Tokyo Shiba Tofuya Ukai: A Timeless Tofu House

Peanut Tofu at Tokyo Shiba Tofuya Ukai in Tokyo, Japan


Hello, my friends! Today, we're going to talk about Tofuya Ukai, a gorgeous tofu house located just beneath the Tokyo Tower. There is no other experience like it. In addition to the dank kaiseki meal, the overall atmosphere of the restaurant is unreal. Let me explain. The restaurant features a walled-off perimeter with one main gate, (wo-)manned by ladies dressed in traditional Japanese clothing. When you get to the main entrance, one of them will guide you through the main gate and along a winding stone path. You will reach a second gate that opens up into the inner garden, filled with stones, trees, and a pond fully equipped with koi fish, waterwheels, lanterns, and steppingstones.


When you're inside the garden, you'll have a great view of the Tokyo Tower but, other than that, it will feel like you're in a completely different era. Tofuya Ukai makes their own tofu in-house. According to their website, they use high quality soybeans and spring water to give the tofu a rich and sweet taste.



Tokyo Shiba Tofuya Ukai in Tokyo, Japan

When you enter the actual restaurant, you will be guided to your own private room. You could hear the murmurs from the quiet conversations in the adjacent rooms but the walls are thick enough that you can't really hear actual words. I'm not sure if all rooms are the same but our room had traditional floor level seating, where you sit on a flat pillow on the ground and the meal is served on a table no more than two feet off the ground.



So, we got two different types of sets. The first one was the Matsu Set. I'll go through the whole meal before I move onto the Hana Set, which Steph ordered because she's extra like that. To get a preview of what we're about to talk about, check out the menu above. 


Simmered Crab and Tofu Ball at Tokyo Shiba Tofuya Ukai in Tokyo, Japan

First, I got a Simmered Crab and Tofu Ball (see above). This was my first intake of food all day. Granted, it was only lunch time but I was starving and jet lagged! With the first bite, I was immediately revived. It was hearty and comforting like my bed on a cold, rainy day.
 Age Dengaku Deep Fried Tofu Coated with Miso at Tokyo Shiba Tofuya Ukai in Tokyo, Japan

Next, we got the Age Dengaku (see above). This Deep Fried Tofu was our first taste of this institution's specialty tofu. It was lightly-fried, fluffy, and gentle in flavor. It was coated with Miso and we had the option of enjoying it with scallions. 


Fresh Sashimi at Tokyo Shiba Tofuya Ukai in Tokyo, Japan

Very shortly after, we had a small plate of fresh sashimi (see above). The Matsu set came with Bluefish and Tuna. Both were light and not so fishy in flavor. There was a good amount of fat that made it taste slightly buttery. Not bad. Steph's Hana set had a better type of sashimi as you'll see later. 

Simmered Turnip with Miso at Tokyo Shiba Tofuya Ukai in Tokyo, Japan





















Next, we had some Simmered Turnip with Miso (see above). The Turnip was perfect. It was so soft and required no effort to cut. The Miso was a bit overwhelming but still good. To me, too much miso can make the dish taste salty. But, it's okay. Miso provides beneficial probiotics, which is fantastic for your digestive function!

Scallop Sushi at Tokyo Shiba Tofuya Ukai in Tokyo, Japan



















After the Simmered Turnip, we got some Scallop Sushi (see above). Nothing too crazy here but what was interesting was the way they sliced the scallop. It looked cool. Also, the scallop itself was soft but not mushy. It was sweet in flavor. 

Peanut Tofu at Tokyo Shiba Tofuya Ukai in Tokyo, Japan
The Scallop Sushi came with Peanut Tofu, Mushroom and Vegetables (see above). This was one of my favorite plates. Soft, creamy, and delectable - almost like a dessert

Tousui Tofu (Tofu in Seasoned Soy Milk) at Tokyo Shiba Tofuya Ukai in Tokyo, Japan

After the peanut tofu, we had even more tofu! I was craving more tofu after that dank Age Dengaku. This next dish (see above) was pretty awesome. It was the Tousui Tofu (Tofu in Seasoned Soy Milk). It came out in a huge pot over a gas fire. The room was slowly filled with an alluring soybean aroma. Our waitress helped us in portioning out a small bowl per person. The soy milk was a bit bland and mainly salty in flavor. But, it ensured the tofu would not be diluted in flavor. 

Sea Trout with Thin Vegetable Strips at Tokyo Shiba Tofuya Ukai in Tokyo, Japan






















One of our last dishes was the Sea Trout with Thin Vegetable Strips (see above). It kind of looks like Salmon but it tastes different. It has less fat and less protein than salmon. Typically, Sea Trout is a bit mild in flavor. But, it can still make for a good meal. Tofuya Ukai made their Sea Trout very well. I liked that it wasn't dry. I wasn't bored with it at all!

Yurine Gohan Rice Cooked with Lily Bulbs at Tokyo Shiba Tofuya Ukai in Tokyo, Japan
Finally, most kaiseki meals end with a rice dish. For our set, we had some Rice Cooked with Lily Bulbs (see above). These Lily Bulbs are more fragrant than they are tasty. The scent is sweet and floral. This tasted good but I didn't love it. 

