Based in Toronto and New York City

, Nancy Matsumoto is a writer and editor who covers sustainable agriculture, food, sake, arts and culture.

Lobster and Sea Urchin Spaghetti

Located a bit south of mobbed Shinjuku Station, Yoyogi Village is an oasis of beautiful and sustainable design, landscaping and food. At code kurkku, the gorgeous restaurant that anchors the development, Chef Yasuhiro Sasajima showcases his brand of Japanese-Italian food, with an emphasis on the “Japanese” part of that equation: plenty of sea flavors, green vegetables and Asian umami sprinkled throughout his dishes. Among the set course-only menu (meaning no à la carte), this dish was a standout. It was simple and perfect, composed of tender spears of lobster pulled from Canadian waters (the chef’s usual Brittany sources were too expensive) and its coral (roe), sea urchin and a bit of olive oil. If you’re feeling especially adventurous try it with a glass of the love-it-or-hate-it unfiltered “orange wine” on the code kurkku menu, the mushroomy and deliciously unusual Baccabianca from Piedmont.

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