Pachon has been on my "to go to" list for quite a while, so I was happy when I had the chance to pop up to Daikanyama and dine there recently for lunch. The first thing that strikes you about the restaurant is its formality, which I don't find stuffy, although the effect is to take you on a bit of time warp, albeit a pleasant one. Apart from the olde-world carpet and antique furniture there is a lovely fireplace on one side of the room where you may just see your meat being cooked. The owner and chef, a certain Monsieur Pachon is a master of the Carcassone style cassoulet, which I have had the pleasure of actually eating once in Carcassone, South West France - but that's another story.
There are a range of lunch sets you can order and my dining partner and I opted for the middle of the road Menu Gourmand which comes to just under 5,000 yen for four courses. Once you've thrown in a few glasses of wine and cheese you're looking at around 25,000 yen for lunch - so be warned! After an little amuse of tomato cream mousse with crab, for my entrée I opted for the bouillabaisse terrine and my dining partner for the asparagus which is in season. This was followed by a carrot soup, and for my main I had a couple of lamp chops which indeed were cooked over the fireplace! My dining partner chose the beef cheek. After this the cheese cart arrived and in a moment of weakness we both partook of a bit of everything. Dessert was strawberries and raspberries which were served in a champagne sauce (I think) with vanilla bean ice cream. This was followed by coffee and petit fours (particularly memorable was the orange and pistaccio calisson).
All the food was of a good standard, though hardly edgy in its conception and execution; but of course this is not why one would go to Pachon. It's not a bad place for a special date or a business dinner. The service is flawless, and I am sure nobody would feel hard done by with an invitation to such a unique Tokyo institution.