To understand the idea behind Restaurant Tokuyoshi you just need to read Chef Yoji Tokuyoshi ‘s quote in the restaurant web site : Yoji calls his cuisine “contaminated Italian cuisine” mixing his Japanese heritage with the Italian influences. I would also add that this “contamination” is a prestigious contamination…given that Tokuyoshi has been for years the sous chef of Massimo Bottura at the current best restaurant in the world: Osteria Francescana
Opened in 2015 Ristorante Tokuyoshi was awarded 1 Michelin Star in 2016…just to be clear of what we are talking about.
You can eat in a traditional table or if there is availability in the “Chef’s Table” where you can assist the final fine tuning of the courses…in a sushi style way. We opted for the Chef’s Table. Interesting experience even if not unforgettable, but the idea of contamination between Italy and Japan is bold.
Chef Tokuyoshi proposes three different tasting menu options : Mediterraneo (inspired to italian southern tradition) , Contaminazione (defined as the “most representative tasting experience” to understand the contaminated cuisine idea) and Italy meets Japan (mixing tastes from both countries).
This time we decided to go “à la carte” trying to mix a bit from all the menus:
Calamaro… Pieno di sè (squid stuffed with its own tentacles, tomato and anchovies)
Anguilla in Polvere (Another Eel bites the dust…an esthetically magnificent course, with colored powders made of dried vegetables…nice to see, very good to taste)
Omaggio a Noto (Spaghetti made by Pastificio Mancini with Almond milk, clams and pistachios…one of the best spaghetti ever…great idea)
Sgombro Gyotaku (Gyotaku Mackerel…probably the most “contaminated” dish of the menu)
Piccione Nascosto (Hidden Pigeon… with swiss chard and fresh horseradish)
and finally the desserts:
Cemento & Terra (Concrete and Earth…an intriguing dessert made with vegetable carbon meringue and topinambur ice cream…very good)
O’Babá d’Yquem (the popular Naples dessert soaked in the famous Sauterns Chateau d’Yquem 2008 …original idea…insanely expensive though)
All in all a great experience. The idea of contaminated cuisine is original and pretty unique in the Italian gastronomic landscape. Ingredients are extremely good and top quality, level of service is excellent with waiters prepared and kind. Atmosphere is elegant though not formal (this is a plus). Last but not least, Chef Yoji is a perfect host in a true Japanese tradition (he personally came to tell us good bye and thank us for coming when we left…in my life it happened only twice…both in Japan)