Au Chapon Fin, Hachiyamacho

Au Chapon Fin is a little French restaurant/deli situated in a back street not far from Daikanyama. The place is obviously a labour of love for the chef and his little team (and that's nice) but I have to say that their idiosyncrasies, during a recent Sunday lunch, did grate on the nerves just a touch.

To start with, virtually nothing that was listed on the menu was actually available - so every dish I ordered was a compromise. I don't understand the point of having a menu if the chef is going to change his mind on the day or deliberately under provide. To hand someone a menu, have them deliberate over it for ten minutes and then not let you order anything that's actually on there is a bit odd in my opinion. Maybe one could suggest a blackboard?

Anyway, for 2,600 yen you can order a lunch set of entree, main, dessert and coffee with a 500 yen supplement to add a soup. I settled on smoked duck, mushroom soup and beef cheek (with the dessert being a chef's surprise). The smoked duck was swizzled with a balsamic sauce and paired with a cold sweet tomato consomme in a shot glass. The duck was pretty smokey and went well with the tomato in a combination that I've not tried before. For the next course I think the waitress heard me comment about how small the mushroom soup was so she assured me that there was a full bag of organic mushrooms in every cup. Even though it was just a little cup, the soup was rich and delicious. The beef cheek was good, but rather small. My dining partner's chicken confit looked as if it was more the hungry man's choice!

Dessert, which like everything else, took forever to come out was a rather yummy orange jelly with hints of Cointreau and chunks of nougat and this was followed by coffee. If you can look behind the lack of customer orientation, Au Chapon Fin is pleasant enough. However it's really not great when your waitress doesn't even know what the specials of the day are or what they're serving for dessert. It's also not the best show when you're paying the bill and she just disappears in the middle of the process for a couple of minutes, then the chef arrives to sullenly finish the process. The couple waiting behind me actually got asked whether they enjoyed their meal, so I guess maybe we were getting on eachother's nerves.
Tel: 03-5489-0517  


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