Warm hospitality welcomes customers
into a relaxing atmosphere.
Giving new life to beloved dishes
while maintaining tradition.
The popular Italian restaurant Cucina Hirata has stood in the Azabu Juban district for almost 30 years.
It is currently run by owner and chef Takeju Machida together with hostess Sei Terada.
Four fixed price courses are on the lunch menu, while the dinner menu allows customers to create their own combination of dishes freely from an a la carte menu.
Chef Machida learned under former chef Sho Hirata famous in the industry for his strict work ethic and attention to culinary detail, and though he took over the restaurant in 2010, he is still 100% "Hirata-trained."
In fact, he still serves his predecessor's speciality dish, "Karasumi-topped Capellini."
The salty karasumi, or dried mullet roe, is heated to give it a rich, velvety texture that matches perfectly with the pasta's cream sauce cut with shellfish broth.
However, this is no simple conservative continuation of tradition - the menu sees constant innovation. Grilled tilefish confit combines the fluffy texture of the meat with crispy skin, and it was introduced as an hors d'oeuvre after Machida took over.
He has been visiting Tsukiji since he was a trainee, so the close personal relationships he has fostered help him obtain a variety of the finest seasonal ingredients, including winter oysters from Akkeshi in Hokkaido.
The restaurant also serves a popular fermented pork roast dish year-round that is delivered direct from Akita, and the rest of the menu is a wonderful balance of standbys and seasonal items.
More than 200 primarily Italian wines line the walls of the restaurant's cellar. Sei Terada, the restaurant's hostess, is qualified as a senior sommelier, and she provides suggestions on the best wines to pair with the chef's cuisine.
The La Scolca Gavi from Piedmont is recommended. This white wine with mineral notes is made from grapes selected from 60 year old vines.
It pairs well with meat-based dishes, including both seafood and pork. Average price for a bottle is ￥10,000, but there are always around 10 different wines available by the glass from ￥1000.