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Akasaka Kitafuku Red King Crab Dining Adventure ( 赤坂きた福 )!

celebrity travel blogger reviews akasaka kitafuku japanese restaurant
Are you a crab lover like me? Have you ever had a feast solely on savouring different parts of a huge Red King Crab?

akasaka kitafuku red king crab dining adventure
Red King Crab or otherwise known as Paralithodes Camtschaticus, is the largest and most common species of the Alaskan king crab species. This King Crab is the most prized species of crab in the world, with strong demand from consumers in Japan, the US and Europe. In Japanese, the Red King Crab is called Tarabagani ( タラバガニ ), and Akasaka Kitafuku ( 赤坂きた福 ) is a Michelin-starred restaurant specialized in serving these most sought after delicacies.

During my last trip to Tokyo, I had the privilege to watch a live performance where my dedicated Chef cut up an entire live crab and cook right in front of me, turning the crustacean into yummy sashimi, shabu shabu, grilled and boiled seafood. Be warned! You may get very hungry by the end of this post…………

michelin starred restaurant akasaka kitafuku red king crab
At Akasaka Kitafuku Red King Crab Restaurant, the crabs are directly fished out of the tank, and cooked right before your eyes in a pleasant traditional Japanese style private room. There are various dinner menus, and my Japanese friend and I picked the Abalone and Red King Crab Course ( あわびと活たらば蟹のコース )at ¥27,000 per pax (approx USD 226) excluding service charge and taxes. Get ready to salivate!

japanese akasaka kitafuku amuse bouche marinated tilefish
Marinated Tilefish ( ぐじ 菊花和え )

akasaka kitafuku grilled scabbard fish tachiuo yaki
Grilled Scabbard Fish ( 太刀魚焼 ). If you have been following my blog, you would have known I'm not a fan of fish especially those that come with skin. I can't comment on these two dishes since I had surrendered them to my Japanese friend.

luxury haven lifestyle blogger reviews akasaka kitafuku dining
Assorted Appetizers ( 八寸 ): Japanese Glass Shrimp ( 白海老 ), Pacific Saury Sushi ( 秋刀魚 寿司 ), Grilled Eggplant ( 秋茄子 ) and Dried Clam ( 姬貝 炙り )

japanese dining akasaka kitafuku live abalone awabi
Next came the monster-sized Abalone ( 鮑 ) and it's alive! Wanna know how big it is exactly?

akasaka kitafuku live abalone awabi menu
I put my palm above it to give you a rough estimate of the size. Huge, right? It was probably the biggest abalone I have tried to date! I could see the shellfish wriggling while on the grill; not a charming sight at all. Lol!

akasaka kitafuku charcoal grilled abalone
japanese restaurant akasaka kitafuku awabi tempura abalone
The abalone was done in two ways - grilled and tempura style. I am a huge fan of abalone especially done Chinese style, but after this meal, I have double and triple confirmed that I don't fancy the Japanese style of cooking abalone. My last few experiences with abalone sashimi and grilled abalone weren't very pleasant either cause they tend to have a very fishy taste.

akasaka kitafuku charcoal grilled abalone liver awabi kimo
This was worse! The greeny stuff is actually the Abalone Liver ( 鮑肝). Honestly, it was my first time seeing Awabi Kimo although I eat abalone rather often. Appreciated as a delicacy and probably a gem to many others, I only took a tiny bite and gave up! It has a very earthy and fishy taste, and I guess it is an acquired taste. Well, the colour puts me off too.

akasaka kitafuku tarabagani alaskan paralithodes camtschaticus
While we were busy chatting and discussing our dishes, the chef left the room. We were surprised when he returned with the king crab, for we certainly did not expect such a huge one for just two people.

michelin starred akasaka kitafuku live tarabagani demo
michelin starred akasaka kitafuku hokkaido tarabagani shabu
michelin starred japanese restaurant akasaka kitafuku tarabagani sashimi
From here, we witnessed the Red King Crab alive, and slowly being chopped up part by part, with the chef putting the two pincers into a pot of boiling water while two legs went into an ice water bath.

michelin starred akasaka kitafuku grilled red king crab
At the same time, the chef removed the shells and put another two legs onto a charcoal grill.

japanese restaurant akasaka kitafuku red king crab sashimi
Our actual King Crab feast began with Sashimi Tarabagani after removing the chilled flesh from the icy water. The meat was very fresh and refreshing, and we were given a light soya dipping sauce to pair with. The fleshy meat was sweet with delicate flavours, and it was tasty enough to go without any sauce.

