Have you ever had a meal so good that you decided you absolutely had to come back at least once before you kicked the bucket? It might have been some tiny restaurant on a beach or a five-star establishment in Shinjuku, but we imagine lots of people have some special place where the food was just freaking perfect.

So, we asked our Japanese writers what those places were for them and compiled the answers. You’re welcome! Click below to find out the ten places (someone cheated) they absolutely must visit again and see if your favorite eatery made the list.

1. Peter Luger Steak House
Location: New York, USA
Male, 20s

“I visited the Peter Luger Steak House in 2011 on assignment for RocketNews24, and I was amazed by the steak. I had heard that the steak was amazing before I went, so I had high expectations, but it was much better than I thought it would be.”

“The first bite was filled with smooth, rich meat juices. It had a full, fragrant aroma, making it even more delicious. It was first time I was ever moved by how good food was.”

“If I ever get the chance to go back to New York, I definitely want to eat there again!!”




▼After the first bite, rich meat juice poured out.



2. Motsuko
Location: Fukuoka, Japan
Male, 30s

“This place has motsu-nabe (organ hot pot) you can get nowhere else. There are similar restaurants, but Motsuko doesn’t have any other branches. You could even go all the way to Fukuoka just to eat here, and it would totally be worth it. The shime chanpon (a helping of noodles tossed into the hot pot to close out the meal) is the best thing on the menu. It is filled with all the best ingredients and is even called the ‘King of Shime.'”

▼ There’s always a line here!




▼ Leave the timing up to the staff!





▼ They add a ton of sesame!



3. Restaurant: Dough Boys
Location: Los Angles, California, USA
Female, 30s

“My ex-boyfriend was a regular at this cafe, but the portions were particularly large and everything on the massive menu was extremely tasty. It was that kind of American ‘comfort food’ that’s full of calories but always makes you feel good. Even so, the prices were very reasonable and the sandwiches used bread that was baked right there in the restaurant!”

“What I really liked, and ate often, was the sandwich and soup set, but no matter what, I could never finish it all and I’d end up getting a To Go Box to take home with me. I wanted to know their recipes so badly that I even thought about working in the kitchen! I want to go back to L.A. just to visit Dough Boys!”




4. Roan Matsuda
Location: Hyogo Prefecture, Japan
Male, 30s

“This place offers a number of dishes as courses, but all of them are amazing. In particular, the mori soba is so good you don’t even need any broth to enjoy it. Everything is prepared with careful consideration and it’s been ranked number one by Taberogu [a Japanese website like Yelp, but more respected].”

▼ This is what Roan Matsuda looks like outside.


▼ The road leading to the restaurant. It’s in the middle of the mountains,
and sometimes you can spot deer running in the wild.







▼ Soba so good, you don’t even need tsuyu (broth)!










5. Melasti Cafe
Location: Bali, Indonesia
Female, 30s

“Here you can eat on the beach as the sun sets. That alone would be enough to get anyone excited, but the freshly caught seafood is shockingly delicious.”

“The staff cook the food and deliver it to you covered in sauce, and that sauce is so good it feels like you cheeks will fall right off! [Translator’s comment: How is that a good thing??] Everything goes great with Bintan Beer! Kangkong and rice come with every dish, so it’s a great deal. It was surprisingly cheap even…”

j11Bali Chili

j21Bali Chili

6. Tatsu Shou
Location: Fukuoka
Male, 30s

“This is the best sushi I’ve ever had. I want to eat it right before I die. If this is what I taste with my last breath, I will have no regrets. If I can choose my last meal, I would choose this place!”

▼ You can taste the season through the fish.


▼ You can feel the care that’s gone into each piece.






▼ The inside of the establishment



7. Amankila Manggis
Location: Bali, Indonesia
Female, 30s

“This is at Amankila, one of Bali’s three Aman Resorts. The restaurant serves both Indonesian and Western food, but no matter what you order, every plate will be filled with food that will make you say, ‘I’ve never had anything this good before!'”

“The regular menu is, of course, amazing, but if you consult with the chef before hand, they can make anything special for you. No matter what ingredients or in what order you want to eat, you can arrange the course content however you want. Of course, if you’re not sure what to do, the chef will offer suggestions as well.”

“And since the restaurant also has ‘butlers,’ they can bring the food to you wherever you want to eat, whether it’s on the beach or a hill or even set up next to a pool lit with candles. They offer the best food to match their guests’ ideal situations.”

“Other Aman resorts are amazing, of course, but the food at Amakila is the best. I visited the resort again recently–for the first time in six years–and I was still moved by how good the food was!”

“I definitely want to go back at least once more before I die!”








8. Kamon
Location: Shanghai, China
Male, 30s

“This is less a restaurant and more an izakaya, but regardless, I definitely want to visit ‘Kamon Shanghai’ at least once more. I was in China for over ten years, and while there were lots of sad and difficult times for me, whenever I came to this izakaya, which is run by a Japanese man, I would forget all my worries. It wasn’t that I didn’t like Chinese food. I went to plenty of local places as well, and I even ate at some less hygienic places. But when I wanted a small space where I could get a feel of being back home, this was the place. Maybe, at the bottom of my heart, I was still thinking about Japan. I highly recommend the ‘teppan nepolitan,’ stir-fried pasta with eggs cooked on a teppan (iron griddle).”


9. Patzeria Perfect Pizza
Location: New York, USA
Male, 30s

“After I ate here, I was so amazed by the pizza that this immediately became the place that I have to visit whenever I come to New York. First, I was captured by the gap between how crispy the bottom of the crust was compared to how soft the rest of the pizza was. I don’t recommend getting too many toppings, though. By the way, the type of Italian pizza that is popular in Japan has little in common with New York-style pizza. So, if a New Yorker is coming to Japan, I’d highly recommend they eat all the pizza they can before coming here. (I’m only joking a little.)”

10. Restaurant: Benjamin Steak House
Location: New York, USA
Male, 30s (the same guy who also picked Patzeria Perfect Pizza)

“My second entry is also in New York. The aged beef they have here is really special. Your mouth is filled with flavor after flavor of deliciousness. I ordered so much that I had to take some of it home with me, and I ended up eating it at the airport the next day. Even then, it was surprisingly delicious. So, even if you put it aside for a little bit, it will still be great! I definitely want to go back sometime.”

u1Benjamin Steak House

So, how many of these places have you been to? If you haven’t been to any of them (or even if you have), be sure to share the restaurant you absolutely must go back to at least once!

Images © RocketNews24 unless otherwise noted