Sweet Adzuki Bean Soup with Sesame Crusted Mochi at Tokyo Shiba Tofuya Ukai in Tokyo, Japan

For dessert, we had some Sweet Adzuki Bean Soup with Sesame Crusted Mochi (see above). Adzuki is essentially the same as Red Bean. In Japan, they refer to it as Adzuki Beans. The taste is slightly sweet and earthy like sweet potato



Steph's turn! She got the Hana Set (see above). You can check out the menu above. Her set had some similarities, which I'll brush over. But, she had a few interesting dishes we did not have with the Matsu Set. 

Salmon Sushi at Tokyo Shiba Tofuya Ukai in Tokyo, Japan
First, she got some Salmon Sushi (see above). It came wrapped in a leaf and looked pristine. I can't comment on the taste because I didn't taste it but I'm sure it was great. 

Fried Yam Potato, Shrimp Served with Cod Roe, Scallop and Vegetables at Tokyo Shiba Tofuya Ukai in Tokyo, Japan
The Salmon Sushi was accompanied with three other tiny dishes (see above). This included Shrimp with Cod Roe, Scallop and Vegetables, and Fried Yam Potato. 

Age Dengaku Deep Fried Tofu Coated with Miso and Scallions at Tokyo Shiba Tofuya Ukai in Tokyo, Japan
Next, she got the same Age Dengaku (see above) dish as us. Again, it was lightly-fried, fluffy, and gentle in flavor. Steph took advantage of eating it with scallions. 

Fresh Sashimi at Tokyo Shiba Tofuya Ukai in Tokyo, Japan






















For her Sashimi dish, she got Tuna and Cornetfish. What is a Cornetfish? It's a crazy-looking fish. You need to google it immediately. It's a long, spear-like fish and can grow up to 2 meters in length! It is very rare to find this at a sushi restaurant. Its meat is sweet and there is barely any fishy taste. 

Simmered Red Snapper and Turnip at Tokyo Shiba Tofuya Ukai in Tokyo, Japan






















Next, Steph got some Simmered Red Snapper and Turnip. Like my Turnip dish, the vegetable was so soft and did not require any effort to slice and scoop. Steph's turnip came with Red Snapper. 

Tousui Tofu (Tofu in Seasoned Soy Milk) at Tokyo Shiba Tofuya Ukai in Tokyo, Japan
Steph also had some Tousui Tofu (Tofu in Seasoned Soy Milk). I won't say much more about that but I'm pretty sure hers was delicious too!  

Deep Fried Pufferfish at Tokyo Shiba Tofuya Ukai in Tokyo, Japan








One of the most interesting dishes that Steph had was definitely the Deep Fried Pufferfish. Yes, pufferfish - the poisonous one. But, if prepared correctly, the meat of the Pufferfish is not dangerous. If you want to learn more about this fish, check out our Fugu guide. This dish tasted a lot like fried chicken. That sounds strange but even if you enjoy Pufferfish raw, you'll notice a slight chicken-like flavor. Go try it out!

Steamed Rice with Whitebaits and Pickled Radishes at Tokyo Shiba Tofuya Ukai in Tokyo, Japan





















For Steph's final rice dish, she got Steamed Rice with Whitebaits and Pickled Radishes. Whitebaits are like tiny anchovies. In Japan, it's called Shirasu and is very popular as a rice topping. Shirasu is packed with calcium and protein. If you read my Isomaru Suisan review, you might recognize my... PROPOSED PARENTING TIP, which is to feed this to your kids because it's easy to eat and is a great source of nutrients. 

Hassaku Orange Coated with Honey at Tokyo Shiba Tofuya Ukai in Tokyo, Japan

Steph let me try a half of one of these Hassaku Oranges (see above). It was CRACK. It looked similar to an average piece of Mandarin orange. However, it was a bit more yellow in color. The taste is similar to grapefruit but less bitter and sour. The flavor is more tart like candy. Tofuya Ukai also coated the orange with honey. It was delicious.

Overall, I recommend doing one of the sets we did. There are full sets that have even more tofu but you might get sick of it after a while. 

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Information:
芝公園4-4-13
Minato, 東京都 〒105-0011
Japan
+81 3 3436 1028
Recommendations:
Hana:
Salmon Sushi 
Shrimp Served with Cod Roe
Scallop and Vegetables
Fried Yam Potato
Age Dengaku Deep Fried Tofu Coated with Miso and Scallions 
Fresh Sashimi
Simmered Red Snapper and Turnip
Tousui Tofu (Tofu in Seasoned Soy Milk)
Deep Fried Pufferfish
Steamed Rice with Whitebaits and Pickled Radishes 
Hassaku Orange Coated with Honey 

Matsu:
Simmered Crab and Tofu Ball 
Age Dengaku Deep Fried Tofu Coated with Miso and Scallions 
Fresh Sashimi
Simmered Turnip with Miso 
Peanut Tofu, Mushroom and Vegetables
Scallop Sushi
Tousui Tofu (Tofu in Seasoned Soy Milk)
Sea Trout with Thin Vegetable Strips
Yurine Gohan Rice Cooked with Lily Bulbs
Sweet Adzuki Bean Soup with Sesame Crusted Mochi

Miscellaneous Pictures of Attractive People:


Steph Stefoodography at Tokyo Shiba Tofuya Ukai in Tokyo, Japan
Waitress serving Tofu at Tokyo Shiba Tofuya Ukai in Tokyo, Japan
Family at Tokyo Shiba Tofuya Ukai in Tokyo, Japan
Jon Ngo Your Meal at Tokyo Shiba Tofuya Ukai in Tokyo, JapanJon Ngo Your Meal at Tokyo Shiba Tofuya Ukai in Tokyo, Japan

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