‘Chimikepp’, a 1-star Michelin restaurant in Tsubetsu is selected among 10 in Japan by gourmets

Watanabe Masaki talks about his cuisine inside the Chimikepp restaurant
A dish made with cherry salmon, which is served during this season

 ‘Chimikepp’, a restaurant in the Chimikepp Hotel accommodation facility in the town of Tsubetsu in eastern Hokkaido, which acquired a 1-star rating in the ‘Michelin Guide Hokkaido 2017 Special Edition’ ranking book, has been selected as the only Hokkaido restaurant among 10 from around Japan in 2021, by three gourmets with extensive knowledge of cuisine throughout the world.

 The selection of 10 restaurants from throughout Japan is a project of Japan Times Cube (Tokyo), a subsidiary of the Japan Times English language newspaper. As severe circumstances continue amid the Coronavirus pandemic, the aim is to support tourist spots, restaurants and the like, and promote visits from domestic and overseas customers once the pandemic has been brought under control.

 The selection committee comprised Tsuji Yoshiki, headmaster of the Tsuji Culinary Institute; Honda Naoyuki, CEO of Leverage Consulting Inc. and Hamada Takefumi, a company manager who has eaten at luxury restaurants in approximately 120 countries throughout the world.

 All three members have extensive knowledge of cuisine around the world and held discussions to select the final 10 establishments. In a bid to highlight talented chefs that tend to be hidden in the regions, establishments in Tokyo’s 23 wards and ordinance designated cities (major cities) were excluded from the selection process.

 Originally from Shizuoka prefecture, chef Watanabe Masaki trained at top-class restaurants in France and the United States before demonstrating his skills at Chimikepp in Tsubetsu from 2012.

 Selection Committee member Hamada visited Chimikepp four times in the past. What impressed him the most during his last visit in October last year, was the rich taste of Shiretoko brown-bear meat stewed in red wine. “Many luxury establishments in the regions are long-established restaurants, but Mr. Watanabe is still a young chef. It’s great that he is particular about local ingredients and that he places importance on his relationships with producers,” says Hamada, who stresses his approval by adding “I can be confident in recommending this establishment to overseas customers, too.”

 “It really is an honor to be selected,” says a delighted Watanabe. “The base is French cuisine, but I’m always considering new dishes that can only be offered here. Of course, the taste is important but the beauty of the presentation is also important,” he adds, pledging to improve even more.


Chimikepp restaurant