Kamakura Opens This Month in Downtown Boston

Kamakura Opens This Month in Downtown Boston

Here's your first look at the ownership debut from chef Youji Iwakura.

A veteran of Boston restaurants is bringing a taste of his hometown to the local dining scene. Kamakura, named for chef Youji Iwakura’s native coastal Japanese town, opens in the Financial District next week with elevated but traditional Japanese cuisine, wines and sake, and a rooftop lounge with views the Custom House.

The Most Anticipated Fall 2018 Restaurant Openings in Boston and Beyond

The Most Anticipated Fall 2018 Restaurant Openings in Boston and Beyond

Kamakura, for one, will introduce Boston to contemporary kaiseki cuisine, multi-course Japanese meals that feature beautiful plating and seasonal ingredients. Boston’s existing high-end Japanese dining scene is much more focused on sushi, although kaiseki isn’t entirely unheard of. Oishii, for example, offers a lunchtime kaiseki menu.

Where to eat in Greater Boston this fall

Where to eat in Greater Boston this fall

Chef Youji Iwakura took on a more-casual (albeit extremely serious) side of Japanese cuisine at Snappy Ramen in Davis Square. Now he is opening his own restaurant, named for his hometown, and casting his eye toward the rest of the canon — particularly kaiseki, traditional, artful multicourse meals. Kamakura, located in the Financial District, is expected to open in early fall. There will also be bento boxes for lunch, sashimi, and sushi omakase (chef’s choice). Don’t expect scorpion rolls: The menu at Kamakura emphasizes seasonality and authenticity, hewing truer to the form.

Boston's Most Anticipated 2018 Openings

Boston's Most Anticipated 2018 Openings

Youji Iwakura, the man behind Snappy Ramen, is bringing contemporary kaiseki cuisine to downtown Boston. Kamakura, named for the chef's hometown, will emphasize multicourse meals that marry modern Japanese street food and fine dining; there will also be bento boxes for lunch and a bar with sake and whiskey. Iwakura is perfectly prepped to pull off the cool concept: His lengthy résumé also includes the opening chef role at Basho and experience at other Boston faves like Uni.

Uni, Snappy Ramen Chef Plans His Own Japanese Restaurant Downtown

Uni, Snappy Ramen Chef Plans His Own Japanese Restaurant Downtown

A veteran of the local Japanese food scene has taken the first steps to open his own place. Chef Youji Iwakura appealed to the licensing board this weekto open Kamakura in downtown Boston.

Iwakura, currently ramen master at Snappy Ramen in Davis Square, has a music degree from Berklee, but owning his own restaurant is a childhood dream. The Japan native learned the ropes of the business with stints as a sushi chef, general manager, bartender, and executive chef at some of Boston’s best-known Japanese restaurants. He was chef de cuisine at Ken Oringer’s Uni, and was the opening chef at Basho in Fenway.

Kamakura to Bring Contemporary Kaiseki Cuisine to Boston

Kamakura to Bring Contemporary Kaiseki Cuisine to Boston

Youji Iwakura, whose popular ramen at Snappy Ramen in Somerville is just the tip of his culinary iceberg, is opening his own restaurant, Kamakura. As spotted by Boston Restaurant Talk and the Boston Hospitality and Tourism Industry blog via the Boston licensing board, the restaurant will be located at 150 State St. in downtown Boston, right by Faneuil Hall. (As Boston Restaurant Talk notes, local restaurateur Brian Lesser — Tavern Road, Sweet Cheeks, and more — had previously been looking at that space, but Iwakura tells Eater that while they’ve discussed the concept in the past, Lesser isn’t involved in the project at this time.)