Exquisite ingredients and expert preparation should make Gomei a hit in Ginza.
Located in the middle of one of Tokyo’s most expensive and competitive areas, Akita-themed, Ginza-based teppanyaki restaurant “Gomei” is swinging its doors open for the first time.
Despite the area’s reputation for being a difficult place for a new restaurant to succeed, general manager and executive chef, Eiji Nishiyama, believes his restaurant has what it takes to prevail in the saturated and competitive high-end market.
Although not from Akita himself, Nishiyama is attracted to the prefecture’s high quality produce, which has the area’s unique climate and landscape to thank. From oceans and mountains to rivers, fresh air and fertile soils, Akita provides some of Japan’s best quality beef, rice, fish and vegetables. Gomei will showcase fresh, seasonal ingredients sourced from the region, with a focus on beef. Not just any beef though.
Nishiyama tells Weekender that the restaurant actually owns their own “cow shed” in Akita where cows are raised from birth specifically to supply meat for the restaurant. Moreover, a special “black-haired” beef will be sourced from cows that are fed the high quality Akita komachi rice (usually reserved for things like cooking and making sushi).
He explains that the taste of the cow’s fat is deeper, richer and sweeter as a result. Having complete control over the whole process—from rearing the cows to serving the beef to diners—gives Nishiyama and his team the ability to exercise an unusually high level of quality control.
Given that the restaurant will not have any physical menus, but will instead focus on set seasonal ingredients chosen by the chef and customized for each customer, it would be remiss of us to not give a nod to some of the other ingredients that will play starring roles.
Due to Akita’s proximity to the Sea of Japan, the prefecture has access to nearly 80% of the fish species found around the whole country, according to Nishiyama. It’s no surprise then, that Gomei also has some pretty special seafood dishes lined up, including marinated kawahagi fish and a delectable sea urchin pudding. Throughout autumn you can also expect foie gras, cow tongue, select mushrooms and of course plenty of rice.
However, the food is not the only thing that sticks to the Akita theme. The restaurant’s interior is also designed carefully to resemble an old home from the Meiji and Taisho eras (late 19th century to the beginning of the 20th century). Expect traditionally narrow corridors and low doorways that open into some beautifully appointed private dining spaces. Or if you prefer a more communal setting, pull up a seat along the huge teppanyaki-style hot plate and watch your food being prepared in front of you while chatting with the chef. Of particular note is the impressive original tategu sliding door that has been salvaged from that same period and recycled to provide access to the kitchen, as well as the dark-stained wooden beams that are carefully colored so as to keep the natural grain pattern intact.
With an eye on the goal of one day achieving three Michelin stars, Eiji Nishiyama keeps himself motivated by constantly challenging himself and pushing boundaries. Having previously trained in French cooking, Nishiyama is aiming to create something that doesn’t stick to one genre by combining his passion for French cooking techniques with his respect for Japanese traditions and quality produce. He believes that the teppanyaki-style dining that Gomei offers will be the perfect stage for him to showcase his unique skills and ideas.
On Friday, October 9, Gomei had a formal opening ceremony, which was attended by the governor of Akita Prefecture, Horihisa Satake, and dignitaries from Akita and Tokyo alike. After its opening to the public earlier in the month, you can enjoy these flavors without the need to be a VIP.
Address: B1F 6-4-18 Ginza, Chuo-ku,