1. Ao in Yoyogi-Uehara
    Photo: Keisuke Tanigawa
  2. Sushi Tokyo Ten Shibuya
    Photo: Keisuke Tanigawa
  3. Sushi M
    Photo: Sushi M
  4. Gracia
    Photo: Eat Play WorksGracia

9 best omakase and tasting menus in Tokyo for under ¥10,000

Treat yourself to a bargain with these omakase sushi lunches, kaiseki dinners and modern European tasting menus

Emma Steen
Written by
Emma Steen
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Omakase? In this economy? We know it’s hard to believe, but there are plenty of fine dining restaurants in Tokyo where you can treat yourself to a seasonal course dinner for less than ¥10,000. The word ‘omakase’ typically comes up at high-end Japanese restaurants where in lieu of ordering from a menu, diners entrust the chef to serve a selection of recommended dishes and seasonal specials. While it's true that these gastronomic affairs are generally reserved for a special occasion splurge, they don’t have to break the bank. Nor are they strictly limited to Japanese cuisine. 

Omakase dining is all about the joy of anticipating what the chef might serve, marvelling at the near-choreographed way they work in the open kitchen, and savouring the best ingredients of the season. It’s a culture that chefs across Tokyo hold dearly, with many incorporating omakase into their restaurants regardless of whether they’re serving Spanish tapas or charcoal-grilled yakitori. 

With so many restaurants offering their own interpretation of omakase dining, the line between omakase courses and tasting menus are sometimes blurred. However, it’s the integrity and intimacy of these tailored dining experiences that define them, rather than the terms used to label them.

Want to treat yourself on a budget? Here are Tokyo’s best omakase courses and tasting menus for under ¥10,000.

RECOMMENDED: Try the best cheap Michelin meals in Tokyo

Fine dining on a budget

  • Restaurants
  • Sushi
  • Aoyama

Omakase Edomae lunch from ¥8,800

A recently established sushi restaurant in the heart of Aoyama, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Sushi M caters exclusively to the mega-rich socialites who live in the neighbourhood. With a concept of pairing traditional sushi with fine wine, the venue is one that you’d normally reserve for a once-a-year special occasion, but the twice-a-week Edomae lunch menu says otherwise. 

Every Friday and Saturday, the restaurant serves omakase lunches for ¥8,800 a head, which includes ten pieces of sushi, a grilled fish dish and dessert. The meal is a significant discount in comparison to the standard omakase course, which starts at ¥22,000, but you wouldn’t guess it from the impeccable service and fine selection you’re treated to.

Wine pairings are available for both lunch and dinner, but the sommelier will happily recommend sake or wine by the glass if you’re not going all-out.

  • Restaurants
  • Hiroo

Lunch from ¥3,500, dinner from ¥6,000

One of many tenants of Hiroo’s restaurant-filled Eat Play Works complex, Gracia is a modern Spanish restaurant named after a district in Barcelona. The atmosphere of this counter-style gastrobar is cheery and casual, but the talented chef dishes up what is easily some of the best tapas in the country. 

Expect Spanish staples like ruby-red slivers of Iberico ham and cast iron pans of seafood paella, as well as contemporary bites like oyster ceviche with beetroot puree. Lunch courses are ¥3,500 (including an amuse bouche, appetiser, entree and dessert) or ¥6,000 for more voluminous portions of chef Jerome Quilbeuf’s specialities. At dinner, you can choose between a five-course menu for ¥6,000 or a seven-course menu for ¥9,000 as you sit back and watch the action with a glass of red.

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  • Restaurants
  • Omotesando

Omakase dinner from ¥5,000

With its collection of artworks and Japanese garden designed by Hiroshi Sugimoto, Sahsya Kanetanaka is a confoundingly peaceful space hidden on the second floor of Oak Omotesando. While the restaurant itself is small, its minimalist design consisting of two long counters (each made with a single piece of timber) facing the garden makes it feel far more spacious than it actually is.

During the day, the restaurant is frequented by shoppers looking for a tea break with traditional Japanese sweets, but the restaurant’s evening menu draws in diners with its contemporary kaiseki meal. There are two dinner courses available for ¥5,000 and ¥8,800 per head. The courses are presented as artfully as Sugimoto’s creations installed in the space, beginning with dishes like miso-cured fish and ending with mochi and bean paste paired with a freshly whisked bowl of matcha. 

  • Restaurants
  • Ginza

Omakase lunch from ¥2,800, dinner from ¥5,500

From the folks behind the Michelin-starred crab speciality restaurant Kitafuku comes a unique restaurant that elevates tonkatsu (deep-fried breaded pork) from a casual meal to an omakase experience. And with prices that won’t break the bank: lunch costs as little as ¥2,800 while dinner starts from an affordable ¥5,500.

