Since opening in the bayside suburb of Potts Point Sydney in 2001, Fratelli Paradiso has become a renowned institution for classic Italian food and natural wine set in a relaxed environment. Owners Enrico and Giovanni Paradiso and Marco Ambrosino are long-standing authorities when it comes to front-of-house hospitality, and this is evident in every staff member’s level of service and knowledge. When asked why they chose to open their second restaurant in Tokyo before perhaps more obvious choices closer to home, their response was simple: “If we can satisfy the most discerning of diners in Tokyo, then we have reached the top of our game.”
Fratelli Paradiso Japan opened on the 29th of April 2017, on the top level of the Omotesando Hills complex. A spacious 145-seat restaurant, it features a bold marble bar and inviting tan leather banquettes to settle into. The menu is chalked up on a blackboard wall, which takes up one side of the dining room. The vibe is that of a contemporary Italian bistro, a place where you would feel comfortable for a casual lunch or a more formal dinner.
Boasting over 150 wine labels, all of which are organic and sulphur-free, the wine list is a stand-out. Its selections are housed in the variable temperature-controlled wine cellars which run the length of the entire wall behind the bar. A pioneer in spreading the natural wine culture in Sydney, owner Giovanni is especially passionate about the “free” wine scene and is excited to see that Japan shares his enthusiasm for this style of wine. “Wine is meant to be delicious with minimal interference, a low alcohol content and juicy acidity which pairs perfectly with tasty food,” he commented.
The wines are mainly from France and Italy, with some exclusive bottles coming in from Australia as well. Each wine has a story behind it, from the fourth-generation female winemaker to the small wine commune in Tuscany. Ex-Noma sommelier Yukiyasu Kaneko is at the helm, and it’s obvious that the wine is just as important here.
The food is in the hands of Executive Chef Toshiyuki Nakayasu. Tokyo-born Nakayasu was the Head Chef at Fratelli Paradiso in Sydney for nine years, returning to Japan in 2015. It’s for this reason that you will be hard pressed to find a difference here from the classic dishes which have Sydney diners coming back repeatedly.
To start, I ordered a plate of 12-month-aged prosciutto. Thinly sliced, it has a mild, delicate flavour. In the centre is a fresh ball of creamy mozzarella di bufala from Puglia. It is the simplest of pairings but one not to miss (¥2,200). Likewise, the smoked bottarga dip with house-made pretzel is dangerously addictive (¥1,700).
All of the bread and pasta is made fresh onsite daily, a signature being the scampi linguine. A whole scampi is served in its shell alongside a simple fresh tomato pasta (¥2,500). With five different pasta dishes to choose from, repeat visits are in order. Meat lovers can enjoy prime Australian Angus beef in the form of Tagliata Manzo (¥4,500), Vitello (¥4,000) and Costata di Manzo (¥13,000), faultlessly cooked and simply seasoned.
A meal at Fratelli Paradiso is not complete without their signature Tiramisu. It is the perfect balance of creamy — but not too sickly sweet — and light and airy with the right amount of coffee and booze (¥900). Apparently the secret is in the mascarpone sourced from California.
The lunch menu features a four-course and six-course set menu at ¥2,800 and ¥4,500, respectively. At dinner, the six-course set menu is ¥5,800. At all times, the a la carte option is available. A bar menu offers up some perfect snacks to accompany a glass or two of wine.
Fratelli Paradiso is a welcomed addition to Tokyo’s ever-growing restaurant scene. Its “all day” approach to dining allows for a glass of wine and a delicious plate of food at the bar any time of day or a sit-down lunch or dinner, which can stretch out over a few hours. The food is authentic and fulfilling, the kind that you have cravings for because of its delicious simplicity. The wine list is exciting, and making your way through it is a journey in itself.
Fratelli Paradiso, Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 4-12-10 Omotesando Hills. Stations: Meijijingu-Mae/Omotesando. Tel. +81-03-3408-0800. 11:00-23:00 (Sunday 22:30)
Reservations and walk in available