Restaurant Toshi in Munich closed | SUSHIYA sansaro

Restaurant Toshi in Munich closed

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A sad news reached us surprisingly at the beginning of March 2022:

"Toshi", the restaurant of our colleague & competitor Toshio Kobatake at Wurzererstr.18 in Munich, will close in mid-March 2022.

The last evening at Toshi was very abruptly March 12, 2022. 

As soon as there is something new from Toshi, you will find out in this article. First here a little Insightwhat the company has meant for Japanese cuisine in Munich and which Alternatives to Toshi in Munich we can recommend.

Update November 2022: in the meantime Toshi has opened a new, small Izakaya - first impressions about it in the Articles about JapaTapa Toshibar.

On the homepage Toshi informs about its closure in March 2022

A look back at an institution in Munich

Toshi was an institution in Munich for many years. Started at some point as "Tokami & Lechthaler L-Bar", the business was apparently sold in the early 2000s for a considerable sum by the then owner Rainer Kucklick (who will concern us in detail elsewhere) to Toshio Kobatake. 

Toshio Kobatake, known as Toshi, was, like many other Japanese chefs from Germany, one of the earlier chefs from the Daitokai Group, the early teppanyaki restaurants opened by Kikkoman/JFC in Germany and around the world. 

Daitokai is now unfortunately history in Germany - in Toshi's restaurant in Wurzererstraße, a side street of Munich's Maximilianstraße, Teppanyaki lived on in Munich for a few more years.

Japanese taste instead of chic chic creations

We too have always enjoyed visiting Toshi to experience the diversity of Japanese cuisine, which is rarely possible in Munich. 

Because unfortunately many noble and seemingly modern Japanese restaurants or sushi restaurants in the middle to higher price range in Munich are (at least from our point of view) pure window dressing. 

And by the way, many of these restaurants mix sushi with other Asian cuisines and just not Japanese cuisine for a reason.

"Exciting" flavor combinations, modern sharing concepts deceive about the fact that often the cooks have no real sense for the real Japanese taste. Unfortunately, many people fall for this, especially in Munich. Stars and starlets make pilgrimages to restaurants that have little idea about Sushi & Sashimi have and seemingly present something new through supposedly modern interpretations of sushi. Often, however, these restaurants are actually about a Simplification of the complicated Japanese handwork and for superficial effects through striking sauce combinations, etc. Thus, the normal guest does not even notice that the rice was not properly seasoned or the fish was not cut in the Japanese way. For connoisseurs and true lovers of Japanese cuisine, it means that the number of genuine Japanese restaurants, to which we also privately liked to go again and again, became fewer and fewer in Munich.

Because chic restaurants where the rice is not even halfway properly seasoned and the fish is not cut with the right technique (the Taste often comes from cutting in Japanese cuisine), have nothing to do with Japanese food culture!

Even pungent or superficial flavors (often found in Nikkei concepts) cannot hide this and the typical Japanese quality falls by the wayside.

Much sushi and much choice of spirits Toshi 2015

Taste the variety of Japanese cuisine

The "Toshi", on the other hand, was almost a bastion of Japanese taste. There were menus here that were worthwhile and introduced the diversity of Japanese cuisine beyond sushi. And at the same time, Toshi offered an extensive à la carte menu, which always included special ingredients such as Wagyu or Iberico pork - the latter virtually a trademark of Toshi.

Knowledgeably, Toshi has made a foray into Japanese cuisine offered, due to the typically Japanese skillfully selected sequence of aisles, the waiting time was kept within limits (a topic that German customers often do not understand, namely that and why Sushi takes its time). 

Not only sushi, but also other delicious things: sukiyaki from the March menu at Toshi 2022

Full house with sushi & teppanyaki

In earlier times, Toshi and his team sometimes had to serve up to 90 guests in the two rooms north and south of the central entrance. 

Those who ordered teppanyaki could sit in front of the hot plate in the northern part of the restaurant to prepare it, watch, and then return to their table to eat. 

And in the southern part of the restaurant were then distributed different seating arrangements such as high table, group table, counter, comfortable armchairs in front of the window. Behind the counter, in addition to younger chefs and Toshi, old acquaintances of the Munich sushi scene such as the musician and passionate singer Masami Saito worked again and again.

Toshi awarded and appreciated many times

Those who went to the basement passed wine cabinets with extensive selections, the staircase downstairs offered beautiful tableware from Japanese ceramics studio Kanta, and downstairs found walls full of awards for Toshi. 

Some of them questionable, but many of them quite impressive: apparently Toshi was mentioned again and again in the Guide Michelin and Gault-Millau for years, and also in the GUSTO he had a stable number of pans over the years. 


Even as Japanese Cuisine Goodwill Ambassador was awarded to Toshi in 2019 - an honor bestowed on only about 100 people worldwide outside Japan.

Tōkyō connoisseur Axel Schwab also held the toshi in high regard, in the South German Newspaper even called the best Japanese restaurant in Munich by far, all things considered. We would basically agree with this assessment - the Toshi was recently the only restaurant that we could still regularly recommend to our guests in the restaurant sansaro with a clear conscience. (And of course we know all Japanese restaurants in Munich pretty good...)

