Kabuki: A Michelin Star Experience in Lisbon
Kabuki is the latest restaurant in the Portuguese capital to receive a Michelin star.
Lisbon has welcomed this Japanese restaurant, from its Spanish chain brand in 2021 at Ritz Galleries. Kabuki has won the hearts of many locals since then, and won its first Michelin star on their first year being nominated.
In Japanese culture Kabuki stands for a traditional drama play where there is song, mime and dance. It’s a performance where human emotion is the main attraction. In Lisbon, Kabuki stands for the best Japanese cuisine you will ever have. Where you will too feel all kinds of human emotion throughout the meal.
The restaurant dances between Japanese flavor and Portuguese produce in light of the chain’s values to achieve the best possible dish.
Kabuki has three main spaces: their bar titled Kikubari, their restaurant Kabuki and a Private Room reserved for unique experiences and private events, such as international wine tastings.
Kikubari shines on its own with wasabi popcorn made everyday to accompany your stay. And their incredible cocktail menu, from which we picked our favorites: the Tokyo Blossom and the Shiso Mojito. You can also have your meal at the bar if you wish. Again everything is tailored to the client, so your wish, your command.
Kabuki reserves itself as the place to broaden horizons and flavors to anyone who wants to try something new. The concept behind the innovation and constant development of the menu lies on their local team. The success is met through the hands and eyes of everyone involved, from the host, to the also recently awarded sommelier. And finally the chefs, each specialized in their own craft, who are the artists behind the flavor fest in your tasting menu.
However it is one of the few Michelin restaurants that focuses on advertising the food, and not the star chef. What makes the experience unique is the teamwork between all departments that tailor to the client. No deed is done without purpose.
So the intention is clear. This is not your regular sushi place. This is the place you want to go to have a high-end Japanese culinary experience.
For a full dining or lunch experience at Kabuki you can go through their tasting menus, or choose from their à la carte menu, where you can also find vegan options. The third unwritten option is you build your own menu, where the restaurant gives control of the experience to the client. You choose the moments of your experience.
Our Kabuki play started with a Bento Box, with appetizers that join the freshest Portuguese fish with a Japanese flavor. Then came 6 more moments. From our favorites I can name the Usuzukuri of scallops with cumin sauce, however when in season do try to have this dish in their “bulhão pato” version.
Then, the incredible selection of nigiri, which included tuna belly and a truffled quail egg. And their wagyu meat finished with teriyaki sauce, and assembled in front of you. The sight of pulling the meat from the bone is something I won’t forget anytime soon.
And even after this high, somehow the best was reserved for last in their unique take on the classic Portuguese delicacy, with a mochi filled with “pastel de nata” cream, on top of a flaky pastry. There is nothing quite like it. Unless you want to try their Kabuki No Ni Wa, meaning “winter garden” that will also bring you Portuguese flavors in a unique Japanese fashion.
The good news is Kabuki changes its menu regularly. So there is always something new to taste. And always a new reason to go. Experience Kabuki!
Words by @madforyou_lhm
All Photos Courtesy of Kabuki