japanese restaurant akasaka kitafuku red king crab shabu
Next was Tarabagani Shabu Shabu where the meat was parboiled. The texture of the flesh was a cross between sashimi style and a fully cooked one; it was soft and tender, retaining most of its natural juices.

japanese restaurant akasaka kitafuku hokkaido tarabagani shabu
japanese restaurant akasaka kitafuku red king crab boiled
Remember the two pincers that were left in the boiling water earlier? They were finally cooked and served. Yummy!

delicious akasaka kitafuku tarabagani yaki dining review
These Grilled Tarabagani were bbq to perfection with meat still juicy and succulent.

akasaka kitafuku alaskan red king crab paralithodes camtschaticus
After the chef had taken care of all the legs, he moved on to remove the carapace. Almost all parts of the Red King Crab are edible except for the carapace which is the King's Crown. Look at the vibrant colour of the fresh kani!

tokyo akasaka kitafuku red king crab innards
He continued to remove the heart, the skin etc and put them all onto a serving plate. It was an eye-opening experience for me since most of the time, crab innards are rarely served. Over at Akasaka Kitafuku, you will get the rare parts of the delicious crab that only highly skilled chefs can serve you.

akasaka kitafuku red king crab japanese restaurant review
By that time, my friend and I were already almost full; couldn't believe there were more to go. The chef moved on to scrap off the remaining meat and there was quite a lot actually. Tarabagani is regarded as the premium of king crabs because its meat is moist and sweet.

akasaka kitafuku tarabagani dinner menu salmon roe
For this Abalone and Red King Crab Course ( あわびと活たらば蟹のコース )at ¥27,000 per pax, diners will get a full course of red king crab dishes + abalone, and traditionally pod cooked rice with authentic miso soup, desserts. Just look at the generous bowl of salmon roe!

The entire dining experience took about 3 hours+, where you will get to see the artistic performance of the restaurant's chef cooking the massive crab alive in front of you. You will get to savour mouth-watering crab cuisine that comes with an unforgettable dining experience. It was the limitless variety that keeps our palates curious and clamouring for more. Each step at Akasaka Kitafuku is a unique tasting treat, a synthesis of the vast experience.

Do you know that the largest King Crab can grow a leg span of 6 feet across and weigh over 20 pounds? Have you ever had a date with the Red King Crab?

Reservation at the Japanese restaurant is a must, and be sure you book weeks ahead! Well, the small dining eatery only has 3 private rooms good for a party of 2 to 6 to get the best experience.

japan akasaka kitafuku map
Akasaka Kitafuku
Kokusai Amano Building 7F
3-13-6, Akasaka, Minato, Tokyo, 107-0052, Japan
Tel: +81-3 3505 1323


  1. Ohhh!!! Bring backs memories of my trip to Hokkaido. Had all those dishes continuously for a few days until I couldn't eat anymore and eat Maggi cup. The crabs are really fresh. Quite nice but couldn't eat the abalone.

    1. You're so cute, Nava! Reminds me of my last trip to Hokkaido too. Gosh, all those crabs!

  2. Gnammy:) kiss

  3. What an indulgence Shirley! The Japanese sure know how to cook their crabs well!

  4. Wow the food looks so tasty! Have a great weekend xo

  5. Shirley, your 3 hour crab feast sounded marvelous! (I'd pass on the "green" delicacy, too, though.) But I'm still hungry for crab now! Thanks for an interesting education on this topic. xo

  6. Wow the crab looks so delicious and fresh
    I hope someday I can going to Japan and try eating it

  7. So tasty and amazing pics!!!!
    Happy friday darling!
    xo Paola
    My Facebook

  8. I just had crab and tilefish in Hilton Head, South Carolina, when I was on vacation. It was delicious! Great pictures!

  9. I've never seen food cooked like that - so yummy

  10. Oh! I just love the crab, but difficult to visit that place because it is a thousand miles from here:)
    Anyway, so fun to see how the chef prepared the king crab:)

  11. That is one incredible seafood feast Shirley! My husband is allergic to shellfish so I don't eat crab for team support but to be honest I don't really like it much.

    Rowena @ rolala loves

  12. What a great live performance!!!
    I'd like to visit Tokyo one day :)))
    (Shirley, sorry, I didn't read your answer on Skin Inc, could you help me find it? Thanks a lot :)


    1. Here's my last reply to your query: "Oh, Skin Inc is quite popular in SG altho I haven't really tried their products. It's from Japan I think. Nice that they're reaching out to Italy as well." ^_^

  13. How cool to go to a crab feast I really do not eat crab so will never attend to the feast.

  14. It s really interesting to seethe preparations of this dish, and i really love crumb.


  15. That crab sounds amazing...such a feast! The fish looks delicious, I would be happy to be in the place of the friend you gave that dish to. I have always loved fish...thanks for sharing...everything looks yummy.

