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  • Writer's pictureAmanda Dyer

360 Chef Series: Mitsutaka Sakamoto, Ikkagoyo (Singapore)

Meet Chef Mitsutaka Sakamoto, the visionary behind Singapore's Ikkagōyō restaurant, a culinary sanctuary that transports diners to the heart of Japan's gastronomic traditions. With a background rooted in cooking for family, Chef Mitsutaka's passion for food and hospitality ignites every dish he creates, emphasizing compassion and heartfelt hospitality towards guests. From revitalizing "HYAKURAKUSO" to leading Ikkagōyō, Chef Mitsutaka seamlessly blends traditional techniques with innovative visions, earning four Michelin stars for his commitment to excellence.

At Ikkagōyō, authenticity extends beyond the plate, offering guests a glimpse into the essence of Japanese dining through seasonal appreciation and heartfelt hospitality.

In the vibrant culinary landscape of Singapore, Chef Mitsutaka embraces cultural fusion, harmoniously blending Japanese tradition with Singaporean influences. From meticulously selected ingredients to warm and attentive service, every aspect of the dining experience at Ikkagōyō reflects Chef Mitsutaka's dedication to excellence and his deep respect for both Japanese and Singaporean culinary traditions. Join us as we delve into Chef Mitsutaka's culinary philosophy and discover the unique flavors that define Ikkagōyō, where every meal is a celebration of Japan's rich culinary heritage amidst the vibrant backdrop of Singapore's diverse culture.

Your journey into the culinary world began with cooking for your brothers, igniting a passion for food and hospitality. How does this early experience continue to influence your approach to cooking and guest satisfaction?

I value compassion, love, and hospitality towards my family and guests.

Through cooking for my siblings and family, I learned the joy of connecting people and bringing happiness through meals. From that experience, I believe it is important for a chef to have the same compassion and warmth towards guests, and to provide heartfelt hospitality through cooking.

My background has led me to prioritize not only the quality and taste of the food, but also the pursuit of guest satisfaction and creating memorable experiences. I aim to bring joy and inspiration to guests through my cooking, and to connect people through food, seeking the essence of cooking.

Drawing from my experiences cooking for siblings and family, I always prioritize the happiness and satisfaction of guests, and I strive to provide heartwarming dining experiences with a focus on hospitality and passion for cooking.

Transitioning from revitalizing "HYAKURAKUSO" to spearheading Ikkagōyō in Singapore, you've showcased your culinary prowess in different settings. How does your culinary philosophy evolve as you adapt to new environments and cultures?

Through showcasing my culinary skills from "HYAKURAKUSO" to leading Ikkagōyō in Singapore, I have evolved my cooking philosophy in adapting to different environments. When adapting to new environments and cultures, my cooking philosophy has evolved in the following ways:

1.        Enhanced Flexibility and Creativity: In new environments, it is important to embrace local ingredients and cooking techniques to demonstrate flexibility and unleash creativity. Influenced by different cultures, I strive to develop my own unique culinary style.

2.        Respect for Local Flavors: When cooking in a new environment, I make it a point to respect local tastes and traditions, showing reverence for the local food culture. By incorporating local ingredients and cooking methods, I aim to offer richer culinary experiences.

3.        Importance of Communication and Learning: In new environments, I value communication with local chefs and food enthusiasts, learning from them to broaden my culinary horizons. By understanding and respecting different cultures and traditions, I am building a deeper culinary philosophy.

As I adapt to new environments and cultures, my cooking philosophy continues to evolve. Emphasizing flexibility, respect for local traditions, and the importance of communication and learning, I strive to provide enriching culinary experiences.


Learning from esteemed establishments like "SUSHI ARAI" and "NARUSE," renowned for their sushi and tempura respectively, how do you blend these traditional techniques with your innovative vision at Ikkagōyō?

1.        Respect for Tradition and Fusion with Innovation: At Ikkagōyō, we respect the traditional techniques and flavors of sushi and tempura while incorporating new ideas and methods from an innovative perspective. By combining tradition with innovation, we have established our unique culinary style.

2.        Utilization of Seasonal and Regional Elements: At Ikkagōyō, we develop menus that incorporate seasonal and regional elements. By leveraging traditional techniques and highlighting seasonal ingredients and regional characteristics, we take an innovative approach to our cuisine.

