Dazzle, Ginza ダズル 銀座
I can't imagine how a place with a name as outrageous as "Dazzle" escaped my attention for so long. I'm not such a frequent diner in glittering Ginza, but last month when I wanted to find somewhere suitably dazzling to take some clients I stumbled across it on a last-minute web search, hoping that the name was a promise.
I don't know about dazzling, but it's actually not too bad; and as I've been back since I can report on the balance of two experiences. The restaurant is at the top of the Mikimoto building in Ginza, adjacent to Printemps. The Mikimoto building is one of the more interesting in Ginza, featuring an asymmetrical/ naturalistic (I wish I knew the right architectural term) window treatment up and down the length of the building.
Upon arrival at Dazzle the elevator opens onto the kitchen and you are greeted by several staff with suitably dazzling smiles. There is a bar off to the side, where you may be parked for a while as we were on our second visit, or taken to another elevator which delivers you to the impressive high-concept, high-ceilinged dining room. A two-storey, part-funnel shaped glass wine cellar forms a very interesting feature in one corner.
My first impression was of a rather shallow, image-driven place somewhat like XEX Daikanyama; but unlike XEX the food actually tastes as good as it looks. On both visits as a pre-starter I partook of the oysters, which come in various creative dressings such as limoncello and mandarin, and I would say are about the best thing on the menu. Both times I ordered the crab cakes for entree and chef's special pasta for the main (I wish I could remember what it was on the first visit - on the second it was a pleasant blue-cheese ravioli). On my more recent visit I almost died with jealousy when my dining partner's wagyu arrived. She was kind enough to give me a decent piece off her wagyu mountain (very generous serving) which was impossibly rich and decadent - as wagyu should be. For dessert I highly recommend the fondant chocolat, which might just be the nicest I've eaten in recent memory.
Overall, even though the menu is too short for my liking, I'd rate the food above average - surprisingly good for a "concept" restaurant. The service is willing, but doesn't quite come together as it should in some niggly ways such as forgetting to take the wine order. I like the Aussie maitre d', but my French dining partner on the second visit found him slightly intrusive and insincere (la belle dame sans merci!). I think he's trying to do his job well, but can see how he would have created that impression. A bit more experience will round him out a bit. I think a bit more rounding is the order of the day for Dazzle - just a bit of a push on the execution and this could be a really great place.