December 16, 2023
An open space matches an open Welcome
Walking towards Casita, you feel a calm wash over you as the sounds of busy Omotesando fade into the distance. And that feeling of finding your own little corner of this stylish Tokyo district is something that continues throughout your entire visit, in a way that is only made possible by Casita’s warm hospitality and attention to detail.
Upon entering the restaurant, you’ll either be seated at one of the atmospheric indoor tables, or outside on the spacious terrace. Outside, the restaurant seating is equipped with three kinds of heating for winter: overhead lamps, under-table kotatsu, and heated blankets. While there are certainly other spots in Omotesando that offer open-air seating, Casita’s warm feel sets you instantly at ease. Relax with good food and good company rather than worrying about appearances, which is sometimes a tough ask in this fashionable area.
Once you’ve chosen something from the extensive wine and drinks list, you’ll also have plenty to choose from on the food menu. The chefs use Italian cuisine as the guiding light, but combine this with Japanese ingredients and a dash of other European techniques to create dishes that are equal parts beautiful and delicious.
Senior Managing Director Kento Takahashi explains that the menu’s concept was to “arrange seasonal ingredients in a simple way to bring out their flavors, while also expressing an element of Japanese taste.” While each dish is elegantly arranged, none feel overcrowded, but instead combine bright colors and flavors of the season, resulting in dishes like squid ink zeppolini or fresh mussels on a bed of vibrant yellow saffron rice.
The brains behind these unique dishes is head chef Shintaro Ichihara. With his experience at notable locations such as the Four Seasons, Ichihara has now spent 20 years with the Casita Group, and continues to bring innovation and creativity to his guests’ tables.
The kitchen and floor staff also play a huge role in creating Casita’s welcoming atmosphere. Your wait staff will explain each dish, and make it their highest priority to accommodate any requests or requirements. That could be in a simple gesture such as remembering that a repeat customer doesn’t like onions, or in something that you didn’t think was possible, such as bringing you secret off-menu sushi when you ask for something Japanese (but you didn’t hear that from us!).
This communication and focus on making guests feel as welcome as possible runs deep within Casita’s philosophy. Each day, the staff have meetings about the guests, making sure to note any previous requests, or if a guest is celebrating an occasion. They will then greet every person who comes through the door with warmth, taking care to ask about their visit without overstepping. After all, they are a guest, not a number.
All of this hard work comes back to Casita’s motto: “When there are as many restaurants as there are stars in the sky, we want to continue to be a place of warmth and welcome for our guests.” It raises a good point. With so many restaurants in and around Tokyo, it can be hard to find ones that stand out in terms of hospitality, atmosphere and food. But at Casita, you know you can count on all three elements for a truly memorable experience.