Tokyo's oh-so-trendy Italian-inspired bar/restaurants tend to be hit-and-miss, with a few gems mixed in among the vast majority of mediocre joints that spend big on the interior and faux-authenticity but fall by the wayside after a year or so. Eifukucho's Ichi is among the success stories, as this stylish street-level eatery has been going strong in the neighbourhood since 2010. The first thing you'll notice here is the well-designed open kitchen and seating area, with the counter providing unimpeded views of the chefs hard at work. Another highlight is the lengthy but inexpensive wine list, from which the staff choose a few recommendations daily.
Our visit started off with some rather stiff service, but things improved noticeably as the night went along. The opener, a prosciutto salad with seasonal veg, was refreshing and made good use of local ingredients, mixed with some homemade balsamic vinegar – nice and mild. We then opted for the pasta alla Genovese with okra, which turned out to be a well-balanced, voluminous affair that still left space for dessert. Our choice was an above-average tiramisu that produced an appropriately smooth aftertaste. The bill came to slightly above ¥4,000, including drinks – you can't really get this level of quality at cheaper prices. Note that reservations are essential if you're going with a group, and that the entire restaurant is non-smoking.
1-44-8 Eifuku, Suginami-ku
|Opening hours:||6pm-2am / closed Tue|
|Transport:||Eifukucho Station (Keio Inokashira line), south exit|