Finding Maru restaurant in Aoyama | Matt Hayward's blog Melbourne Australia

Finding Maru restaurant in Aoyama

Finding Maru restaurant in Aoyama

My wife grabbed a book from the library ‘Where Chefs Eat‘. It had several pages on Tokyo. Turns out the Japanese like to play hard ball when it comes to finding restaurants.  That’s where I come in. Two things I’ve learnt about chef’s recommendations. One, chefs clearly never pay. These guys aren’t paying the $300 a head before drinks we have to pay. Secondly, they get lead wherever they’re going in a drunken state by locals and have researchers and publicists that can retrace their steps. We wake up with delirium tremens, they wake up that plus a story and a pay check. At the very least they still have coin in their wallet. It’s a hard knock life.


the only sign of this restaurant is the entrance to a whisky bar (not yet open at time of writing) off a side street.

This realisation came as we started to look for Maru. Seemed legit. It was on the Google map. On a main road. The hotel verified the address. No big deal so we thought. Thankfully we found it. But of all the spruikers on the street promoting bigger restaurants, yeah there were polite but none had ever heard of it. I chatted to at least 8 of them from 2 different restaurants. iPhones came out in abundance but no Maru was found.

All we could find was a sign to a Whiskey Bar. We went down the stairs and the Whisky Bar wasn’t even open yet. Then I noticed a red curtain that I thought was to a broom closet or a cloak room (see pic below). Thankfully I looked in that cloak room and it was Maru. Thank god we found it. Easily one of the best meals of our trip. It took about 20 minutes of two-ing and fro-ing but the meal was sensational.

Seven dishes for about 5500 Yen and all killer no filler. Yep those drunken chefs have their place. They just don’t make life easy for you.


maru restaurant red curtain entrance

go down the stairs and look out for this red curtain

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