The team at Caveman would prefer not to have their cuisine classified, but if it must be summed up, they suggest – with a grin – calling it ‘progressive Japanese’. This charm and confidence shine through the food at Caveman, as they do the whole package: innovative dishes and drinks, friendly staff, and a more relaxed atmosphere than at similar fine-dining establishments. Produced by the Kabi restaurant team, known for their modern-European-accented Japanese food, Caveman is helmed by owner-chef Atsuki Kuroda, who brings his own experience living and cooking in Italy and Norway.
Dinner is ¥9,000 for 11 courses, with alcohol (natural wines, sake, maybe even some mezcal) and non-alcohol (a mixture of teas and fermented drinks) pairings available. The menu changes depending on which ingredients are available on the day, but you can expect imaginative dishes like a potato pancake topped with pickled saba (mackerel), leek mayonnaise, buckwheat seeds, wild strawberries and yogurt powder. Behind the open shelves of lush potted plants – before you reach Switch Coffee – you’ll find a smaller area of Caveman where you can order wine by the glass and small dishes from an a la carte menu.
Happily, Caveman is also alleviating Tokyo’s somewhat wanting brunch scene, with breakfast served daily from 7.30am-12pm. For ¥3,500 you’ll get an assortment of cured meats, egg soufflé, sourdough bread from Vaner, waffles, plus some house-made condiments. It’s better to book for breakfast, but walk-ins are welcome, too. If you miss out on the full breakfast set, the team will happily help you out with a delicious open sandwich.