Food and drink
Chef Tanaka Minorou has been slicing divine sashimi here since 1994. Tanaka is the real reason why I come coming back to Kiku. The menu is mainly traditional Japanese, with a few modern fusion dishes. The service is just as precise as the beautiful presentation of each dish.
You must order the hakko unagi (eel sushi), hamachi tartare (yellowtail with spicy lemon sauce), and nasu dengaku (aubergine in sweet miso sauce). The hijiki no inakami (black seaweed salad with crunchy bean curd) is the best I’ve ever tasted. And the black cod marinated in miso is even better than at Matsuhisa Athens.
The décor (by top Greek architect Tasos Zepos) is all black lacquer and brushed concrete. The moneyed crowd is a mix of Japanese businessmen, Greek socialites and ship-owners, and gourmands with deep pockets. The summer outpost by the sea is more of a show-off scene.
Vlado Tubin, the discreet but steely maitre d’, runs a right ship. Long-suffering staff in smart black Oriental jackets politely humour the flashy clientele.
Barely noticeable from the street, with a heavy black door and discreet paper screen blocking out prying eyes. The Kolonaki location is super central – but parking is a nightmare.
This is a special occasion restaurant that will set you back €80-100 a head.
Tables to book
If you’re dining alone or a deux, sit at the sushi counter. Otherwise, I’d go for one of the tables at the back, which are a little less conspicuous.
- Business travellers
- Celebrity spotting
- Special occasions