Ukaitei at Hachioji was, in a good way, much weirder than I expected. I wasn't quite sure what to expect, but a very traditional high-class venue for ladies who drive a long way to lunch was pretty much it. Well, I think I was actually the only male in the place except for the waiters so I was right on that count.
The exterior appears traditionally Japanese. However on the inside they have a kind of 70s euro-baroque-ultra-luxury-flamboyant thing happening, except there's also lots of Japanese fixtures and the wood fittings are over 200 years old! Despite the accidental extreme retro theme that reminds me of some wood-panelled-brassy-green-shag-carpet houses I visited as a child, the effect is actually quite pleasant. I found it totally fun to be amongst it.
Every group of diners has their own little room with a teppan and your personal chef. For dessert you are led upstairs to the sitting room which overlooks a wooded hill, with some crazy mosaics on the teppanyaki bar to your back.
It's worth it to take the trip just to see the interior design, let alone the food. The food is about as retro and expensive as the building. Extremely high quality but somewhat on the safe side, and their clientelle don't really look like the types to experiment. If you have a visitor from overseas or you're too bored to stay in downtown Tokyo one weekend, I'd definitely recommend you make it over there. They are a chain too, but I've yet to see if their other properties are quite so bizarre.
It's not awabi (abalone) but one of its cousin species..
Avocado and tuna tartare - always a crowd pleaser...
Eggplant with truffle sauce! Weird, but tasty...Somewhat stupidly I forgot to take a pic of the steak from the teppan...it looked like meat cut into cubes as I guess you could imagine.
A coffee trifle type thingy - was rather nice.
Petit fours - yum!