Almost forty years have passed since I first entered culinary training under a Chinese chef and, after these years, the taste of Chinese food now commands a competing nostalgia. There are certain principles I try to adhere to in my approach to cooking. First, to use seasonal ingredients that revitalize the body and spirit. Second, to create a harmony, almost like that of a musical composition, between the five dimensions of taste-sourness, saltiness, bitterness, sweetness and fullness of flavor. And finally, to deliver with the final plate that satisfying feeling of a full stomach.
It is in this spirit that I take the greatest care in selecting and presenting on a single plate an assortment of items, so that even a solitary guest can enjoy a variety of flavors.
It has been, and will continue to be, my greatest desire to convoy to all the delights of Chinese cooking to-To pay homage to the subtleties of flavors refined over centuries of tradition, and to weave in amongst these the essences of Japanese-style, and in particular Wakiya-style, cooking. This desire is my life’s motivation.
Born in 1958 in Sapporo, Hokkaido, Yuji Wakiya began his career in 1973 as a young chef at the Sanno Restaurant in Akasaka and went on to gain experience at various establishments such as the Tokyo Hilton Hotel and the Capitol Tokyu Hotel. At the age of 27, he worked as Head Chef at a metropolitan hotel and became Executive Chef at the same hotel in 1992. As Managing Director & Executive Chef at Turandot, he has been orchestrating openings in Yokohama, Akasaka, and Roppongi since 1996. In 1997, Yuji became the Executive Chef of Chinese cuisine at the Pan Pacific Hotel and in 1998, was appointed Head Chef to the Crown Prince and Princess at the same hotel. In 2001, he opened Wakiya in Akasaka and assumed the position of Owner Chef. In 2007, he opened Wakiya at Gramercy Park Hotel in New York, USA. In 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, Yuji participated in the ‘American Wine & Food Festival’ held in Los Angeles, USA and also participated in the “Madrid Fusion 2005” in Madrid, Spain.
Today, in addition to overseeing the cuisine at his restaurants, Yuji makes appearances on NHK cooking shows and speaks regularly at culinary schools with the aim of fostering the next generation of young talents. Also a connoisseur in Chinese tea, Yuji strives to share the joy of tea-drinking through various forms of media. Yuji is the author of 13 culinary books.
New book is Haute Chinese Cuisine from the Kitchen of Wakiya in English, Kodansha International.
A self-contained building that evokes an auberge planted in the heart of the city, this location boasts a wide array of delights. A terrace area bathed in sunlight, Japanese and western style private rooms with sunken “kotatsu”-stye tables, an upscale bar, Piano, with its air of elegant maturity. A place where you can delight in the Chinese experience to your heart content.
|Main Dining (40 guests)
Garden Room (26 guests)
6 Private Room (2~28 guests)
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|6-11-10 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-0052