These award-winning restaurants tick all the boxes for a successful first date in the capital. 

While it can be hard enough to find a partner to date in Tokyo, especially now with the state of emergency restrictions brought about by the coronavirus pandemic, once you’ve found that special someone you then have to overcome another hurdle: finding the perfect place to take your romantic interest on a first date.

Here to make that task easier is Japan’s “First Date Awards“, organised by Mrk & Co, a business developer who also runs the Dine dating app. Covering categories such as casual dining and slightly more expensive options, the awards tip the hat to 27 restaurants that tick all the boxes in terms of service, food and ambience to help couples secure that all-important second date.

There were five grand prize winners in this year’s awards, so let’s take a quick look at each of them below.

Ebisu Kunsei Apartment Cave (Ebisu)

This “adult hideaway” serves up full-course meals of smoked food, scoring highly for service, food, atmosphere, and coronavirus countermeasures.

Comments from first date users:

  • The staff were very friendly despite the upmarket atmosphere, which made it easy to talk to my dining partner without feeling nervous! The food is also novel, which provides you with good conversational material. I highly recommend it. (Woman in her 30s)
  • I was really impressed by the politeness of the staff who served us. (Male in his 20s)
  • I was surprised that everything was smoked! Thank you for the whiskey — it was delicious. (Woman in her 30s)

Jidoriya Tsukada (Shibuya)

The ultimate restaurant for fans of chicken, Tsukada serves only quality locally sourced meat in stylish surroundings that will impress any first date.

Comments from first date users:

  • It was great that the restaurant was very nice, the food was delicious, and the atmosphere was relaxed. (Male in his 30s)
  • The staff were very nice, creating a fantastic experience from beginning to end. The food was really delicious and I was surprised at how fashionable it was. It’s reasonably priced as well. (Woman in her 30s)
  • I had a very good time here, and the staff all had lovely smiles!  (Woman in her 20s)

Ebisu Komeru (Ebisu)

This secret hideaway specialises in rice dishes and clay-pot cooking, and is often frequented by Japanese celebrities, who like to book their cosy private rooms.

Comments from first date users:

  • It had a wonderful hideaway atmosphere, all the food was delicious, and it was fun to choose the meals, which made it a great experience. I’d like to dine there again! (Woman in her 20s)
  • The food was delicious and I enjoyed ordering with the friendly staff. (Woman in her 20s)
  • It was delicious, the atmosphere was good, and the timing of the food service was spot-on. It was a wonderful restaurant! (Woman in her 30s)

BLU (Ebisu)

It’s all about Italy here, where you can enjoy Italian cuisine, made with seasonal seafood and vegetables, accompanied by recommended wines while surrounded by the warmth of Italian wood.

Comments from first date users:

  • The food tasted fantastic and the serving sizes were impressive! Great value for money. (Male in his 40s)
  • The food was very delicious and the staff were great so I was very satisfied! I also liked the relaxed and stylish atmosphere. (Female in her 20s)
  • I enjoyed the ambience and service. It was nice to be able to see the cooking taking place in front of us, which led to easy conversation with my dining partner. (Woman in her 30s)

Atelier Morimoto Xex (Roppongi)

This restaurant, loved by local and foreign celebrities, is run by Mr Morimoto, an iron chef who specialises in sushi and teppanyaki.

Comments from first date users:

  • The food was delicious and the service was excellent. It was really great to have the chef in front of us, and I was happy to find there was a fireplace on the second floor. (Woman in her 30s)
  • The food and atmosphere were fantastic. (Male in his 40s)
  • This was my first time here, and I had a very good time. Having the staff see us off at the entrance when we’d finished was a nice touch. (Male in his 30s)

So there you have it — five of the best restaurants in Tokyo for a first date. We’ve also included the full list of award winners for you below:

Casual Category (10 restaurants)

5,000 Yen (US$45.98) or More Per Person (10 restaurants)

10,000 Yen or More Per Person (five restaurants )

All the restaurants above are said to have proper coronavirus countermeasures in place to keep diners safe during the pandemic. And while 90-percent of dates are said to be usually held at night, the demand for lunch dates has grown during the current state of emergency, prompting restaurants that previously opened only for dinner to now open for lunch, which is a welcome change for singles looking for love during the new normal.

With this list of perfect restaurants for first dates at your fingertips, all you’ll have to do now is brush up on your dating skills and learn to make takoyaki to further boost your appeal. And here’s hoping your first date doesn’t turn out to be like this one, where the man’s dining partner surprised him by bringing 23 family members along for the meal.

Source: PR Times
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