永遠のふたり 白洲次郎と正子




Eat the best Kano-gani at the famous Kanazawa ryotei restaurant ‘Nihonryori Zeniya (日本料理 銭屋)’!

During the year-end and New Year’s holidays, as well as in January and February when the festive mood continues, the winter feast that you want to share with your closest friends is… crab! Among all crabs, ‘ Zuwai-gani (ズワイガニ),’ which lives in the Sea of Japan, is special. Kanazawa is a city with a concentration of locals who love this crab and chefs who are passionate about crab dishes! Whether you are planning a trip to Kanazawa this winter or just want to relax at home, this article is sure to make you want to eat it.

Just the sight of the red shell is enough to make your heart flutter! Now is the time to eat the No.1 winter feast, Zuwai-gani!

‘Yakigani (焼きガニ)’ appears in the middle of the Zuwai-gani course at ‘Nihonryori Zeniya’. The translucent and glossy meat is made by taking care of the raw crab without missing the cooking process. The grilled crab meat is plump and fluffy.

Interview with ‘Nihonryori Zeniya,’ a famous restaurant in Kanazawa. What is the locals’ favorite way to eat crab?

‘Kanou gani (加能ガニ)’ is the name for male Zuwai-gani in Ishikawa Prefecture, and its price is rising in proportion to the attention it attracts to the tourist destination of Kanazawa. The satisfaction is worth the price! Here are some crab dishes that are well-received by the locals.

‘Yakigani’. A luxurious dish of grilled crab, in which two people can enjoy one serving of claws and legs. When you hear a sizzling sound from deep inside the shell, it is a sign that the crab is ready to be grilled. You will be surprised at the elasticity and freshness of the crab meat fibers!

Katamachi (片町) is a downtown area that stretches along the Saigawa (犀川) River. ‘Nihonryori Zeniya’ is located in a corner where many of Kanazawa’s historic restaurants stand side by side. The current owner, Takagi Shinichiro (髙木慎一朗), took over from his father as the second-generation owner, and his younger brother, Jiro (二郎), returned to the family home as head chef. The restaurant has received two Michelin stars and has been recognized as a member of the World’s Best Restaurants list, and has been gaining recognition in recent years.
“Among the many ryotei restaurants in Kanazawa, ours is small, with only six private rooms and six seats at the counter. That allows us to serve our dishes right in front of our customers. More than half of our customers are locals, and people in Kanazawa don’t like to see the owner’s or proprietress’s face. A heart-to-heart relationship is much more important than a star rating,’ says Jiro.

The ‘Zuwai-gani course’ is the best way to enjoy the generous hospitality of ‘Zeniya’. Take, for example, the ‘Yakigani’. Jiro listens attentively to the small crackling sound of the crab shells on the charcoal, and at the same time keeps a close eye on the plumpness of the crab meat. He takes the crab out of the shell at the right moment, and the plump, delicious-looking meat is just the right size! The crab is so plump and delicious! The nervous moments before the dish is served at that perfect moment, and the deliciousness of the crab that will make you laugh out loud, will both leave a lasting memory.

‘Koramiso wo nosetagohan (甲羅味噌をのせたご飯, Rice topped with crab shell miso) (left). After the Kobako (香箱) gani, Yakigani and Kanimiso mushi (カニミソ蒸し) is served with noodles in a cold soup stock to refresh the palate! The course finishes with a bowl of rice topped with leftover crabmeat, scallions, and country miso paste. It goes perfectly with the chunky Noto hazakake rice (はざかけ米).

Toward the end of the course, when you have become accustomed to the interaction with the staff, it is also a pleasure to slurp up the noodle-like crab meat. Since each person eats a little less than one large male crab for the entire course, the seasoning is quite subtle.
“As long as the crab is fresh, the flavor of the crab itself is enough, and the locals like it that way. The sweetness of the crab increases when it is cooked a little, so I like to keep the meat rare,” says Jiro. “Even for Kobako gani, we start boiling them according to the arrival time of our customers. They like to eat it while the uchiko (うちこ, roe inside the ovary) is still warm.
They try to secure live crabs from four different routes on a daily basis. He is particular about the quality of the crab meat, and will no longer offer Kanou gani until the end of January.
“I don’t want to be outdone by other restaurants when it comes to crab,” Jiro said with a passionate tone.

“The best crab is only as good as its freshness,” says Takagi Jiro (髙木二郎), head chef at ‘Nihonryori Zeniya’.

Store Information

‘Nihonryori Zeniya (日本料理 銭屋)’
Address: 2-29-7 Katamachi, Kanazawa City, Ishikawa Prefecture
Phone: 076-233-3331
Hours: 17:30-22:00 (L.O. 19:00), open year-round
Reservations accepted from 2 persons. Reservations required by the day before for the snow crab course 60,000 yen (tax and service charge not included) *Reservations are accepted until the end of January.
Reservations are required at least one day in advance for the Snow Crab Course 60,000 yen (tax and service charge not included).

*This article is a reprint of the magazine ‘Waraku (February/March 2022 issue)’. Please check the latest information before visiting.
Photo by Ishii Hiroaki (石井宏明) Text by Fujita Yu (藤田 優)

This article is translated from




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永遠のふたり 白洲次郎と正子