It's taken me a couple of visits to get around to writing about Ristorante Frick in Minami Aoyama. During the first dinner I was so engrossed in the conversation with my dining partner that I forgot to take photos of most of the food. The next time I was out with my work colleagues and, again, I forgot to take all the photos I should have. I am hoping that my patchwork photo essay will be enough to cobble together an impression of the fare.
The first thing you notice about Frick is, of course, the name. Apparently it's an acronym blending the first initials of the team. They're a young team, and the chef and his dour waiter look like they're barely out of high school. I think they're blissfully unaware of the double entendre in English, and the name certainly has raised a few eyebrows. But this is Japan so, frankly, who frickin cares?
For 5,250 yen you can order the Menu Frick which includes an amuse, vegetable plate, pasta, main, dessert and coffee. It's excellent value and allows you either a reasonably priced dinner or to splash out on some delicious Italian wines or grappa which, of course, is what I did on both occasions.
I think, overall, the food is pleasant enough and reflects a high degree of thought in conception and reasonably good attention to detail in execution. Top marks for that, especially when considering the good price performance and the compromises that this demands. I think though that this young chef is capable of operating at a higher level if he has the opportunity and willingness to develop. It would be a pity if he were not to continue to grow in his art, resting on the laurels of the apparently commercially successful formula he has struck for these recessionary times.
The amuse bouches are intriguing. Here is a chicken liver puff and a spoon of (omg I forgot...)
This is a puff with pork and a little blini with raw tuna and okra
The raw vegetable plate comes with an anchovy and olive oil dip. Hmm, it's OK but it really is a bit raw for my liking...
I forgot to take pictures on both visits of the pasta, but I had sea urchin and tomato sauce which was quite nice. The lamb ragu was well received by those that had it and the mozzarella and tomato also seemed to go down nicely.
The duck "sumibiyaki" was, honestly, a little bland even with the truffle shavings.
You don't get to choose your dessert which is pretty annoying as I don't like a lot of fruits. I rejected my banana tiramisu (?!) and they kindly prepared the apple pie and ice cream which was much more to my liking.