    1. Oh, that will be nice! I would be most happy to pass the fish all to you. Hahaha!

  16. Replies
    1. I'm surprised, Kashaya! Well, you gotta try some day, dear :D

  17. Lovely photos, Shirley! Wow! It's amazing, the king crab!!!

  18. What a coincidence, Shirley. As I was reading this post a segment of a show called Deadliest Catch is on TV in Marion's room. (she loves the show:) If you have never heard of it, it is a show about the boats that go out into the Bering Sea fishing for King Crabs just like the one you had for dinner!!! I sometimes watch the show with her. They don't call it the deadliest catch for nothing. Oh how dangerous it is catching those crabs of deliciousness:)

    You had an amazing meal, Shirely and, I am thrilled you shared it with us...Thanks!

    P.S. No, I'm not back to blogging yet but I had a few minutes and though I'd pass by for a quick bite. So glad I could probably find out about the show online or on YouTube if you're curious...

    1. Oh yes, my family loves watching Deadliest Catch too! We used to follow the series when it went on air some years back. We were surprised with the hardwork behind not forgetting braving the storms etc. I wouldn't want to be on the boat, would you? Hahaha!

    2. I would only if the weather was gorgeous, the seas were calm and I could chow down on all the crab I could eat! So cool you've seen the show:)

    3. Yap, I would too & it would be great to be on the boat together with you. I can imagine the gluttons travelling together. Lol!

  19. yum that looks absolutely delicious! i just had lobster recently and now you're making me crave it again!


  20. good food ... oh yes with a hot sake..

  21. great post :) Have a nice weekend :)

  22. Wow looks so delicious Shirley. Your post is killing me:). I love red king crab. Yummy:).

    Have a great weekend to you:).

  23. wow sumptuous feast
    i wish i was there too
    as I'm a seafood lover
    now my stomach calling me lol

  24. These are lovely dish Shirley, im literally drooling right now reading this post! How i miss easting crabs, its been a while.

  25. You're so adventurous when it comes to dining, it really is impressive haha! I tend to play it safe, however your blog will forever serve as an inspiration for me to broaden my culinary horizons :)

    Gabrielle | A Glass Of Ice


  26. I have never eaten crab before but this one is tempting.

  27. A yummy dish, no doubt !
    Thank you, Shirley for introducing such wonderful delicacies to us.

  28. I agree with you the entire cooking process is like an art.

  29. I want to try the abalone liver after you have described it. Guess I must start saving for it as it is almost one thousand ringgit here. Is this course available all year round or seasonal?

  30. I'm a huge fan of crab, too. I don't think I've ever had abalone, but I would have passed on the liver, too!

  31. Sadly, not hungry at all. I hate seafood but this must have been very enjoying to watch and consume quickly after.


  32. That's really a huge crab! Good to know that every parts are fully utilised and serve deliciously.

  33. Mmmm...delicious! I love fish so much (and I've never seen such a big crab all my life :P)

    Follemente Fashion

  34. Oh my goodness, Shirley. This is to drool permanently over for! Seafood at its mouthwatering best! ^.^

  35. That's simply amazing!
    Have a nice day!
    Angela Donava

  36. Look delicious! Japanese food is always one of my favorite :-)

  37. Hi, they serve you one crab for you n your friend to share? Not one crab per person?

    1. Hey Sue Mei, the crab is huge & more than enough for two! We couldn't finish everything actually. I'm sure you'll have a great time there! xoxo

  38. Hi was the price per person and is it a whole king crab for each person?

    1. Hi Ken, as mentioned in the post above, the price is per pax:

      "¥27,000 per pax (approx USD 226) excluding service charge and taxes." Hope this clarifies. Happy weekend!

  39. Hi Shirley,
    Just one query, since you and your Japanese friend picked Abalone and Red King Crab Course. Why they serve only 1 crab instead of 2? Even though 1 crab is big enough for 2 pax. It's quite unfair right, if 2 person need to pay ¥54,000 for only 1 crab.. LOL

    1. Hahaha! You're right, Daniel. Why haven't I thought of that? Mmm.... maybe they go by size?

      Thanks for coming by & sharing your thoughts with us here! Nice having you & do subscribe via email to receive our juicy news!

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