East Japanese: Experience Jamaica’s Premier Japanese Restaurant

by Tricia Williamson | Photography by Oneil Banton

East Japanese is the premier Japanese restaurant located in the Marketplace at 67 Constant Spring Road in Kingston, Jamaica. East serves a range of traditional Japanese cuisine from sushi to sashimi and was awarded the “2018 Best Watering Hole in Kingston”. Patrons love restaurant and bar not only for the culinary creations and cool vibes but the great music you can not only hear played but see displayed on the walls like a walk of fame.

Panache Mag August 201816
Photography by Oneil Banton

Let’s talk with the powerhouse behind it all… Chef Taka!

TAKA, BEER MUG FRIDAYs and more…

Everyone knows Chef Utoguchi but everyone simply calls this cool culinary maestro, “Taka”. He established East Japanese in 2004 and officially opened doors in 2005.

RZN_1183
Photography by Oneil Banton

A collector of vinyl records many of which are proudly displayed in his restaurant in Market Place in Kingston, Jamaica. Taka loves oldies music, Jamaican music from reggae, ska to dancehall and beyond. His impressive record collection, which he calls a “hobby”, is beautifully showcased in the bar’s exceptional décor which is nothing less than a walk through the decades and genres of Jamaican music. East Japanese is the perfect melting pot of Jamaican music & culture with Japanese style and cuisine.

RZN_1186RZN_1205RZN_1209RZN_1220

About a year ago Taka had a vision of introducing some of the island’s best Selectas and DJs at East Japanese and does so through the event series dubbed “Beer Mug Friday”. The weekly Friday event is a must-experience and has featured top Selectas and DJs such as Rory Stone Love, Bad Gyal Marie, DJ Courtney, DJ Delano, DJ Kurt Riley and runs from 7 pm to 3 am. Best of all, Admission is FREE.

Photography courtesy of East Japanese

A gathering that at its origins started out very slow has now grown into a movement filling the bar from wall to wall each week. In his reflection of the growing success, Taka shared with his signature smile, “Everyone loves my place!”

Photography courtesy of East Japanese

When asked about his vision for growing East Japanese beyond Kingston in the years ahead, Taka was clear. Right now, he prefers to focus “only on Kingston”. Kingston in his eyes is a vibrant business place and is seeing its increasing share of tourists. Plus, it also serves as an excellent hub with connections to places like Miami. Taka loves that Jamaica’s capital has no “on and off season”, he added, “Kingston is always on! Plus, the people here are very interesting and they love my place!”

East Japanese is an experience not to be missed. Next time you’re in Kingston, Jamaica be sure to stop by and experience it for yourself whether you’re sitting down for sushi or raising a shot at Beer Mug Fridays….. Like Taka always says you’ll “love this place!”

RZN_1256-2
Photography by Oneil Banton

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s