Kawamura is so well-known as the ‘best’ steak place in Tokyo according to Tabelog, it is also possibly the most expensive restaurant in town. While the high threshold makes it almost impossible getting into this tiny 8-seat beef place unless a regular guest takes you there. To be honest, i haven’t really thought of visiting Kawamura before because i am not very into beef and steak too because the fact that it is member-only.
By an accidental chance, a friend’s friend had an extra spot at Kawamura and invited me only two days previous meal. Why not?
Kawamura opens only for dinner serving two seatings, usually they only take foreigner's reservations at the second seating after 9pm. Our reservation was at the first round because my friend is a super regular at Kawamura. I had a salad lunch to get my body ready for this non-veggie dinner, and also, get my wallet ready because it was white truffle season, it is no more a surprise that the bill could be high around 200k JPY (1695 USD) or higher.
Besides the basic omakase course and the full white truffle course, you are also allowed to order from 'a la carte' menu - there's no fixed menu, but you can order whatever Chef Kawamura can serves: beef sashimi, abalone w/caviar, smoked salmon, soup, steak, gyu-don(beef over rice), beef curry rice, and anything white-truffled.
I have heard a lot of great things about Kawamura's abalone and caviar. Abalone is one of my favorite ingredients all the time, although summer is a peak season to eat abalone, but the quality of Kawamura's abalone in winter won't beat by the summer abalone. I was asked whether i want to top caviar because it is quite pricey, but of course. The abalone was simply extraordinary, the best i have had in my mind. So heavenly with bursts of umami tastes of the Beluga caviar from Kazakhstan.
Deep fried oyster was not on my list but i changed my mind when i see the chef was shucking the fresh oyster, to be battered and deep-fried. Despite a smaller size, the entire bite was remarkable. indredible crispy outside, fresh and creamy oceanic tastes inside.
A bowl of pure golden consomme is what i need in the cold winter. So simple so good. At the same time, the white truffle 'chip' arrived, just bite it as a snack anytime you need it during the meal :)
Since the very beginning of the meal, chef Matsukawa-san started to slow cook the Matsusaka beef on the grill back at the counter. You may order any portion you like, i had 50g since while my friends had 100g and 150g respectively. The steak was wonderfully grilled, without any seasoning but so succulent and flavorful on its own. A pinch of salt and a small dish of soy sauce was served on the side in case you prefer stronger tastes.
I ordered a smaller portion of beef because i want to leave more room for this beautiful dish of uni (sea urchin) pasta with slices of white truffle (not shaved but cut!). The pasta was well cooked and mixed with butter, i was already mouth-watering when chef Kawamura was cooking the sauce of cream, chunks of Alba truffle and fresh sea uni. Before the dish to arrived, he sliced more white truffles to top the pasta. The truffle smells so incredible!!
Well, i thought it was die-for, it actually was, but i am some how not very into cooked sea urchin all the time, thus it was a bit pity for my liking. But the sliced thick white truffle definitely made it up. I won't order this pasta again unless the uni is served raw (or medium rare).
A meal is incomplete without desserts. At Kawamura, vanilla pudding is something you shouldn't miss. It was so moist and tender like a baby. The vanilla tastes were so elegant.
Kawamura is one of the most main Alba truffle importer in Japan, if you are lucky enough to have a meal here during truffle season, don't forget to try the ultimate white truffle ice cream. It was so intense and left a mouthful of truffle taste that you will never forget. Lastly, beef katsu (deep-fired beef steak) sandwich to bring back home. Perfect late-night snack or breakfast for the second day.
I am not an expert of beef but the steak was marvelous. The abalone with caviar was indeed extraordinary One of my partners had the regular appetizer platter (include Hirame, smoked salmon and one slice of abalone) instead of mine abalone dish (three slices and caviar), and a double-sized steak, but his bill was 6ok JPY cheaper than mine. While i feel pretty worthy for this amazing dish. The quality of Kawamura's Alba truffle was no doubt top notch, with the way he serves truffle (cut with a knife instead of slicing) or even deep-fried the truffle into a katsu to achieve stronger tastes.
I normally don't like to share my bill, but i was so curious about how much do people normally spend at Kawamura. The entire meal costs 150k+ JPY (1300 USD) exclude drinks and the beef sandwich - the most expensive meal without drinks i have ever had so far. But everything were as fantastic as i imagined.
Add: 東京都中央区銀座7-3-16 東五ビル１Ｆ
Hours: 18:00～22:00(L.O), Closed on Sundays and P.H.