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Kurogi: The Last Iron Chef

September 29, 2016

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I’d like to start this video off by saying how much of a dream this is to me. This is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, and I’m not just referring to the meal. I’m referring to the video. I’d love to make more videos like this, with really top-class food, and a lot of attention to a more visual experience. And so I really hope you like this video. It’s a style we’re going to keep working on in the future, and I’d love for you to come along with us for the ride.

Ok enough of that. Let’s get to the Kurogi experience. We’ve got a few things to mention here:

Jun Kurogi is the last Iron Chef of Japan. He’s not from the original, old version of it, but from the revival class of 2012. He was Iron Chef Japan, while two other chefs were Iron Chef China and Iron Chef France. So, suffice it to say, Jun Kurogi cooks some of the most impressive Japanese food in the world.

It’s always been a dream of mine to eat at an Iron Chef’s restaurant. So, when the opportunity was presented to us, we jumped on it, without any qualms or reservations. We knew this was something that people like us will probably never be able to do again. This was something special to us, as foodies. This was spiritual. This was food like we’d never had it before and might never have again.

Jun Kurogi cooks a special style of Japanese food called Kappo. Now, we called it Kaiseki in the video, which it kinda is. Kappo falls somewhere between Kaiseki and Izakaya style food. While Kaiseki food is a lot to explain, the easiest way to think of it is as a really intricate, multi-course meal. Every dish is meticulously and skillfully prepared with the freshest ingredients. Kappo style cuisine, then, can more easily be understood as Kaiseki, except with the chef preparing the meal in front of you. The chef isn’t behind closed doors in the kitchen. You’re there, half a meter away from the master, and you’re witnessing the magic, watching everything be put together in front of you. Eating Kappo is not just a taste experience, in which servers bring out the food to you and you just eat it. When you dine at Kurogi, you have a visual experience as well.

If you’d like to taste Kurogi’s food, though, good luck trying to get a reservation. This place is very challenging to get into. Reservations are made three months in advance, and only on the first day of the month. So, if you plan on going in June, you’ll have to call on March 1st to make the reservation. Don’t bother calling March 2nd. It will be all booked by then. And good luck getting through the phone line, also, since the phone is constantly off the hook. I remember when I was a kid and I’d listen to the radio, and they’d say “the 20th caller will win tickets to so and so” and I’d dial quickly, get a busy signal, hang up, redial, busy signal, hang up, redial, busy signal, and I could never EVER get through. Well, you’d have a better chance getting through the radio station three consecutive times than getting through this line. Jun Kurogi is famous. This restaurant is famous. Getting in is tough.

So, how did we get in? Luckily, we have a friend who knows Kurogi. We’re fortunate enough to have friends in the Japanese foodie community (we’d like to share some of their stuff with you soon, I think!), and they help get us into places we’d never be able to get into on our own. So, for this day, we were able to not only get a seat for four at the restaurant, but we were also allowed to film something with Kurogi. He doesn’t film with anybody apart from TV, from what we’ve been told, so as far as I know this is a really rare video to make. And to assuage anyone who is worried about how we conducted ourselves at this restaurant, just like we did for our Akita Beef video, we filmed this with the full consent of the restaurant and everybody on camera.

Another thing about this video: what we showed you wasn’t the entire meal. There were many more dishes than what we filmed. We ate for two and a half hours, and our cameras just don’t have enough juice to record that much. And even if we did, the video would be too long. Some times we just had a mouthful and closed our eyes and meditated on what we just experienced. We shared some of our favourite dishes in this video, but there were many that we didn’t share. We had a boiled turtle egg, for example; my first one ever! We did take some pictures from the meal, though. Here are a few that turned out kinda alright!

But back to you, potential customer: if you can get through the line and nab a reservation to this place, CONGRATULATIONS! But be warned: this is not a cheap meal. This is a bucket list, once in a lifetime kind of deal. This is an Iron Freaking Chef. The real deal. Not the American knock off. Iron Chef JAPAN. So, if you can get a reservation, be prepared to spend around 30,000 yen per person. You will eat one of the best meals, if not THE best meals of your life, but it will come at a cost.

Here is the link to Kurogi’s website. If you’d like to try your luck at booking a reservation, call this Saturday, October 1st. Here’s the number: 03-5846-3510. Good luck! The address is 3-35-1 Yushima Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo. It’s hard to spot because there isn’t a big sign outside, but we showed you what the door looks like in the video.

If you get a chance to go please let us know! We’d love to hear what your experience was like. Dan was there with us for the filming as well, and he said it was the best meal he’s had in his entire life.

