In the backstreets of Aoyama you will find the certified bloke-free zone of Fumotoya. This little find is marked on the outside by its fabric draped stairs leading down to a modern basement restaurant, of quite generous proportions, that leads out to a covered basement terrace.
Being a bloke-free zone, the service (even from the blokes) is very fussy and attentive. Once the nerves of talking to a couple of gaijin guys wore off there was even the odd glimmer of friendliness. Of course, I didn't go there to make friends, but to eat. Their particular shtick is a fusion of French food and...soba. It sounds a bit odd but actually what they have pulled off is as close to a genuine fusion as you'll find for lunch in Tokyo. For around 2,600 yen you can order their lunch set which is exceptionally good value considering the quality and the quantity.
The first dish was an amuse of a slice of pork with soy balsamic, a crouton with mascarpone and nut and some baby scallop. A dash of apricot and strawberry coulis was splashed on the side to liven up the flavour. The entrée was a plate of tuna steak chunks and some bamboo shoots served with and pumpkin purée and a piquant mizuna oil. The main course was a duck confit topped with deep fried soba and accompanied by little bread rolls made from soba flour. Then came the soba, for which there are three hot and three cold choices. I ordered mine cold with zuwari crab and jelly and my dining partner ordered his hot with yuba. As if that wasn't enough the dessert cart was next and I had a nice caramel pound cake, a chocolate cheesecake and a fluffy, plain cheesecake which was served with a big dollop of cream.
Yes! (or do i mean yes, yes YES!) It was sinful for a Saturday lunch but uniformly yummy. I also ordered a couple of glasses of their Israeli house white which comes from the occupied Golan Heights. Hmmm - politically charged wine with my lunch, and not bad at all. Anyway, even if you're a bloke you should give this one a go. The servings definitely are enough to satisfy and the experience is definitely one step above the mundane.