Edition — Toyko (1/2015)

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A recent search for modernist cuisine restaurants in Tokyo listed Edition.  So on my latest visit to Tokyo, I booked a dinner.  I was particularly interested in the menu option where you provide the chef with your allergies and preferences and they create a menu for you.  Otherwise, there are two variations on a tasting menu that one can choose.  The restaurant is easy to reach by subway (you don’t even have to go outside to get there).  It’s in the T-Cube building in a non-descript corner on the first floor in Roppongi-Midtown area.

The dining space is divided into two rooms, so the restaurant does not appear very big.

The first presentation was actually not an edible one.  They poured water on this and it became a warm hand towel as the traditional start to a Japanese meal.

For the full write-up, click here.

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Sant Pau — Tokyo (10/2013)

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I heard about this restaurant while doing some casual reading about Tokyo food. Sant Pau is a one-star (I think it used to have two) Michelin restaurant in a city with the most stars total of any city.  I checked advanced availability and it looked to be easier to book than many other places (via OpenTable.com).  So, when the opportunity came up to try and fit a dinner in, I was able to do so.  I planned for a late dinner (by my standards) at around 8pm, in case my incoming flight to Tokyo was delayed.  I arrived at the restaurant about 25 minutes early (it’s conveniently located in Central Tokyo) and they were able to take me to my table directly.

The restaurant is an offshoot of Carme Ruscalleda’s place of the same name in Sant Pol de Mar near Barcelona.  The seasonal menus are coordinated, with the exception that the Tokyo branch uses local Japanese ingredients to create the dishes, which are categorized as modern Spanish/Catalonian.

 I went ahead and decided to do the full degustation menu.  After I decided, they brought this smaller version for me to use to follow along with the courses.

 The tables were grouped into small sections.  The mood was subdued, but with spot lighting at the tables.  There was instrumental music playing at a very low volume in the background.

For the full write-up, click here.

The Molecular Tapas Bar 4th Visit — Tokyo (5/2013)

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I returned to the Molecular Tapas Bar because I was visiting Tokyo with friends and I wanted them to have the experience.  A couple of my favorites were no longer on the menu, which surprised me a little.  Still, the overall experience was what I had expected it to be. Instead of champagne, I started out with a nice glass of Riesling. And I was almost certain I took notes, but they are nowhere to be found on my phone.  So, the descriptions may be a little lacking this time.

 The aperitif course was called Cherry Bonbon and it was a semi-frozen morsel of cherry and sake on a stem.  We picked it up by the stem and consumed it like a cherry. This was the same aperitif as the last spring menu I had a couple of years ago.

For the full write-up, click here.

Pierre Gagnaire — Tokyo (1/2013)

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This is my second visit to a Pierre Gagnaire restaurant (the first was Twist in Las Vegas).  The food here was a bit more French in style and substance than the newer Twist, which I was expecting.  This is a 2-star Michelin restaurant located on a high floor of the ANA Intercontinental hotel.  Reservations can be made by email, although they had some difficulty getting a reply message back to me.

Upon arrival, they had a nice table by the window looking out over the lights of central Tokyo.  I asked for their pre-dinner champagne offerings and they had a Ruinart Rosé, so I went with that while I looked over the menus.  They served a few little accompaniment snacks to go with the champagne.

 I did not get an item-by-item description, but the ingredients included tuna, mascarpone, chestnut, black truffle oil paste, rabbit, and chorizo.  The textures ranged from soft to crunchy, and flavored from savory to sweet, thus awakening the full range of tastes and sensations.

The menus presented a few dining options.  There was the à la carte option, the full tasting menu (“Esprit” or seasonal menu), the shortened seasonal menu (less desserts, no cheese course and one less savory course), and the special black truffle menu.

For the full write-up, click here.

The Molecular Tapas Bar — Tokyo (6/2011)

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The Molecular Tapas Bar is located at the Mandarin Oriental Tokyo on the 38th floor.  As the name implies, they specialize in molecular gastronomy.  They have two seatings a night with up to 8 people per seating.  The chef on the left trained at el Bulli.  The chef on the right spoke English and is from Maryland.  The items in the glass case are actually floating and spinning on magnets.

The menu was what I was presented with.  They do ask if you have any food allergies when they confirm the reservation.  Since I had none, I tried whatever they gave me, whether I would normally eat it or not.  The names given don’t always mean much.  There was sometimes a story as to why something is on the menu for the season and that may not be evident in the name/description.

For full write-up, click here.