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Kurogi: The Last Iron Chef

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  1. What a wonderful video. The cinematography was absolutely stellar. Jun Kurogi is an amazing chef. When I saw the price tag of 30,000 yen, I had to use a converter to check the price in USD, and right now that’s about 288$ per person. I don’t know, seems like 300$ is totally worth it for something like this… But I am also all about food. I am a professional cook (not a chef), and this kind of mindful cuisine is basically the highest form of art I’ll ever be able to experience it.

    Thank you for sharing! I’m so glad you got to interview Chef as well.

    3 years ago
  2. This is one of the most beautiful videos I’ve seen from you in a while. I’m impressed. Especially that you actually got to interview Master Kurogi himself??!! Gobsmacked! I was gonna suggest that my friend go here, but then I read what you said about reservations…hahahaha I guess that’s not happening.

    3 years ago
  3. This video is probably the closest I’ll ever get to an Iron Chef/his restaurant so thanks so much for sharing it. I’m glad you got to check such a great experience off on your bucket list!

    3 years ago
  4. Oh I do apologise! I just have complained about the audio on YouTube… You did use a microphone! But the background noise is still irritating

    3 years ago
  5. This video was truly Amazing! It’s super cool that you guise got to check this off your bucket list, and what a check it was, that you even got permission to film and everything. And it was Beautiful! Honestly, this could have been an entire documentary and I would have watched every second. I’m Serious! You could totally do it: you perfectly accomplished your goals of attention to detail and a gorgeous visual experience. A++! And also, just to see the perfect joy on your faces: Bliss! xD It was a great vicarious experience, haha!
    Love you guise! I can’t wait to see more Awesome stuff! <3<3

    3 years ago
  6. I watched the video before I read the blog and my first thought was “this is beautifully shot and edited!” So way to go! And thanks for letting us live vicariously through you guys.

    3 years ago
  7. Amazing video!! Seriously, great job, it’s so stylish and I’m sure you all have been working hard on it for some time, I really appreciate it! I have never seen food quite like this before, I hope to try something like it one day!

    3 years ago
  8. It’s too bad that you couldn’t shoot the whole meal, this video felt like it just flew by! :3 I really liked the style of the restaurant but it was hard to tell if it was noisy in there or if the mikes were just really sensitive. Regardless, the food and the chefs looked AMAZING! Was Dan the one that shot/edited the chef-shots? It looked like his style but it’s getting harder to tell since you guise are obviously getting influenced by each other’s style. This video had a really similar feel to the Taiwan videos, some of your best work yet. It was really nice to have the blog on this experience since searching “kappo” on my own lead me to special ninja killing/resuscitation techniques by the same name. Still no notification e-mails, I guess I’ll just have to start stalking the website for updates ;). I am glad that things are just falling into place with great opportunities for you in Japan -yay!

    3 years ago
  9. Experiencing an Iron Chef’s restaurant is also on my bucket list (I loved the original series). This was such a joy to watch! The audio, the lighting, the visuals…all gorgeous and respectful of the quality of the chef and foods being served. I think the term I’m looking for is…leveling up??? Great job! :D

    3 years ago
  10. Wow, a bucket list item is such a big deal. What an amazing gift to yourselves and us. Thank you for sharing it with us.
    I am so excited to see you challenging yourselves and pushing the quality of production and editing. It is so much fun to watch you two grow in your craft.
    You are very inspiring.
    I love You Guyz!
    Blue hair Beth from Seattle

    3 years ago
    • I am now very curious what is on folks bucket lists. I personally have never thought what I want on mine. You two have made me start to think what I might want on it. Hmmm…

      3 years ago
  11. What an awesome bucket list item to knock off! Everything looks delicious. Are there any other japan bucket list items that you guys have planned for the future?

    3 years ago
    • I heard Fukuoka has top tier sushi. I really want to see what it’s about!

      3 years ago
      • And there is always Ramen Stadium at the Canal City Mall in Fukuoka. It’s pretty cool too! It would be awesome if you guys came down this direction. Tons of great places and sights to see down here, especially in Yamaguchi Prefecture.

        3 years ago
  12. What an honor guys. And the photos, great job ! Thanks for sharing with us :)

    3 years ago
  13. Hi guys~ I recently moved to Tokyo and went to Kichijoji 5 times for a job training and got reminded of you! Thanks to your videos, I know all about the secret food places in Japan :) Keep being awesome guys. (been loving your vids since ’10)

    3 years ago
  14. Thank you guys for making these videos and blog posts! You always brighten up my day when I get the notifications. I have learned a lot from you too so thank you, and keep up the good work!

    3 years ago
  15. I find that the more I watch these videos the more my list of things to do in Japan steadily grows. I remember watching Iron Chef every time it came on and thinking that if I even had a chance to taste the food that they prepared I would lose my mind.

    3 years ago