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AreaSendai

Toyokan

東洋館 | Toyokan

The art of accompaniments

Photo by Roger Smith

Photo by Roger Smith

Photo by Roger Smith

Photo by Roger Smith

  • Roger Smith

    Writer / Inaugural editor

    Sendai

    Tags

    Last Update
    February 16, 2020

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  • Toyokan’s century-old wooden building sits atop a hill, offering outstanding views of the Hirose River and downtown Sendai. It is run by Chida Keiichi, fifth generation of a family which had once been part of the samurai class. When the age of  samurai came to an end, they started a snack stall under umbrellas by the side of the road. Over time they built it into one of Sendai’s finest restaurants. Chida describes the food as pure Nihon ryori, a cuisine based on immaculately prepared seasonal ingredients. With no main dish, an overall impression is built gradually―each course is prepared with a new clever flourish and subtly delicious flavors.

    Courses change with the seasons and the chefs are challenged to never present the same food twice to a customer. On this day, the meal began with ginnan (ginko nuts) in a sesame glaze. The suimono course was a delicate fugu (pufferfish) soup, scented with yuzu citrus and topped with shiny flakes of real silver. The sashimi plate had an immaculate use of color: the high-end cut of tuna had a richer shade of red than usual, and the pinks and reds of the fish were complimented by light yellow and green vegetables. The next dish was anago (salt-water eel), which Miyagi is known for. Normally their fat gives them a bold flavor. Chida explained that Touyokan selects the complete opposite, anago with less fat that have a more subtle flavor, so as not to overpower the meal.

    As Japanese food was traditionally based around vegetables, Toyokan can prepare pure vegetarian meals with vegetarian dashi stock. For those who wish to avoid raw fish or have allergies, they can customize meals upon request. The minimum party size is two and there is an optional tea ceremony offered in addition to the meal.

    Japanese dining is the art of creating an impression through complementary flavors. Naturally, the overall experience is also influenced by the dining space. I ate in a traditional room with tatami mats as hawks circled outside over the river, looking for their own meal. Past the high-rise buildings of downtown I could catch a glimpse of the ocean. Toyokan’s vantage point helped me feel connected to the food of Miyagi, making for a meal I will truly remember.

    WEBSITEhttp://www.toyokan.jp/

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Details

ADDRESS

1-1-16 Mukaiyama, Taihaku Ward, Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture 982-0841

ACCESS BY PUBLIC TRANSIT

By bus: From Sendai Station Bus Platform 11 (仙台駅前11番のりば), board bus bound for Yagiyama Minami Danchi (八木山南団地) or Midorigaoka 3-chome (緑ヶ丘三丁目). Alight at Mukaiyama 2-chome (向山二丁目) bus stop. Toyokan is a 2-minute walk from the bus stop. Timetables here.

CREDIT CARDS

Accepted

LANGUAGES

Japanese only

HANDICAP ACCESSIBLE

Yes

HOURS

11:30–15:00, 17:00–22:00

CLOSED DAYS

Mondays

PHONE

022-222-7019

Food & Drink Details

VEGETARIAN/VEGAN

Yes

HALAL

No

FOREIGN-LANGUAGE MENU

No

NON-SMOKING

Yes

TABLE CHARGE

No

LUNCH HOURS

11:30–15:00

DINNER HOURS

17:00–22:00

RESERVATION

Required

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