La Casquette, Hatsudai ラ・カスケット 初台
La Casquette is a small French restaurant located in the shopping street of Hatsudai, which is just across the freeway from the Opera City complex at Nishi Shinjuku. Even though it is literally next door, Hatsudai is a world away from Shinjuku - as quiet and suburban as it gets in Tokyo.
This establishment is clearly a one man band. When I recently had Sunday lunch there the chef was doing all the cooking and all the serving for almost 20 customers! The server must have called in sick or alternatively he always works without help. Either situation would be enough to put me in a bad mood - and this guy sure is surly (think "Soup Nazi" of Seinfeld fame). However, his cooking is nothing short of superb and just may offer some of the best value for money in Tokyo.
For 1,890 yen you can choose an entree, main and dessert. For my entree I ordered a scallop salad. The scallops were juicy and cooked just right, served with mushrooms, salad leaves and green peppercorns. For the main I chose the lamb which came with a delicious baked potato, capsicum and pesto. The meat was rarer than I usually prefer, but it was very good nonetheless (and there was no way I had the guts to send it back). My dining partner ordered a terrine de campagne and duck confit which he highly praised. Dessert was an excellent blanc manger with mango ice cream followed by coffee.
I highly recommend you make the trip out to Hatsudai to try this restaurant. Don't be put off by the gruff manners of the chef - he's a master at what he does.