May 8, 2009
General manager & sommelier, Sabatini Roppongi
Originally published on metropolis.co.jp on May 2009
For the majority of local gourmands, the Sabatini restaurant group needs no introduction. Credited as helping to bring authentic Italian dining to Japan, the chain is anchored by a flagship eatery atop the iconic Hotel Ibis in Roppongi. That’s where you’ll find manager-sommelier Saburo Kashiwazaki, who prides himself on selecting wines from the restaurant’s vast cellar to pair with dishes like homemade antipasti, cannelloni and veal Marsala.
Kashiwazaki, 60, got his start in the restaurant business in 1969, when the Japanese food company he worked for dispatched him to Germany. A few years later he moved to Italy, where he won attention as the first foreign cameriere at the original Sabatini in Rome. Upon his return to Japan, Kashiwazaki helped introduce the restaurant to Tokyo, and he’s been with the Roppongi location since it opened in 1992. He holds sommelier certifications in both Italy and Japan and, thanks to his booming voice, was once a featured speaker on the Vatican Radio Broadcast.Favorite places to eat
Cuore di Roma At this Daikanyama restaurant, you can enjoy the flavors of Rome in a courtyard setting—a very fashionable atmosphere.
Asahi-an The soba here has a distinct aroma: it’s “Edo-mae style,” with whole-ground noodles made in-house.
Daiwa The veteran chefs at this Ginza steak restaurant pride themselves in cooking all the food in front of their customers.
Enomoto Fresh, “Edo-mae style” sushi. Sitting at the counter and having a lively conversation with the chefs is one of the attractions of this Setagaya restaurant.
Favorite places to drink
Le Peu This formal bar with experienced bartenders is located downstairs from Sabatini in Hotel Ibis.
Maduro The interior is grand, and the customers can enjoy a resplendent atmosphere. Fantastic service.
Favorite place to shop
Eataly This Daikanyama complex has a restaurant, bakery and grocery store offering a wide variety of quality ingredients.
Favorite restaurant in the world
Kaimano This is a high-end restaurant in Milan, but you can go casually and enjoy international gourmet cooking all under the same roof.
Sabatini 13F Ibis Bldg, 7-14-4 Roppongi, Minato-ku. Open daily 11:30am-2:30pm & 5-11pm. Nearest stn: Roppongi. www.sabatini.com
Asahi-an 2-3-40 Tennodai, Abiko City, Chiba. Tel: 04-7182-0340. Open daily 11am-8pm. Nearest stn: Tennodai (Joban line).
Cuore di Roma 1F Daikanyama Address, 17-6 Daikanyama, Shibuya-ku. Tel: 03-3464-0106. Open daily 11:30am-3pm and 6-11pm. Nearest stn: Daikanyama.
Daiwa 5-5-17 Ginza, Chuo-ku. Tel: 03-3289-5663. Open daily 11:30am-11pm. Nearest stn: Ginza. www.mikasakaikan.co.jp
Eataly 20-23 Daikanyama-cho, Shibuya-ku. Tel: 03-5784-2736. Opening hours vary. Nearest stn: Daikanyama. www.eataly.co.jp
Enomoto 3-29-3 Ikejiri, Setagaya-ku. Tel: 03-3424-9601. Open Mon-Sat 11:30am-1:30pm and 5pm-midnight, hols 5pm-midnight, closed Sun. Nearest stn: Ikejiri Ohashi.
Le Peu B1F Ibis Bldg, 7-14-4 Roppongi, Minato-ku. Tel: 03-3403-3463. Open daily 7pm-4am. Nearest stn: Roppongi.
Maduro Grand Hyatt Tokyo, 6-10-3 Roppongi, Minato-ku. Tel: 03-4333-8783. Open Sun-Fri & hols 5pm-2am, Sat 5pm-3am, Sun & hols. Nearest stn: Roppongi.
Kaimano 20 Via dei Fiori Chiavo, Milan. Tel: 02-8050-2733.