Akasabi Hotel

· Monday April 13, 2015

For those looking for a casual and modern kaiseki meal, Akasabi Hotel (not actually a hotel) offers delicate dishes that capture the beauty of contemporary Japanese cuisine.

Just a short walk from Chitose-Karasuyama station, the friendly restaurant lies within a renovated old-style social bar and is run by owner-chef Eiji Fukui. Eiji began his career at a Japanese kaiseki restaurant in his hometown of Tottori, before moving to Tokyo and setting up the country-style izakaya, Usaya in Shimokitazawa. Three years later he shifted west and opened Akasabi Hotel in early 2014.

Unlike other menu-less restaurants that only offer expensive dishes, Akasabi has a simple drink menu complemented by tasty and surprisingly affordable dishes that include fresh seafood and seasonal salads. In fact, all guests need to do is say how hungry they are, what they don't like, and how much they'd like to eat – from there Eiji will create an unique six- or eight-course dinner. Every meal changes according to the seasons, the weather outside, and most importantly, the people; with each freshly prepared dish inspired by Eiji's conversations with his guests.

While waiting for your meal, you can enjoy the tiny gallery space by the window and once a month the space also hosts live performances. By the entrance hangs a scroll that reads “Ichigo Ichie”, a proverb associated with the tea ceremony. Translating to “Treasure every meeting, for it will never reoccur”, it's the perfect way to sum up the Akasabi experience.