April 12, 2021
Hidden away in the residential backstreets of Akita, Nihonryori Takamura sets itself well apart from the brash dining and drinking establishments in the center of the city. This is intentional: Here you find a very different style of cuisine from the hearty regional specialties on the menus of other local restaurants.
Chef Hiroki Takamura learned his craft in Tokyo at the legendary Takohachi, one of the last remaining high-end restaurants in the capital devoted to Edo ryōri, the subtle but sophisticated cuisine that developed in the capital during the days of the shoguns. Since returning to his hometown some 22 years ago, Takamura has kept that tradition alive while keeping abreast of contemporary tastes.
Instead of individual private dining chambers, he serves his meals in kappō style, overlooking his open kitchen. The multicourse menu comprises a series of dishes artfully plated and carefully calibrated to the season. One of the “new Edo ryōri” dishes Takamura has developed is kabura mochi, turnip that is pureed, set into a cube, then grilled and topped with caviar and gold leaf.
Another signature dish features hinai jidori, Akita’s renowned local breed of chicken. Takamura starts the cooking process at the back of the kitchen, then finishes it over a mizu konro charcoal grill that he wheels right up to the counter, allowing guests to observe and savor the aromas from close up.
From the delicate ceramics and lacquerware and premium local sake pairings to the visceral pleasure of watching your meal being prepared in front of you, it is this blend of refinement and personal attention that makes Takamura’s eight-seat counter the most coveted reservation in the city.
1-7-31 Omachi, Akita, Akita Pref. 010-0921, Japan