Yamazato, located in the stylish Hotel Okura on Ferdinand Bolstraat in the charming Pijp district, is the premiere Japanese style restaurant in the whole of Europe. Boasting one Michelin star, Executive Chef Masanori Tomikawa has carefully designed each dish to reflect the seasonal changes of Japan. If you’ve never had a chance to visit a truly authentic Japanese Kaiseki style restaurant or you find yourself craving a remarkably unique culinary experience, Yamazato is waiting for you.
To call Yamazato “authentic Japanese” would be an understatement. It’s actually the only Japanese restaurant on the continent to have earned a Michelin star. Yamazato Marketing Manager, Joyce Aerts tells us that people come from all over to enjoy the delicacies. “Not just Amsterdam locals, but also people from the greater Amsterdam area and other places in Holland.” For those who know what they are looking for, Yamazato is a destination in itself, “We even have a lot of Germans who travel all the way from Germany just to taste the food here.”
Yamazato is also an ideal spot for a business meeting or a place to take clients for dinner. It’s classy 15th and 16th-century Sukiya style décor, scenic view of the Japanese garden, and renowned Japanese hospitality are sure to make an impression.
The sushi bar is located at the head of restaurant, where travelers, tourists, and business people alike sit and enjoy a front row seat at the chef’s counter. This is where the magic happens. Watching the chef slice each piece of fish is like watching Leonardo de Vinci adeptly apply paint that would become the uncanny smile of the Mona Lisa.
At Yamazato, you’ll discover just how sushi is supposed to be prepared. This is not your average sushi bar. Joyce describes the skill of the chefs, “They are not ordinary. In Japan, it takes years to become a sushi chef. You have to be trained in everything: in the cutting, in the preparation. It’s really hard to do.”
Making Dinner a Destination
Kaiseki refers to the traditional Japanese multi-course cuisine served in delicate wooden boxes or on fine porcelain plates. This kind of food can only be described as wholly aesthetic because it is meant to excite not just your palate, but all the senses. The lunchtime bento box contains several dishes such as tempura, sashimi, and other carefully arranged fare to whet your appetite.
Dinner is something else altogether. At Yamazato, you’re encouraged to sit and relax while you dine. The seasonal menu contains 6 or 7 course dishes, which as Joyce reminds us, takes time to enjoy, so relax and allow yourself to take it all in. Each dish reminds one of a work of art. The taste and aroma is equal to the visual composition. In other words, the preparation of each meal is nothing short of a masterpiece.
The food and atmosphere combine to make each experience at Yamazato an unforgettable one. Itadakimasu!
Yamazato Restaurant is open for breakfast from 07:30 to 09:30, Lunch from 12:00 to 14:00, and Dinner from 18:00 to 21:30.