The restaurant uses two types of pork: Yonezawa-buta Ichiban Sodachi, which has a good balance of umami and sweetness, and local Tokyo X-buta, favoured for its sweet, juicy fat. The pork is served fresh off the fryer, piece by piece, like a set course meal, and the chef will recommend the best condiment for each one. On the table you’ll find Himalayan salt as well as two types of sauces, and come dinner, the chef will bring out the restaurant’s signature balsamic vinegar sauce.

It’s an eye-opening experience exploring the various flavours and textures of pork, and you can really taste the difference from cut to cut. The trick is to place each  piece meat side down on your tongue for maximum flavour – don’t be lured in by the crispy golden crusts, no matter how tempting they look.

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  • Restaurants
  • Sushi
  • Shibuya

Weekday omakase lunch from ¥4,235, dinner from ¥8,470

In Tokyo, sushi on a budget normally means skipping the uni and fatty tuna rolls and sticking to imported salmon and dashimaki tamago (Japanese omelette) nigiri. This isn’t the case at Sushi Tokyo Ten Shibuya, where busy commuters can drop into the Shibuya Stream sushi restaurant for a generous omakase lunch for ¥4,235 and dinner for ¥8,470.

A peaceful oasis in the middle of bustling Shibuya, this sleek counter-style sushi restaurant will leave you feeling pampered, calm and most importantly, satisfied by the end of your lunch break. The restaurant doesn’t have any menus, but you’re in good hands as the chef behind the counter swiftly and seamlessly forms an array of perfectly shaped sushi, including opulent favourites like chutoro (medium fatty tuna) and a mini ikura-don (salmon eggs over rice).

  • Restaurants
  • Yoyogi-Uehara

Omakase dinner at ¥3,740

Combine the comfort of a homestyle izakaya with a bit of neo-bistro flair and you'll get Ao – a longstanding counter restaurant in Yoyogi Uehara serving classic Japanese food with a twist. It’s hard to pinpoint an overarching concept guiding the food, except that it’s based on fresh, seasonal Japanese ingredients, interpreted through techniques from other cuisines.

Many of the dishes are Japanese gastro pub staples that pair well with beer or nihonshu – think karasumi (dried mullet roe) with crisp slices of daikon – but the monthly menu also boasts inventive dishes like gazpacho paired with smoky grilled aubergine and scallop. The menu is extensive, but the most popular dishes can be enjoyed on a six-course kaiseki-like menu (sashimi included), which gets refreshed monthly. What’s really surprising is that the menu is priced at only ¥3,740, which makes the restaurant even more endearing.

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  • Restaurants
  • Ebisu

Omakase dinner at ¥7,050

Not all tacos need to be washed down with tequila. This hideaway restaurant in Ebisu serves tacos as part of a multi-course dinner menu (¥7,050 per person) in a sleek yet cosy counter-style restaurant.The palm-sized tacos here are small yet decadent, with a cross-cultural spin on modern Mexican cuisine – and we’re not talking about Tex-Mex.

With creative, non-traditional combinations like the foie gras taco with apple compote, the bites here are created to go with wine rather than margaritas. The selection of vino includes labels sourced from different parts of Europe – mainly France and Italy – as well as Japan, and a full wine pairing can be added for a total of ¥12,000 per head. While every taco here – made with freshly ground masa flour – is worth savouring, the star of the night is usually the the carne asada platter, where diners can have a little fun building their own steak tacos for the last course.

  • Restaurants
  • Nakameguro

Omakase lunch and dinner from ¥5,480

Daintier than your usual yakitori joint, Iguchi is a sleek, understated restaurant tucked in a quiet alley in Nakameguro. Like a sushi restaurant, the dining counter is made of a single hinoki tree and yakitori skewers are served one by one for diners to savour each piece as it comes off the charcoal grill.

The standard course is set at ¥5,480 and comes with 23 items, which the restaurant recommends setting aside three hours for. Despite the quantity of courses, the dishes are light enough that you won’t feel overstuffed halfway through the meal. It begins with appetisers ranging from foie gras and liver pâté to caciocavallo cheese before the yakitori lineup featuring favourites like chicken breast with a smear of freshly grated wasabi and crispy chicken thigh with a bite of daikon.

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  • Restaurants
  • Shibuya

Omakase dinner from ¥5,480

This smart, counter-style restaurant near Ebisu is a sister store of Iguchi Nakameguro that specialises in tempura. While tempura usually appears as a side or supplement for dishes like soba noodles or kaiseki courses, this counter restaurant elevates the Japanese fritters and makes it the star of the show. 

Delicate morsels of shrimp, sweet potato and chicken tempura are served one by one over the counter, with non-traditional items like foie gras croquette also added in the mix. Though nearly every course has been battered and deep-fried, the skills used to fry the tempura and high quality of oil stops the meal from feeling greasy. A multicourse dinner menu of 23 items is available for ¥5,480.

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