We tried Monya, a kaiseki restaurant in Tokyo

We tried out the Monya restaurant in Tokyo, which specializes in kaiseki meals!

As a tourist, it's not so easy to find a decent such restaurant in Tokyo. It's possible to book a kaiseki meal in some luxury hotels, of course, but you often have to pay a hefty supplement to access the restaurant itself, making the experience rather expensive.

Fortunately, these problems don't exist at Sengakuji-monzen Monya, which is not far from the Sengakuji metro station or the new Takanawa Gateway station on the JR Yamanote line. At lunchtime, you can enjoy a quality menu for less than 5,000 yen, even without a reservation. The 9-course evening menu, priced at 16,000 yen, lasts at least two hours. In large company and with alcohol, it's best to allow three hours. Reservations can also be made online in English, but it's best to phone to make sure everything has gone smoothly.

 

Monya is located directly in front of the Sengakuji temple gate, which explains the first part of the name "Sengakuji-monzen". If you come for dinner in winter, the temple already closes at 5 p.m., so it's not possible to visit the tombs of the 47 ronin just before. The entrance to the restaurant is a narrow path between two larger buildings, to the left of the temple's outer door, which is always open (see photo).

restaurant monya tokyo kaiseki

Entrance to Monya kaiseki restaurant in Tokyo

© Axel Schwab

Main course

The whole fish from Toyama prefecture presented earlier, grilled with salt and accompanied by a small garnish, is arranged on a flat plate. Delicious crispy skin on the outside and juicy white fish fillet on the inside - it really doesn't get any better than this. The main course is accompanied by a glass of sake, which, like the fish, comes from Toyama.

 

Baked rice

After the main course, rice is traditionally served. Here, it's not a simple white rice, but a complex rice mixed in a pan with spicy pieces of fish: yellowtail mackerel and fried red shrimp.

monya kaiseki restaurant tokyo riz

Kamameshi-style grilled rice

© Axel Schwab

monya kaiseki restaurant tokyo

Dishes at the Monya kaiseki restaurant in Tokyo

© Axel Schwab

soupe restaurant kaiseki monya tokyo

Soup at Monya kaiseki restaurant

© Axel Schwab


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