Long gone are the days, it seems, when the taste of Japan was confined to tiny eateries crammed underneath railway lines. True, these outlets are still thriving among the salary-man community, as Yurakucho will testify, but heavy competition is arriving from grander restaurants in the vast modern station and shopping complexes springing up throughout Japan. Hibiki, located in the glitzy Yurakucho Itocia tower, is one such locale.
Long-established Ginza has forever carried more bling than its Yurakucho neighbor. Now, in the shape of restaurants like Hibiki, Yurakucho is itself becoming more Ginza-like, transferring the dishes of cheap izakaya to large, highly plush interiors with expensive furniture, dim romantic lighting and earnest service staff.
Hibiki Yurakucho is the classic fusion of Western-style service and Japanese food, the background music straight out of a top-floor London restaurant. Tables are well spread-out, providing extra privacy when talking, while the counter seats are comprised not of bar stools, but of shiny, lacquered high-back chairs.
Rarely for Japan, Hibiki has borrowed the entre-plat principle of expensive European restaurants, offering customers surprise items between the earlier plates. Special entre-plats are also offered exclusively to counter-seat customers, including refreshing tofu and vegetable nimono. This food is prepared by a highly-dedicated team of white-coverall chefs, stationed in full view of the customers behind the giant counter, working with state of the art equipment.
An attractive raw fish dish comes in the shape of Nihon sashimi (¥1,300), juicy in the extreme, the rich taste more than a match for most izakaya.
For mains, the Yamagata gyu-niku nabe (¥1,700) is perfectly-placed to warm up – and fill – a stomach in winter, full of tough meat but far from tiring for the teeth. Another appetizing meat dish is the gyu-suji-tamanegi, with added freshness coming courtesy of the seasonal vegetables (¥1,100), light, crispy and healthy. Interestingly, the restaurant encourages diners to ‘start white and end white,’ perhaps beginning with Kawashima Tofu and finishing with Niigata Koshi Hikari rice added to the nabe pot.
Reasons to Visit
1. True Japanese food experience
2. Fresh ingredients from across Japan
3. Perfect for groups and parties
Metro Tokyo Station – 3min walk
Metro Marunouchi Line
Metro Otemachi Station – 5min walk
Metro Chiyoda Line, Metro Marunouchi Line, Metro Tozai Line, Metro Hanzomon Line
Toei Otemachi Station
Toei Mita Line
Hibiki Marunouchi Information
11am – 2:30pm (L.O. 2pm) & 5pm – 11pm (L.O. 10pm) (Mon – Fri), 4pm – 10pm (L.O. 9pm) (Sat)
All major cards accepted
The Hibiki concept is taking little time to win over fans, so reservations are highly recommended.
Here are some other locations of this wonderful restaurant. The one in Odaiba I can also really recommend for its dazzeling view of Tokyo bay.