While neighbouring taverns cater to the after-work penchants of Koto’s salarymen, Blind Donkey’s farm-to-table restaurant is an unexpected deviant in its district. Headed by Jérôme Waag and Shin Harakawa, the restaurant is a homage to local produce and everything here, save for the wine and olive oil, is sourced from small Japanese farms. Waag, who worked at Alice Waters’s restaurant Chez Panissein California for 25 years, insisted on being rooted in a historic part of Tokyo, where he would bring out the best in Japanese ingredients with European cooking techniques.
The menu highlights the best ingredients of the season and it’s difficult not to let your eyes rule your stomach as you sit at the rustic kitchen table, covered with colourful bowls of ingredients, aglow with linen lanterns. Vegetable dishes are a category all of their own here, and while sweet roasted carrots with mikan glaze can be enjoyed by themselves, they would also make an excellent accompaniment to heartier mains such as wild boar braised with shiitake mushrooms and red wine served over polenta.