Ogasawara-Tei: Michelin star Spanish in Shinjuku
Tokyo takes the lead in gourmet dining. The capital of the Land of the Rising Sun has more Michelin star restaurants than any other city in the world. That said, many of the ranking restaurants serve Japanese or French fare. Ogasawara Hakushaku-Tei, or Ogasawara-Tei for short, is one of the few exceptions. This Michelin star Spanish restaurant did not, however, start off serving food.
From Residence to Restaurant
Built in 1927, Ogasawara Hakushaku-Tei, which translates to Count Ogasawara’s residence, was originally the home to Count Nagayoshi Ogasawara. The building, which reflects the Western influence over Japan at the time, survived WWII only to change hands for the following five or so decades. Then, at the turn of the millennium, restaurant company International Seiwa took over managing. The building was restored and reopened in 2002 as a Spanish restaurant. Ogasawara-Tei was awarded one Michelin star less than 10 years later.
A Piece of Spain
An elegant nod to Europe, the structure that makes this Michelin star Spanish restaurant foretells of the feast ahead. This Spanish colonial revival, set off the road just by Wakamatsu Kawada Station, transports you to another time and place. Large double doors open onto the main entrance. Staff, sharply dressed and wearing white gloves, guide you by the grand salon, through the lounge and past the cigar room to where you will dine. Each area is ornately decorated using pieces from Europe that reflect the style at the time.
Man Behind the Menu
Earning the Michelin star is a menu of Spanish dishes using local ingredients. The restaurant only offers two pre-fixe sets for dinner, priced at JPY10,000 and JPY15,000. Each set is created to flow as recommended by the chef. This allows you to relax and enjoy all the flavors. The master behind the menu is Chef Gonzalo Alvarez. Chef Alvarez began working at Ogasawara-Tei in 2009. Prior, he worked at Michelin-starred restaurants L’Esguard and Neichel in Barcelona.
Michelin Star Spanish Cuisine
Food at Ogasawara-Tei mixes rich Spanish seasoning with high-quality Japanese ingredients in a modern twist on Spanish cuisine. Each dish, an intricate creation of playful flavors, shows the chef’s attention to detail. This detail is also seen on the plate. Dishes are as beautiful as they are delicious, served as artistic sculptural displays.
Ogasawara-Tei requires reservations at least one day in advance. At this time, you will need to give your order. The restaurant has a semi-formal dress code and children are allowed in private rooms only.
Address: 10-10 Kawata-cho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo