September 29, 2016
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.