3.        Careful Ingredient Selection and Culinary Techniques: Ingredient selection and culinary techniques are crucial in sushi and tempura. At Ikkagōyō, we meticulously select high-quality ingredients and incorporate innovative methods alongside traditional cooking techniques to deliver richly flavored dishes.

At Ikkagōyō, we blend traditional sushi and tempura techniques with an innovative vision to offer guests a new culinary experience. By valuing tradition, innovation, seasonal and regional elements, we have crafted our own unique culinary style.

You've been recognized for your commitment to excellence, earning four Michelin stars and accolades from various platforms. How do you maintain this standard of excellence while also ensuring a memorable dining experience for your guests?

At Hyakurakusou, our commitment to excellence has been recognized with accolades such as a Michelin 4-star rating and praise from various platforms. To maintain this standard of excellence while providing guests with memorable dining experiences, we implement the following strategies:


1.        Uncompromising Focus on Quality: We never compromise on the quality of ingredients and always strive for the highest standards. By carefully selecting fresh, high-quality ingredients and utilizing both traditional and innovative cooking techniques, we deliver exceptional dishes.

2.        Enhancement of Service Quality: Providing guests with memorable dining experiences requires not only excellent cuisine but also exceptional service. At Hyakurakusou, we offer heartfelt hospitality and attentive service to exceed guests' expectations and create lasting memories.

3.        Continuous Improvement Mindset: Sustaining excellence requires a constant drive for improvement and a commitment to self-assessment and enhancement. Through regular training and feedback, we continuously improve staff skills and elevate the quality of service.

4.        Utilization of Guest Feedback: We value and incorporate guest feedback to improve our service and menu offerings. By listening attentively to guest input, we identify areas for enhancement to deliver an even better dining experience.

Through these initiatives, Hyakurakusou maintains excellence while providing guests with memorable dining experiences.

As an advocate for Japanese cuisine and culture, how do you introduce diners at Ikkagōyō to the authentic essence of Japanese dining beyond just the food?

As advocates of Japanese cuisine and culture at Ikkagōyō, we introduce the essence of Japanese dining beyond just food to our guests in the following ways:

1.        Appreciation of Seasonality: In Japanese food culture, the importance of seasonality is paramount. Embracing the changing seasons and utilizing seasonal ingredients are key aspects of Japanese dining. At Ikkagōyō, we incorporate seasonal menus and fresh ingredients to offer a dining experience that allows guests to savor the essence of each season.

2.        Balance and Aesthetics of Meals: Japanese dining places emphasis on well-balanced meals and visual aesthetics. At Ikkagōyō, we pay attention to presentation and the selection of tableware to convey Japan's sense of beauty and the importance of balance through dining.

3.        Communication Through Meals: Japanese dining culture values communication and connection with family and friends during meals. At Ikkagōyō, we provide a space where guests can enjoy conversations over their meal, fostering connections and highlighting the significance of communication through dining experiences.

Through these elements, Ikkagōyō aims to introduce guests to the essence of Japanese dining beyond food, allowing them to gain a deeper understanding of Japanese cuisine and culture.

Opening a restaurant in Singapore must have presented unique challenges and opportunities. Can you share how the cultural context of Singapore influences your menu and dining experience at Ikkagōyō?

Opening a restaurant in Singapore has indeed provided unique challenges and opportunities. Singapore is a country where diverse cultures coexist, and this cultural context has a significant impact on Ikkagōyō's menu and dining experience.

1.        Fusion of Cultures: Singapore is a melting pot of various cultures, and this diversity is reflected in Ikkagōyō's menu. While we offer traditional Japanese cuisine, we also incorporate creative dishes inspired by Singapore's diverse food culture.

2.        Harmony and Balance: Singaporean culture values harmony and balance, which is also evident in Ikkagōyō's dishes. We blend the traditions of Japanese cuisine with Singapore's emphasis on balanced meals to provide guests with a harmonious dining experience.

3.        Service and Hospitality: Singapore is known for its hospitality, and Ikkagōyō upholds this spirit by providing warm and attentive service. We strive to offer guests genuine hospitality, allowing them to experience Singapore's culture of hospitality through our service.

The cultural context of Singapore enriches Ikkagōyō's menu and dining experience, adding a unique charm and depth to the culinary offerings and providing guests with a rich dining experience.


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