Yakuza First Floor
Opened in late 2015 in the Príncipe Real district’s main road, Yakuza First Floor is Chef Olivier’s most recent addition to his already impressive portfolio in the city.
With an unassuming entrance through the narrow steps of an old building, you are met in the first floor by a large wooden door with a small opening – almost like a speakeasy – where you are escorted inside the restaurant. The configuration is quite peculiar, and it makes for a very interesting first impression – it seems like you’re entering someone’s apartment as you wind through the different divisions of the restaurant, through the bar, pass by the lounge and finally arrive at a large wooden table that embraces the cooking area, where you can see all the Chefs at work.
The new space actually has three different dining areas, two where pearl and silver colours are the main theme with chairs and sofas, and the aforementioned sushi bar room, that is decorated in warmer colours and almost fully occupied by the wooden table, that surrounds the working area and has a distinctly more oriental feel. The room also has panoramic windows that overlook a small winter garden on the lower floor with some very clear Japanese influences as well.
The Chef has, as always, added his own twist to the food, as the vast Japanese menu is met with some more western influences, and makes for an absolutely delicious experience – the menu includes a wide variety of traditional and new style sushi and sashimi, gunkans, makizushi, tempuras and gyozas, but in all truth the choice is best left to the Chef; our insider’s tip is to actually ask the Chef to be the one to choose for you, as you’ll be sure to end up eating some of their signature dishes, and the ones the Chef is more inspired to do. It also allows him some freedom and you will most probably end up having something special that isn’t on the menu!
Desserts are, of course, one of the big highlights and you really can’t go wrong, but we especially love the Kit Kat – surprising, but mouthwateringly delicious.
The trendy space is also perfect for a drink, at the bar or at the lounge, with a vast array of different cocktails and wines on offer – something Chef Olivier is known for having in all his restaurants.
All in all, Yakuza First Floor has won us over with its near-flawless Japanese cuisine and its cool atmosphere, making it one of the top picks in Lisbon for dining out, and the location in the Príncipe Real district is also a fantastic plus. For the summer months, the outside terrace will surely be one of the hottest spots in town.