Certainly, there have been some guests who have quibbled with individual details in Toshi - as is the case in any restaurant. In recent years, the space has looked a bit dated, the atmosphere sometimes melancholy, and some sushi rolls may not have been conceived or executed with ultimate passion for detail. 

However, these minor shortcomings were easy to get over, because overall Toshi offered (in our opinion) some of the best sushi in Munich, over a long period of time, paired with a great selection from the diverse Japanese cuisine. 

Not everyone can offer authentic Japanese quality in Munich in the long term, that is a Lifetime achievement for itself. 

Because the Munich public likes to run after dazzling trends, and German restaurateurs quickly realize that ambience, obsequious service (which doesn't follow Japanese kitchen procedures and, above all, the Japanese understanding of warm hospitality ) count more with many guests than constant Japanese quality. 

So lovers of fine (Japanese) cuisine can be really happy and grateful for every restaurant that still shows the elaborately produced, authentic Japanese quality in Munich!

At this point, we wish that in the future, Munich residents would get more of a sense for actual Japanese taste, develop more appreciation for authentic Japanese restaurants, and not always make a pilgrimage to the next supposedly posh restaurant with a kitchen trimmed for efficient production.

Offshoot Japatapa Noodle Bar

At times, there was even a small offshoot "Toshi Japatapa Noodle Bar" that tried its hand at being a sort of posh izakaya one cross street over. 

We were there at the time of the opening and were thrilled, but after a few years, this experiment unfortunately had to be abandoned. Unfortunately, as of today (2020/2022), there is no really good izakaya in Munich, except for the very simple, but quite friendly J-Bar in the Maistrasse aside. (Update: As of the end of 2023, the J-Bar is once again an absolute insider tip!)

Why did the Toshi Munich close?

In recent years, however, things have become quieter around Toshi, with various rumors swirling about what exactly happened. Sometimes there was talk of problems with the German authorities, some suspected that the "Ambience Blender Competition" Toshi from the business. 

After all, since the existence of the Toshi have gradually around him the Matsuhisa (Nobu's posh system gastro chain). at the Mandarin Oriental, the Anoki (later Azuki, temporarily with the excellent cook Haruo Kato, who was for many years in the former Tenno (the current Teno and Tenno in Munich have nothing to do with this at all)) and the Koi (with Robata and at times the brilliant sushi master Yūri Yagawa) opened. 

All these newer, more visually impressive and larger establishments have probably taken customers away from Toshi. And what is certain from our experience is that the people of Munich often confuse ambience with quality.

Another push then has the Corona crisis and - in our experience - the bavarian curfew 22h given. In the last two years, we have heard from some colleagues who had to give up, who could no longer buy good material. Especially a restaurant like Toshi is and was also dependent on tourists and on guests who have time for a menu after 8 pm. Both were made more difficult by the Corona crisis, nonsensical regulations and now the Ukraine crisis. 

Either way, the Munich sushi scene loses a small institution after twenty years - we are very sad about it.

Toshio Kobatake and SUSHIYA founder Alexander Reinelt

Future for Toshi: hopefully in Munich!

Toshi himself doesn't seem that sad when you talk to him. 

He knows that he will have to work in some capacity for the rest of his life and has made his peace with that. 

But if I did, it would be in a small operation, with only a few employees, because margins in the restaurant business are very, very thin and the risk is always high. 

Toshi is nevertheless optimistic about the future, and if he is, so can we as his customers and fans of his cuisine. As soon as a restaurant opens somewhere, which is under his leadership or collaboration, we will be there, congratulate and taste - and of course inform you here.

Good Japanese cuisine in Munich - This is important to us and we are always happy to report on it.

Three who love Japanese cuisine: Michelin-starred chef Jürgen Wolfsgruber, Japanese Cuisine Ambassador Toshio Kobatake and SUSHIYA founder Alexander Reinelt at the sansaro restaurant in Munich in July 2022.

Alternatives in Munich to Restaurant Toshi

Alternatives to Toshi Unfortunately, there are hardly any in Munich, at least at this level of quality. However, you can find a few tips in our guide Sushi in Munich

For sushi we recommend of course our Restaurant sansaro in the Amalienpassagewhere we emphasize the highest quality and even as much as possible. Organic and take care of every guest and every single dish every day. From time to time, on special days, there are also Kaiseki-events, but they are always booked up quickly. Best subscribe to our newsletterto be informed whenever a special culinary event is available for booking.

As of 2023/2024, for good Japanese cuisine we can also use the J-Bar and the Haguruma although the ambience there is much simpler and the cuisine is of course also much less sophisticated than ours or Toshi's.

And as promised: as soon as there is a new location where Toshio Kobatake works, we will write it here.

Do you have another tip or recommendation? We are pleased hear from you and are always looking forward to good Japanese cuisine in Munich.

Update: Toshi is working on a new location in Munich-Schwabing. Everything still looks a bit like a construction site, there is still a lot to do, but we can't wait to have a bit more real Japanese cuisine in Munich again! We report!

Update 2: Toshio Kobatake has opened the "JapaTapa Toshibar" on 11.10.2022!


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SUSHIYA is passionate about Japanese cuisine and culture. In our restaurant sansaro you can encounter the fascinating Japanese cuisine or have it delivered to your home. On our homepage, Facebook and Instragram we always give insights into news and interesting topics.