The Restaurant to Enjoy Sake Kikuhime in Tokyo
Located in Shinbashi, Shutei Kikuhime is one of the few Kappou (traditional Japanese cuisine) restaurants owned by a Sake brewery. Shinbashi is known for adults and as such there are many high-end drinking spots in the area. As the sun sets and twilight approaches, the foot traffic will gradually increase. The scene of elegant rooves aligned in a row is impressive even to me as a Japanese person so I can only imagine it will be more impressive for non-Japanese.
Within this narrow street are restaurants of high reputation and Shutei Kikuhime has been here for a decade since its opening. Like so many of the restaurants in Shinbashi, there lies a small paper lantern outside the entrance, simple and pure.
Upon entering the store, one will be welcomed by the proprietress. Across from the counter, two chefs are occupied in preparation. The restaurant is quaint and only consists of a table counter, while the second floor has an impressive ceiling and an elaborate tatami room.
Similar to many Japanese restaurants, the cuisine at Kikuhime is seasonal, while customers can select a la carte or course menu (5,500 yen or 6,500 yen). For customers who select a la carte option, they are also able to enjoy the delicate taste of Kikuhime from the brewer who are located in Ishikawa prefecture. Local delicacies such as pickled baby blowfish will be prepared and paired.
A worthy mention of this restauarnt is that since it is run by the Sake brewer, there is a wide selection of Kikuhime to select from and there are season limited sake as well. On top of this, the prices are very reasonable. In addition, since ordering a bottle may prove to be expensive, different sizes can be ordered as well. Kikuhime can be ordered in a single serving (180 ml) from Junmai, Ginjo, Daiginjo so customers can enjoy a variety of sake with their courses. The most expensive bottle priced at 25,812 yen (720 ml) is also available, which is a Daiginjyo that has been kept in their cellars for over ten years. In addition, Kukurihime can also be ordered. Lastly, one can enjoy both cold and hot sake to fully enjoy the taste of Japanese sake.
Out of interest, Kikuhime provides the water they use to make sake, which they dub as the “water of life”. It has a a very refreshing taste and is considered a privilege to be able to try the water used by the brewers.
Even though my tolerance for alcohol is not much, I was brought to this store for the food, but ended up drinking a bit more than I planned to. I remember telling the store owner and the Tokyo representative of Kikuhime that I was worried about waking up tomorrow morning. They reassured me that even for those who cannot drink much, Kikuhime is easy on the body and won’t result in any next day headaches. I am unsure of the medical crediblity of that statement, but I remember their statement the next day and I was perfectly fine.
The amount of care and consideration that goes into crafting the sake and preparing the materials is something that can reach into our souls.
Writer:Miyuki / Translator:Kenta
For those who would like to enjoy Kikuhime with Japanese cuisine.
Through Cinq, you can enjoy Sake Tei Kikume for 7,000 yen, which includes 5 seasonal dishes and 3 different types of Kikuhime sake. For reservations, payment must be made through Paypal. Please provide your food preferences, reservation time/dates, party number, duration of stay in Japan and accomodation address through e-mail.
→ Restaurant Booking Service
Course of the Day
- 1.Sakizuke 1(Starter):
- Uni-dofu (Sea Urchin Tofu)
- 2.Sakizuke 2(Starter):
- Fresh fig’s tempura with sesame paste, Pickled Myoga(Japanese ginger), Soften braised Octopus, Steamed Fish-cake with Edamame
- 3.Mukouzuke(Sashimi,Raw fishes):
- Flounder, Tuna and Pike Conger
- 4.Takiawase(Simmered fishes):
- Pumpkin,Baby potetoes, Yuba(made from the skin of gently boiled soybean milk),String Beans and Grounded duck meat ball)
- 5.Wanmono(Bowl dish):
- Grilled Chicken-wing, Kabu(Japanese Turnip) and Walter Shield with Dashi-soup
- 6.Yakimono(Grilled dish):
- Salt grilled Ayu (Sweet fish)