Asagi is a tempura restaurant in the Ginza, in a pedestrian-only alley at street level just off a busy shopping street. It is run by Hiroshi Asagi and his family, the chef having 48 years of experience cooking tempura. The restaurant has just eight counter seats, the chef's wife acting as waitress. The restaurant was awarded one star in the inaugural 2008 Michelin guide, which it has retained ever since.
The meal began with tempura prawns, the prawns prepared to order in front of us, the shellfish alive moments before being cooked. The batter was light and the prawns enjoyably sweet (16/20). Cuttlefish fish was next, superbly tender (17/20), followed by whiting with good flavour (16/20). A sequence of vegetable tempura started with good shiitake mushroom, shredded burdock root, lotus root, ginko nuts and sweet potato, all having good flavour (16/20).
This was followed by prawn legs (16/20), tasty anago (sea eel) and shrimp with soya milk skin (16/20). The savoury dishes concluded with kakiage, a mix of little scallops and prawns, served on a bowl of rice. The scallops were lovely and sweet (17/20). Dessert was made from red beans and seaweed with green tea ice cream made from scratch in the kitchen, and tasted a lot better than it sounds.
The bill came to ¥15,750 for two with just water to drink, which works out at £49 a head. This seemed to me very fair given the high standard of the meal. The chef spoke quite good English and was extremely welcoming. I enjoyed Asagi very much, and would happily return.