to bed early, it was great just to be able to take an elevator ride to the restaurant. Hinokizaka has 4 areas, each focused on a specific type of Japanese cuisine: Hinokizaka Sushi, Hinokizaka Tempura, Hinokizaka Teppenyaki, and an area for kaiseki, Japanese haute seasonal cuisine presented in small courses. We chose the tempura section, since we rarely have really excellent tempura.

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Hinokizaka Tokyo Location, Hours and Reservations

Hinokizaka is located on the 45th floor of the Ritz-Carlton Tokyo, which is in the Midtown Tower at 9-7-1 Akasaka, Minato-ku in Roppongi. Lunch is available 11:30-2:30pm, and dinner 5:30-10pm. Keep in mind that there are only a few seats in the sushi, tempura and teppenyaki sections: 12 seats at the sushi bar; 10 in the tempura section, 14 in the teppenyaki section, so at peak times or for more than a solo diner, I'd recommend calling the restaurant in advance at +81-3-6434-8711 to secure a reservation.

 

The Scene

We had an early 6:30pm reservation, so in the tempura section there were only four other diners seated, one a Japanese couple, and the other two seemingly other U.S. guests at the hotel. There were, however, about 8 or 9 guests at the sushi bar, which we passed on our way in.

 

Hinokizaka Tokyo Tempura Menu and Dinner

We were welcomed with warm oshibori towels for our hands, and asked our drink preference. After a long international flight we were still in rehydration mode, and chose water.

Here's the a la carte tempura menu, which we selected from:

Hinokizaka Tokyo Tempura Menu

 

There were also longer set menu and omakase (chef's choice) menu options:

Hinokizaka Tokyo Tempura Set Menu Prices

 

Our first piece was maitake(also known as “Hen of the Woods”) mushroom tempura. These were delicious; great tempura provides just a thin crispy outer coating and enhances the food's flavor, and certainly did so here.

Review-Hinokizaka Tokyo Maitake Tempura

 

Next was a succulent scallop tempura, which my husband had ordered. Somehow the best scallops we've ever had have been in Japan, although I'd never tasted a tempura scallop. If you like scallops, this is a must-order.

Review-Hinokizaka Tokyo Scallop Tempura

 

My son and I also ordered anago (conger eel) tempura, and this was good, but not as impressive as the scallop tempura, in my view.

Review-Hinokizaka at Ritz-Carlton Tokyo-Anago Tempura

 

It wasn't on the menu, but I asked if we could order kabocha (Japanese pumpkin) tempura, and the chef agreed. Again, a solid piece but not a standout; I was hoping for a sweeter kabocha.

Review-Hinokizaka Tokyo Pumpkin Tempura

 

That said, the sweet potato tempura my husband ordered was fantastic, with great natural sweetness (on the left, in the photo below). My son's favorite piece was his Kakiage piece of fried shrimp (on the right in the photo).

Review-Hinokizaka Tokyo-Sweet Potato Tempura and Kakiage

 

The Verdict

While Hinokizaka's tempura section is not the place to go for views (that's the sushi bar), you do get to watch your tempura prepared in front of you, and the tempura, while pricey, is excellent. Our favorite pieces were the scallop, the sweet potato, and the Kakiage deep fried shrimp.

If you've been to Hinokizaka in Tokyo, what was your experience?

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