Tokyo Roppongi Pizza: Frey’s Famous Pizzeria

Greetings from Kyoto

As I have mentioned in recent articles, I have been in Tokyo a lot recently for work and thought that I should share some  ‘postcards’.

While in Tokyo for three days of business meetings and socializing, I was fortunate to go to quite a few high-end restaurants. One even a Ginza tempura restaurant boasting two Michelin stars! However, my very last meal was a restaurant I had discovered and sought out on my own. I lunched at Frey’s Famous Pizzeria for lunch, I was the first customer in the door, entering precisely at 11:30 am. Frey’s Famous Pizzeria is introduced in the ‘Bib Gourmand’ section of the Michelin guide.

As I sat down at the counter in the seat nearest the huge black steel pizza oven, Chef Yamaguchi was firing it up. He had his back to me and I noticed that he was praying and throwing what I later learned was salt into the oven, which burst into flame. This is to spiritually purify the oven and Chef Yamaguchi for his day of work. This is very ‘Japanese’, I asked him about it after he turned away from the oven and greeted me. He said it is not Italian, but his own daily ritual. I love it! Chef Yamaguchi is very friendly and relaxed. As he crafted and cooked my order, we talked about a number of things including my life in Kyoto and my website, KyotoFoodie. He talked about his travels across Italy, sampling the various pizzas of the regions. I take it it was a kind of religious pilgrimage experience for him — a pizza pilgrimage! I definitely need to do one of those one day soon! Until then, I’ve got Frey’s Famous Pizzeria. He also told me that he loves and rides Harley-Davidson motorcycles. This inspiration for his pizza oven he said, is the ‘image’ of Harley-Davidson. It is a big and bad looking oven, a real HOG indeed!!

I had the chef’s recommended Sunny Side Up pizza with a fine Brooklyn Brewery draft beer. The lunch set comes with salad and an espresso. The pizza portion was pretty generous but I really wanted to try the traditional Neapolitan Pizza Margherita too. So, I ordered another beer and a Margherita.

The pizza was top-notch. I really enjoyed seeing it being made before my eyes and chatting with the chef as he practices his craft. The beer was great too — strong, dark and fruity! I’ll definitely be going back next time I am in Tokyo.

With a full tummy I took the Tokyo Metro a few stops to Tokyo Station and got on a bullet train back home to Kyoto. I slept blissfully for for most of the two and a half hour ride home!

I wish we had a Frey’s Famous Pizzeria in Kyoto!

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