Ristorante la Brianza

I went in search of a cheap lunch today and stumbled upon a small, unassuming restaurant in Azabu-jūban specialising in Italian food.


The set-price menu looked good as I expected a big plate of pasta. Little did I realise it included an appetiser, a dessert and a coffee.

They began with a small yet adequate serve of homemade bread together with something lighted fried tempura-style. It just melted in my mouth.

As if this introduction to the palate wasn’t enough, when I noticed that my mizu (water) was poured into Riedel glassware I knew I was onto a winner.

I played it safe and ordered the spaghetti with basil pesto and pine nuts. The generous helping was served with tiny pieces of potato and drizzled in extra-virgin olive oil. Very Italian.

The temptation to have dessert was too strong as I couldn’t resist the prospect of eating one of my favourites, tiramisu. Regrettably, they had just run out so I settled for the pannacotta. But it was anything but a compromise.

Delicately flavoured with vanilla on a sweet, mango coulis, it was simply the best I’ve ever had. I know I’ve given up sugar but this was “to-die-for”!

The kōhī (coffee) to finish was surprisingly good given my chagrin at being unable to find a decent brew thus far. And when you consider the average price for a below-average coffee in Tokyo is about ¥350, it makes the set-price menu appear even more attractive.

18/20 food (taste) : oishii (delicious)

14/20 food (selection) : not an extensive lunch menu but still plenty to choose from

15/20 staff : very friendly and helpful, with enough English to get by

13/20 atmosphere : air-conditioned but not chilled; light jazz playing softly in the background; quiet conversations from other tables (seating for 22); an oddly eclectic mish-mash of framed black & white shashin (photographs), original prints and ink drawings

20/20 price : ¥1000 is typical for set-price meals but here it’s ridiculously well-priced

80/100 total : can’t get enough

I will definitely return, especially when I need to load up on carbohydrates.



2 thoughts on “Ristorante la Brianza

  1. Pingback: pasta | 100 days 100 ways

  2. Pingback: Tōkyō | day 5 | travel photography

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