WAKA Ristorante, a creative Italian restaurant that makes the most of Tokushima ingredients

WAKA Ristorante, a creative Italian restaurant that makes the most of Tokushima ingredients

Kuramoto-cho is known for the University of Tokushima’s medical school and hospital, and is a convenient 6-minute train ride from JR Tokushima Station. WAKA Ristorante is located in a building facing the main street. The restaurant was formerly known as “Casa Marino,” a trattoria where Kazunori Wakabayashi, who had worked at popular Italian restaurants in Tokyo and Kansai, moved to his wife’s hometown, Tokushima, about 25 years ago and boasted overwhelming popularity as the owner-chef. In 2017, the restaurant’s name and location were changed to “WAKA Ristorante” in order to make it a more upscale ristorante and to create a restaurant with a focus on quality. The restaurant’s omakase course, which is available only by reservation, is very popular, and its reputation is well known among food lovers outside of the prefecture. Many fans visit the restaurant every time they come to Tokushima. Nakata recommends this restaurant for its “unique and creative Italian cuisine.

The ingredients used in the course are all fresh local Tokushima ingredients or the best imported from all over Japan.
For example, the star of the specialty “Tokushima Yuki Wild Lobster Tagliolini” is a wild lobster from Tokushima Prefecture, Yuki. The rich and aromatic sauce is made by stewing the freshly cut live lobsters with tomatoes, and the tagliolini is entwined with the flavor of the fresh pasta, giving it an irresistible, chewy texture. While Tokushima Prefecture is famous for its seafood, Chef Wakabayashi says that the vegetables are also superb. For example, the pointed fruit tomato “Renaissance” grown by AgriBest in Awa City is a gem with few seeds and high sugar content. The ‘koku shiitake’ mushrooms produced in Kamiyama are also very tasty and have a strong flavor,” Wakabayashi said.

The main staple, “Awa Beef Chateaubriand Steak,” also features the fine fat of an A5-rank female. Awa Beef is raised in Tokushima Prefecture, which is blessed with abundant water, which results in a fine texture of fat. Chef Wakabayashi places great importance on bringing out the freshness and flavor of these carefully selected ingredients when preparing his dishes. In his courses, he not only brings the ingredients to the forefront, but also sometimes uses them as a soup stock. It is precisely because Chef Wakabayashi knows Tokushima’s delicious food so well that he is able to fully utilize its potential in his own cuisine.

Chef Wakabayashi is not only particular about his cuisine, but also about the space. The open kitchen allows diners to see the chef at a distance, and the entrance door and tables are decorated with zelkova and cherry trees he cut from his own mountain, welcoming visitors with the warmth of fine wood. The restaurant also chooses Tokushima-made tableware and cutlery, and Otani-yaki plates further enhance the beauty of the cuisine. The cuisine has a luxurious feel, but the relaxed, homey atmosphere may be the secret to making diners want to come back again. If you are ever in Tokushima, be sure to make a reservation and visit.


WAKA Ristorante
3-8 Kuramoto-cho, Tokushima City, Tokushima Prefecture
TEL 088-633-6110