Chef-owner Kenichi Nemoto works closely with the fishermen he has known as a teenager, who send their catch of the day fresh from the boat to his kitchen, where he then devises a French-inspired multi-course seafood menu.
During our visit, the menu begins with charcoal grilled sweetfish that can be eaten from head to tail, served with a cooling sauce of spring onions, nori seafood and wild greens. Later, he serves yellowtail pan-seared medium rare, so that the skin is a crisp golden brown while the centre blushes a delicate pink. This is plated with sauteed chanterelle mushrooms, diced tomatoes and basil puree, which manager and head sommelier Yuito Terashima pairs with a bright Sauvignon Blanc to complement the Mediterranean flavours.
Némo, with its sophisticated ambience enhanced by natural wood and Nemoto's undeniable passion, encapsulates all the traits sought after by the city’s 50 Best Restaurants regulars sans the hefty ¥30,000 price tag. Currently, a seven-course lunch is ¥9,350 while a dinner course will set you back ¥16,500. As Némo’s reputation grows, however, these rates are bound to increase, so be sure to make your reservation at this rising star while you still can.