Sushi chefs at The Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo work with only select fishermen and dealers at Tsukiji, the world’s largest fish market, to determine which catches best represent the most-desired internal and external qualities — the ideal of which is known as kata. Their philosophy, following a source-to-table concept, is to create each day’s menu based off that morning’s selections and the freshest seasonal local produce. By following this philosophy, the menu of edomae sushi marries a minimalist approach with a diversity of flavors, no matter the season.
At Hinokizaka restaurant, the sake sommelier’s recommended choice is locally produced as well. As he discusses the tradition and innovation of the Sawanoi brand, which is brewed in the countryside of west Tokyo by a company that dates back to 1702, both the senses and intellect of guests are piqued.