Entering through a plain black facade, the restaurant inside is only marked by a small sign reading “NINJA” in English. A silent escort dressed head to toe in black will lead you through a series of winding corridors, a drawbridge, and secret doorways into the hidden dining room.
This is Ninja Akasaka, where diners can step four centuries into the past as black-clad mercenaries serve up dinner and a show. The atmosphere is decked out in stone and wood, Edo period style, when Japan operated under a feudal system and ninjas were spy warriors available for hire. Though there is little historical evidence to flesh out our knowledge of ninjas, they have become a folklore fascination the world over, so needless to say Ninja Akasaka does well.
Patrons order their food off of lengthy scrolls, after which the ninja waitstaff fade into the darkness. They’re not gone for long though—they will periodically reappear, seemingly out of thin air, to entertain the table with sword tricks and martial arts demonstrations.
The food is modern Japanese cuisine, but each course is served with dramatic ninja flair. Black sesame crackers are shaped like throwing stars. Escargot “bombs” are lit on fire by a fuse of gunpowder. Snow crab is served atop a grapefruit pierced by a sword, which, when removed, releases smoky vapor from the dry ice inside.