Opening Shot

An Outpost of a 400-Year-Old Japanese Restaurant Unveils a Kaiseki Room in Manhattan

The omakase counter Kawachiya sits above the historic Nagoya-based Kawabun, a recent debut whose roots stretch back to the 17th century Edo period.

Opening Shot is a column that peeks inside new hotels, restaurants, bars, and shops with dreamy interiors.


Location: New York City

Designer: Bentley Architecture + Design Studio

On Offer: Upstairs at Kawabun, the Murray Hill outpost of a 400-year-old Nagoya restaurant, lies a temple to Kaiseki tradition, Kawachiya. This 8-seat counter imbues centuries of accumulated recipes—passed down from chef to chef in an unbroken chain of succession—with modern artistry. The second concept by the Japanese hospitality group Plan Do See, Kawachiya incorporates indigenous materials and aesthetics to craft a dining room modeled after Sukiya-Zukuri architecture.

Standout Features: At a counter crafted from a single Keyaki tree, Chef Yoshitaka Ito, who honed his knives under Michelin-starred Chef Odo, leads guests through the centuries with a meticulous hand, deftly crafting and plating each course. Bluefin, served at three stages of fattiness, is dusted with salted kelp and shavings of fresh horseradish. Fried anko bathes in verdant chrysanthemum sauce with a sprinkling of lime zest. To cap off the meal, bright sumo oranges served with tart yogurt ice cream. 

All photography by Rachel Vanni.

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