I had dinner with two friends last night at Wanofu Club in Tsukiji. This is a sister restaurant of the restaurant Wanofu in Ginza, which I haven't been to, but is apparently quite popular and difficult to get a reservation for (we were able to get a Friday night reservation on Tuesday for this branch). Both specialize in "modern Japanese" cuisine--slightly fusion-y, but in this case it worked pretty well. Both operate on a prix fixe system, with choices for a few of the courses.
Wanofu Club is a ryotei that's been renovated into a restaurant--they've taken out the tatami mats, for example, and replaced them with flooring. It's an impressive looking place. Unfortunately that also means I started off my evening whacking my head against a low doorway! But the tables are nice and far apart, a rarity in Tokyo, and the atmosphere is quiet.
The course started off with five small appetizers, very attractively set out in small dishes on a larger plate, with a sprig of maple leaves for that nice autumn touch. Although some were quite unusual combinations, everything was delicious. We then moved on to sashimi (I can't remember what fish it was, sorry) and a clear soup. For salad, we had a choice of two options--crab with grilled vegetables with a oil and vinegar dressing, or salmon spring rolls. We all chose the crab, which was delicious, although I thought some of the vegetables were a little too grilled. For the main course, there was a choice of four main dishes--roasted sea bass, pork with a honey-mustard sauce, fresh water eel with a shark's fin sauce, or grilled lamb. Both my friends had the sea bass, and I had the lamb--nothing outrageously delicious or different, but very pleasant. For the final course, there was a choice of tuna on rice, chilled udon noodles with a sesame dipping sauce, or rice accompanied with pickles and dried seaweed.
All of the food was quite good, and very attractively served--there was definitely a very traditional Japanese element to the dishes and arrangements, even if some of the ingredients were a little different. Being near the Tsukiji market, the fish was all impeccable. The full course costs 4800 yen (the Ginza branch has a 3800 yen course, as well as a Saturday brunch). There's a dessert and after dinner drinks menu, but that's not part of the course.
Drinks options included wine as well as beer and sake. The choices here were a bit limited.
Our main complaint was with the service. While our waiter was trying very hard, he was definitely an amateur. There was some disagreement at our table about whether you could hope for very good service when you're getting that quality and quantity of food for only 4800 yen; I was on the side that said you could.
Overall, we agreed it would be a nice restaurant to take friends visiting from overseas, but that the level of service prevented using it for client entertainment. I also don't think there's an English menu.
4-22-10 Tsukiji, Chuo-ku