Tokyo boasts more Michelin stars than any other city, combine this fact with gastonomic delights and creative cuisine from every corner of the globe and this makes Tokyo a fine dining destination of the highest order. However, Japanese food often includes dashi which is a stock derived from dried fish and certainly not vegan, also many other non vegan friendly ingredients find themselves in the recipe of the food you may traditionally eat in Japan. Fear not though, as we all know plant based food is slowly taking over the planet and the Rise of Veganism in Tokyo (Tokyo Weekender – May 2018) is a real thing as vegan eateries pop up all over the city and restaurants and hotels scramble to add vegan dishes to their menus. With a little research and some vegan travel tips from friends who have previously visited Tokyo we lined up 3 vegan meals to allow us to experience Vegan Fine Dining in Tokyo.
Pierre Gagnaire Tokyo
Pierre Gagnaire Tokyo is on the 36th floor of the ANA InterContinental Tokyo and is where we began our vegan fine dining adventure. Open since 2010 and 2 Michelin starred Pierre Gagnaire’s only Tokyo location it has cemented itself as one of Tokyo’s hottest dining destinations. Expect to be impressed by the impeccable service, mesmerised by the Tokyo skyline views and simply blown away by the creative plant based cuisine that you are served, this truly was a memorable meal that delivered on every level. Read the review of our stay at ANA InterContinental Tokyo for a detailed blow by blow account of this vegan fine dining extravaganza. Please allow the chef 7 days notice if you wish to enjoy the vegan set menu at Pierre Gagnaire Tokyo which costs 7,000 JPY (50 GBP / 60 USD) for lunch and 17,000 JPY (115 GBP / 150 USD) for dinner.
The Tavern – Grill & Lounge
Next stop was the modern and stylish Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills where we dined at The Tavern – Grill & Lounge which promises guests “an exciting dining experience featuring local flavors and seasonal ingredients”. What they don’t tell you is that upon request the chef can create a traditional Shojin Ryori dining experience which is a plant based meal that has been enjoyed since the 13th century in Buddhist temples; this presented us with the opportunity to enjoy a culinary cultural experience with a luxury twist as we were dining in what is regarded as one of the finest luxury boutique hotels in Tokyo. Read more about the meal in our review of Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills and for those of you who wish to enjoy a Shojin Ryori meal please give them at least 2 days notice, the cost is 10,000 JPY (70 GBP / 90 USD).
Hei Fung Terrace
Hei Fung Terrace is billed as “the ultimate location for sophisticated Cantonese dining in Tokyo” and after visiting we understand exactly why. Located in what is considered to be one of the finest hotels in the world, Peninsula Tokyo, from the moment you arrive you are surrounded by sophistication and this continues as you set foot inside Hei Fung Terrace. Vegan guests can request the a la carte Vegan Menu which offers a selection of Sichuan and Cantonese style dishes, or choose from the extensive Healthy Menu which boasts many vegan options and others that can easily be adapted. The service was professional and courteous whislt being friendly and fun at the same time, we loved the vibe, we loved the location and we loved the food. Check out our article published on A Luxury Travel Blog featuring Hei Fung Terrace called Luxury Hotels and Fine Dining in Tokyo.
Fine Dining in Tokyo was fun, lots of fun. The city is blessed with the finest restaurants in superb locations and this combined with some of the planet’s most talented chefs and access to the best of ingredients meant that we were blessed with memorable and delcious plant based meals. Tokyo is an expensive city even when you are not ‘fine dining’ so expect to pay premium prices but if you can afford to treat yourself or for a special occasion, each of these 3 vegan fine dining experiences were first rate and we can’t wait to return!