Dom quote

Dom quote

The Michelin Guide has consistently awarded more stars to Tokyo dining establishments than any other city in the world. I created this blog as my personal Tokyo restaurant guide, but I hope you will also enjoy reading it. If you have been to any of the same places feel free to leave some comments about your own experiences.

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Thursday, 25 February 2010

Miravile, Komaba ミラヴィル駒場

Miravile is somewhere that has been on my list for well over a year, but it all just seemed so hard. Every time I mustered up my best pidgin Japanese to make a booking they were full. My pride seemed to prevent me from making bookings weeks in advance as that would seem way too keen. On a recent attempt I lost my nerve and just kept asking "what about next week? what about next week? what about next week?". In the end I managed to get a booking three weeks in advance for lunch on Sunday.

And boy was it worth the wait. Miravile really earns its Michelin accolade from start to finish. The ambience is lovely (I believe the chef even did some of the paintings, lending a real personal touch), and the service is extremely attentive - I think keeping the dining room small helps a lot. It was basically love at first sight when my customary Sunday lunch aperitif "coupe de champagne" (a delightful Drappier Carte Blanche to be exact) was refilled!! A refill of champers! Be still my beating heart!!

The food is uniformly superb. We started off with a mousse of tongue, foie gras and trufle topped with a little pastry log. You can tell I'm not a real gourmet because I still get grossed out by things like tongue and brain and especially shirako - but I braved it and was glad I did!

Next came some fat, baked oysters which were as delicious as I've come to expect Japanese oysters to be. Frankly I don't know what all the fuss about Sydney rock oysters is about - give me some scrummy, engorged with yumminess Japanese ones - don't care where they're from- any time!!

The fish that followed was a "kobudai". To be honest, especially if there's sauce on it, I can't really tell one "tai" (bream) from another but this hit the spot really well. My main event was an excellent duck with boudin noir.

Dessert was great too as you can see from the pics! (In the interests of full disclosure, it has been six weeks since I went so I kind of forgot exactly what it was!!).

But don't trust my faulty memory - get your toosh along to Miravile sometime. Expect there to be a bit of a wait to get a table, but I promise you something a definite cut above the rest.

Tel: 03-5738-0418

Sunday, 14 February 2010

La Cantine du Midi, Shirokane 白金

La Cantine du Midi is a little neighbourhood southern French style cafe in Shirokane at the Azabu end of Kitazato Street. It's run by a couple of clean-cut ikemen who have put a lot of effort into making the experience authentic. On a recent visit for lunch I was offered the "course menu" on the phone while booking. There was no information offered on the price or contents of the course, but I'm usually happy to be surprised. In this case it turned out to be an entree, main, dessert and coffee for 2,500 yen (I found out when paying -- ok I know I could have asked...). My partner was not drinking but I indulged in a couple of fairly average glasses of house white which brought the bill for two for a little over 7,ooo yen.

The entree was a rocket salad with smoked salmon, tomato, carrot and sardine en croute with a very acceptable vinaigrette. The main was a schnitzel with tomato salsa and mashed potato and the dessert was grapefruit, strawberry, fresh mint with vanilla and chocolate yoghurt ice cream. Everything was quite pleasant, and the Frenchy couple at the bar finished off the authentic feeling very nicely.

My only gripe is that it's a little bit on the dear side for what it is, and they refused to let me pay with credit card for some reason. I'd have thought 7,000+ is ok for credit card, but luckily I had cash with me.
Tel: 03-5449-7250

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Firehouse, Hongou ファイヤーハウス本郷

The website says it's "Nippon's Tastiest Burger!!!". That's a pretty tall claim, but the mozzarella and mushroom burger I had the other was pretty damn good. These guys are at Hongou which is really close to Korakuen and Tokyo Dome.

Check 'em out! They also deliver if you live within 2.5 kms...

Tel: 03-3815-6014

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Chinese Restaurant Naoki, Takanawadai チャイニーズレストラン 直城 高輪台

Naoki is a stylish Chinese restaurant in Takanawadai. I recently visited on a cold winter's day to try them out. Their Sichuan suigyoza were very tasty, but the tantanmen was a bit of disappointment (I have a sneaking suspicion that they dumbed down the spiciness for this gaijin). Nevertheless I'm going to give them another go and try more items on the menu, as I think they're pretty serious about their quality, ambience and service.
Tel: 03-5798-3225

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Sucré Salé, Yotsuya  スクレサレ四谷

It was with a little trepidation that I made my way for Sunday lunch at Sucré Salé in Yotsuya. The author of one blog said a scary bald waiter was staring at her while she was trying to eat, and has marked the place "no longer recommended". The man taking the reservation certainly was curter than usual, and when my dining partner and I arrived there was indeed a fairly bald man who (how shall I put it?) manages to achieve the greatest result with the least words and movement. But I think this is one of the definitions of elegance, n'est-ce-pas?

We took no offence to him at all, other than to note that he clearly has worked hard to simulate a real-life French waiter! I guess on a bad day one might take a less sanguine view, but you should not be discouraged from visiting. The food and atmosphere were very much up to scratch.

For just under 3,000 yen you can order a course menu which includes an entree, main, dessert and coffee. Delicious, yakitate bread (including an amazing little roll with thyme) is served without restriction. For the entree I opted for the omelette with chive, my dining partner for the rillette. Mine was a very good omelette and my partner had nothing but praise for his rillette. For the main I ordered lamb cutlets which came with crunchy vegetables (cooked just right) and a French-style aigre doux sweet and sour sauce.

My dining partner had a lamb mince burger instead of the cutlets, which he praised highly. My cutlets were barely cooked, which was fine even though I wouldn't have minded being told how they were to be done. The only criticism I have is that they were very fatty. There was so much fat on them that three cutlets would have been better than two, especially considering that they cost me an extra 800 yen or so as a supplement. Dessert was a nougat glace for me and a tarte tartin for my partner. My partner was very happy with the tarte and I just loved my nougat which came with a lovely raspberry coulis.

I'd say it's worth the risk of getting the waiter on a bad day. The food's great, the surroundings are pleasant and it's not overly expensive. Quite a good package in fact.

Tel: 03-3351-8741