Creature Comforts— Ikedaya


Korean-born, American-raised fashion stylist and boutique store owner Sonya Park is happy to have her last meal on her own. As she ponders the road ahead, she wants to be surrounded by the simple, homely food at her favourite restaurant in her adopted Japanese homeland.

Ikedaya, Munehiro Ikeda, Sonya Park, boutique owner, fashion stylist

“Food is very important to Koreans, but my mother never really cooked for us. My brother and I still tease her about it. We had a nanny who cooked for us in Seoul and when we moved to Hawaii, my aunts cooked for us. I’ve been to this restaurant [Ikedaya] so often over the years, it’s the closest I’ve come to ‘mother’s’ home cooking.

I’d be happy to have my last meal alone. There are always so many people around me, but death is the one journey you make alone. I wouldn’t like to think I was seeing someone for the last time anyway. I want simple food…


Sonya Park was born in Seoul but moved with her family to Hawaii when she was12 years old. In her early twenties she made her home in Tokyo, where she has spent the past two decades. Park quickly made a name for herself in fashion magazines and went on to become Japan’s top fashion stylist. Her three-volume guide to shopping and living, Sonya’s Shopping Manual, is a bestseller. She now runs her own fashion boutiques in Tokyo, Arts & Science, which sell homeware, accessories and clothes for men and women.


Ikedaya is owned by Munehiro Ikeda, who works alongside his wife Tamiko cooking simple, seasonal Japanese food. The main ingredient is fish – usually sashimi or grilled – and seasonal vegetables. Sonya Park has been coming to the restaurant for 15 years and holds her end-of-year party here. There is no sign at the front of the restaurant and Munehiro prefers not to advertise. (No English is spoken.)
Ikedaya, Kouyama Building 1F, 2-10-15 Nakameguro, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 153-0061, + 81 3 3792 6160


Steamed rice, sashimi of buri and tai (yellowtail and sea bream), salad of anago (grilled sea eel), sato-imo (taro root), miso soup – and, of course, a generous serving of sake.


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