Kaiyô Authentic Japanese food culture in the city centre of Hamburg

Tuesday, February 28 2023

Opening Times

Monday to Saturday: noon - 10:30pm


Brodschrangen 1-5
20457 Hamburg-Hafencity
.How to get there

price level

The building in which the Kaiyo has dropped anchor was home to Germany's oldest oyster bar for many years. Fish and seafood were traded here as early as 1760. On 27 January 2023, the Kaiyô has now opened its doors in the premises of the former Cölln and is building a bridge to the long tradition of the place with Japanese fish dishes.

The shop's history began in 1760 when the Hamburg fishmonger Hinrich Brügmann established a fish shop and oyster business in the house's basement. In 1833, Johann Cölln took over the fish shop and set up a restaurant over three floors in the house.

The more than 27,000 high-quality hand-painted Art Nouveau wall and floor tiles date from 1898. They have been preserved to this day, as has the valuable wall tile painting depicting the Elbe and its abundance of seafood in the restaurant's foyer.

The separate rooms, wooden panels, and hand-painted tiles are listed for historic preservation and tell a piece of Hamburg's history. Noblemen, merchants, and well-known personalities such as Kaiser Wilhelm II, Otto von Bismarck, Hans Albers, Helmut Kohl and former mayors Henning Voscherau and Klaus von Dohnanyi once dined here.

© Kaiyo (2)
© Kaiyo (9)
© Kaiyo (5)
© Kaiyo (6)
© Kaiyo (8)
© Kaiyo (7)

During our visit to Kaiyô, however, no famous personalities are in sight, so Phuong Thuy Le, who cooks and runs the restaurant with her husband, can take plenty of time to introduce us to the concept and intention of her venture. The basic idea is quickly outlined: Work with the best products and ingredients to offer guests authentic Japanese dishes.

At Kaiyô, high-quality fish is made into sushi and sashimi. In addition, there are Japanese starters such as horenso goma ae, karaage or gyoza. Different types of fish are used. Among others, noble bluefin tuna, which comes from sustainable breeding in Spain and is processed into bluefin toro. The high quality of the products used is complemented by the perfect preparation. The fish is cut in such a refined way that it literally melts in your mouth.

Also on the menu: classics of Japanese cuisine such as black cod miso, tonkatsu schnitzel (27 euros) or ramen (18 euros). In terms of less substantial pleasures, high-quality sake is served above all, but also cocktails finely tuned to Japanese cuisine and wine - white Burgundy and Riesling, which goes very well with the seafood. And some red wines, because Phuong Thuy Le also serves entrecote. The meat still comes from Ireland but will make way for Kōbe beef in the future.

During our visit, we enjoy a miso with silken tofu and a decadent sushi platter and let the delicacies melt in our mouths. The drinks created by Phuong Thuy Le himself are refreshing and tasty. To finish, we enjoy mochis (9 euros) and machaeis (7 euros).

In addition to the tasty dishes, which perpetuate the culinary-maritime history of the place, we experience the design of the rooms as highly successful. On this level, too, tradition and new beginnings are stylishly combined.

This is ensured, among other things, by carefully selected and placed pictures with Asian motifs on the walls and ceilings; simple, elegant furniture rounds off the impression. The menus are wrapped in patterned Japanese paper and hand-designed by the staff, as Phuong Thuy Le proudly tells us, and there is a glossary on page one to help us Europeans understand some of the terms used in Japanese cuisine.

It is also worth mentioning that Phuong Thuy Le and her husband attach great importance to the satisfaction of their staff - this is immediately noticeable as a guest. The service is charming, personal and fast. In short, the Kaiyô convinces with its concept, quality and taste.

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Kaiyô – Authentic Japanese food culture in the city centre of Hamburg
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