I know that Tokyo has quite a large number of excellent restaurants and chefs (it’s the city with the highest number of Michelin Star awarded restaurants), but if you look for almost the perfection, IMHO there is only one name: Yoshiaki Takazawa and his Takazawa Restaurant.
In a very intimate ambience (only 8 guests, maybe 10, no more) under the superb guidance of Chef Takazawa and the advices of his kind wife Akiko, you will have a really unique gastronomic experience combining a western concept of food with japanese techniques and ingredients in a constant search for perfection. The level of service is really first category with peaks of politeness unimaginable in the western world (Chef Takazawa personally escorted us down in the street waiting for the taxi!)
The menu was a journey through the most famous dishes of Chef Takazawa: the name was “Enjoy your Imagination”
- Ratatouille (2005): this is a masterpiece indeed, its signature. An amazing creation made of 15 types of perfectly cube-shaped cut vegetables, all cooked separately and then wrapped with a red cabbage in a sushi-style. Akiko suggests to eat it in just one bite to exploit the maximum taste potential. Maybe the most popular Takazawa’s creation. Breathtaking.
- Vegetables Parfait (2011): probably the most western among the dishes tasted with a very familiar taste made of “cavolo nero”and gazpacho. Delicious.
- Tiramisu (2013): this was really surprising. A perfectly classic Tiramisu-looking…with the exception that cacao powder was licorice, mascarpone cream was corn and crabmeat. Spectacular.
- Smoking Tuna (2006): true smoke over blue fin tuna from Hokkaido. The funny part is that the client is required to finalize the dish ornament playing with the vegetables randomly left aside the dish.
- Candleholder (2007): this was in my opinion, after Ratatouille, the most surprising course. An almost real candle made of mango cream combined with its holder made of foie gras brûlée. Clamorous.
- ISOBE-Seashore (2014): aka snails, fish and seaweed
- Beef Curry Rice (2011): Takazawa interpretation of the traditional Japanese dish.
- Melon Soda (2013): fizzy melon (really!) with vanilla ice cream. Perfect sorbet.
- Dinosaur Egg from Miyazaki (2014): the final touch. Meringue filled with Mango cream (this was the egg!), white chocolate and chili (the shell) and wasabi. Intriguing.
And don’t forget the several “surprises” between one dish and another like the Okinawa pork terrine with brioche or the roasted baby corn. Terrific.
Also the wine pairing was original indeed and very much appreciated
and to finish, the unmissable green tea
One only word: amazing