There’s no shortage of good food joints in Tokyo. Pick any place at random during lunchtime and you’re sure to get a great feed at a reasonable price.
However, in Ginza you can expect to pay a bit more so it’s wise to seek guidance from those who have previously trod the path.
Yet it’s on the top couple of floors that you’ll find some excellent dining establishments.
Thus I slowly ascend via the escalator, floor by floor, admiring the countless displays. Actually droolling over them from afar to be perfectly honest.
The short wait outside on the bench seats is quite alright as it gives me a chance to peruse the over-sized A3 menu (fortunately in English) and select from one of their 3 set-menus.
I’m thoroughly tempted by the third option which includes: homemade bread, two appetisers, pasta, a choice of coffee or tea, and dessert.
Occupying a prime position in the corner, the location feels light and airy. There’s lots of natural light streaming in on what is a beautiful day in Tokyo after the strong winds and rains last night brought on by the typhoon.
There’s an open kitchen but I face away. Although I don’t get to enjoy the spectacle created by the chefs, I do have a bird’s-eye view down one of the little back streets and across the Ginza skyline.
Business appears to be booming here with all the seats full and turning over regularly.
I have several choices to make so I go with the salt cured stripe sea bass carpaccio with lemon oil, fava beans and orange foam which is a lovely, light salad that’s subtle yet intriguing. The foam looks like it is tadpole spawn. Omoshiroi! (interesting).
A silver candlestick and some books in French are housed behind glass. There are square woven baskets underneath one chair at each table: a nice forethought providing the women a place for their handbags and shopping bags.
My second appetiser is a braised “KUROBUTA” pork served with orange infused white bean purée, salsa verde and walnuts. It falls apart at the slightest touch.
The pasta is a homemade tagliatelle with Italian sausage, mushrooms and organic lemon oil. A fantastic combination of elements with the sweetest sun-dried tomatoes I’ve ever tasted.
This is all washed down with a wonderful glass of Italian red.
Dessert is a milk chocolate mousse with cinnamon ice cream on a mango coulis and sweet sour cherries. Sublime.
My cup of tea is served with a slice of lemon and is not too weak, not too strong, but just right. The perfect finish after my big meal.
I don’t notice the music until the end but it sounds South American. Yet it’s relatively quiet and not at all distracting.
18/20 food (taste) : astonishingly good
16/20 food (selection) : very good
15/20 staff : the waiter speaks enough English to explain the various dishes; whilst it’s certainly fine-dining it’s anything but pretentious; they also cheerfully provide more cold mizu (water) and bread
15/20 atmosphere : relatively quiet; a predominance of natural tones; soft milk-coffee leather seats; charcoal grey cushions; light stone walls.; dark timber tables; seating for 40+; pretty good view too
14/20 price : ¥2700 seems fair and reasonable considering how good the meal is but they do have set-menus priced at ¥1500 and ¥1900
78/100 total : outstanding