La Table De Joel Robuchon is the Michelin one-star rated restaurant situated in the famous Chateau at Ebisu Garden Place. Above it you will find the fancier Joel Robuchon which was awarded three stars. Recently I had the chance to eat lunch at La Table and came away strangely underwhelmed. The ambience of the first floor is lovely with its fashionably purple walls and glassware (or was it mauve? - I remember almost being laughed out of a business meeting for asking the same question out loud about a new shampoo package).
The presentation of the food is also very attractive and the staff are well trained. However, important though the ambience of a restaurant may be, it is the food that I really look forward to. For lunch you can order a 2,900 yen menu formule (with dessert for an extra 800 yen) which initially struck me as quite modest for such a distinguished luncheon establishment. I ordered a scallop carpaccio with endive for the starter, foie gras with parmesan on risotto for the main and a grapefruit terrine for dessert. Tasty, fresh bread is provided throughout the meal.
I am really sorry to report that, although it looked great, the scallop carpaccio did not taste like anything in particular. Perhaps I am spoiled but the scallops I recently had at Luke Mangan's Glass in Sydney put this dish in the shade. My dining partner ordered a salmon mousse which looked beautiful, but which he described as "dense" and I had to agree had a stodgy quality to it. The foie gras with risotto was a little sloppy in consistency though moderately tasty. Actually the best course was the grapefruit terrine which was fresh and colourful and came with a delicious mint ice-cream.
La Table would do no harm to your image if you used it for a business lunch, and is a nice place to catch up with friends for something a bit more special than usual. I am sorry to say that I don't think that the food is quite up to the pretensions of the establishment; the cutting edge of lunch in Tokyo is probably elsewhere. I would take a pinch of Salt for lunch over La Table which, as an admirer of Le Maître Robuchon, gives me no pleasure to write.
The Michelin Guide has consistently awarded more stars to Tokyo dining establishments than any other city in the world. I created this blog as my personal Tokyo restaurant guide, but I hope you will also enjoy reading it. If you have been to any of the same places feel free to leave some comments about your own experiences.