Lunch @ Aoyama Jin 青山 仁 (Tokyo, Japan)

December 25, 2016 in Japanese by thywhaleliciousfay

Got to learn about Aoyama Jin through @little_meg_siu_meg‘s instagram. And thinking that we should also try the not-as-recognised restaurants (You know… Like non Michelin-starred), my IGGF (InstaGram GirlFriend) and I decided to make reservation for lunch. And it certainly boasted our morale when they accepted our overseas reservation!

During the tele-conversation, we were asked to decide our course. And we chose ¥10,000 over ¥5000 and ¥8000. I was ready to splurge lah. However, the con was that we had to order the same menu as a group. So my IGGF had to splurge with me.

We arrived at Aoyama Jin on a bright Friday afternoon, at 12 noon sharp. And it was off to a very good start as we were impressed with its exterior. Upon entering, a lady in kimono greeted us and brought us to our private room. We were intially disappointed we weren’t allocated counter seats, but having a room to ourselves turned out to be a real blessing in disguise. We were able to take as many photographs as we wanted. Keke. And with that, we started our lunch with:-

1) Dish #1 (above) – Scallop and crab topped with (mixed) vinegar sauce. And what looked like caviar wasn’t caviar. It’s actually beans!

2) Dish #2 (above) – Grilled sesame tofu, served with sauce of sesame and arrowroot starch.

3) Dish #3 (above) – Soup. With dagger tooth fish and mushroom.

4) Dish #4 (above) – Thread-sail filefish (kawahagi) sashimi and its liver (kimo). And we were blown away by the plating; Served on a diamond-looking glass plate, with a maple leaf placed between the glass plate and black plate.

5) Dish #5 (above) – Spanish mackerel sashimi with its skin lightly grilled.

6) Dish #6 (above) – Sea cucumber roe and ginkgo nuts on glutinous rice.

7) Dish #7 (above) – Fried breaded matsutake mushroom. I knew it was the season for matsutake mushroom, but I wasn’t expecting it to be part of our kaiseki (traditional multi-course) course. Also known as pine mushroom, it’s nicked as the world’s most expensive mushroom due to the rare conditions under which it grow; At the base of pine trees between 20 to 60 years old. However, the number of matsutake mushrooms harvested in Japan has decreased sharply due to the introduction of a bug that kills the trees they grow under. And this was really unique. Its texture was… Creamy? So glad I managed to try such a prized item.

8) Dish #8 (above) – Half beak fish and physalis.

9) Dish #9 (above) – Fried tofu with braised duck. I was surprised to see duck on the menu cause it’s definitely one of the lesser seen meat in Japan. And this was done very nicely. I especially like the sauce.


10) Dish #10 (above) – Chef Fukui san came to our room personally with a big casserole (土鍋ご飯の炊き方). And he removed the wooden lid to show us the prized rice within. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to know where the rice was from due to language barrier. Though a search on instagram showed it’s 金沢コシヒカリ新米 (I hope I copied it correctly). And with hand gestures, we told chef Fukui san we only had space for small bowl of rice. And after noticing his attention to details with the past dishes, we couldn’t help but also notice how nicely chef Fuki san had shaped the rice in our bowls. Even if it was non-intentional. Although we were a little disappointed our rice was served plain. Ie, non-flavoured. Others had corn or soy bean (edamame) with their rice in the casserole as seen from pictures on instagram before our actual visit.


11) Dish #11 (above) – Sake pudding, chestnut ball and a cup of green tea (matcha).

12) Dish #11 (above) – And as we made payment for our meal, the staff presented us with a paper bag. And in it was 6 rice balls (onigiri). We weren’t expecting 6 because we were positive there wasn’t that much rice left in our casserole. And of course, it’s unlikely we would be given plain rice ball. Chef Fuki san had generously included tuna within.

We were very impressed with our dining experience at Aoyama Jin. Chef Fuki san paid a lot of attention to the little details. Not just to the plating of food, but also to the interior design of the place. We noticed leaves placed within the light housing on the ceiling, etc.

Would I recommend Aoyama Jin? Certainly.

But do be mindful of the time. We got so carried away with taking photographs of our food that our lunch stretched from 2 hours to 3 hours. Yes. It’s that easy to get carried away in front of beautifully plated food.

3-9-1 Minamiaoyama, Minato, Tokyo, Japan (東京都 港区 南青山 3-9-1)
+81 3 6721 1131, Website, Tablelog
Overall: 8
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 8
Mon – Sat : 12:00 – 15:00 (Lunch)
Ambience: 7
Mon – Sat : 18:00 – 23:00 (Dinner)
Value: 8
Service: 8
* Closed on Sun