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The Michelin Guide has consistently awarded more stars to Tokyo dining establishments than any other city in the world. I created this blog as my personal Tokyo restaurant guide, but I hope you will also enjoy reading it. If you have been to any of the same places feel free to leave some comments about your own experiences.

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Thursday, 29 November 2007

Labyrinthe, Shirokane ラビラント 白金

Going to Labyrinthe is like taking a trip to France for an hour or two; quite a contrast to the very typical Japanese shopping street in Shirokane where the restaurant is located. I went there for lunch, but the a la carte menu is actually the same for lunch and dinner. I ordered a crab soup and the lamb with foie gras and my dining partner ordered a gazpacho and guinea fowl for the main. The crab soup was, well, very crabby and more earthy than I had expected- but actually very nice. The lamb was excellent, sort of lamb cutlets but with little meat balls made around the end of the bone with bits of foie gras inside. The bits of fresh truffle scattered on top added a lot of flavour. When we asked for the dessert cart it turned out that our eyes were bigger than our tummies, but there was a little scoop of ice cream served after the mains which was exactly what we needed. For two people, including a couple of glasses of wine each the bill came to about 7,000 yen per person. Not that cheap, definitely not good if you're on a diet as the food is rich, but well worth a visit.
Tel: 03-5420-3584

Sunday, 25 November 2007

Le Parc, Ebisu ル・パルク 恵比寿

Despite the name and the Parisian decor, this restaurant is actually a Hong Kong style Chinese restaurant. Bizarre. Anyway the food is of a very high standard and a nice surprise in a city where good dim sum/ yum cha is very hard to find. There's a 2,000 yen set and a 3,000 yen set, but if you go to you can print off a coupon so you get the 3,000 set for 2,500. That's what I did and for that you get shark fin soup, assorted "zensai" including a yummy char siew, fried and steamed dumplings, sticky rice (actually the best I have tasted for a long time) and the dessert of your choice. It's a good place to have a group lunch or a one on one.
Tel: 03-3780-5050

Sunday, 18 November 2007

Calm Terrace, Ebisu カームテラス 恵比寿

Calm Terrace is a very nice restaurant in Ebisu, almost opposite Zest. The decor is modern and the menu is a very nice modern "Californian". For lunch you can't go past the Hayashi rice which is a very classy interpretation of that Japanese canteen mainstay. I have been many times for lunch and a couple of times for dinner. Dinner, as you might expect, has a larger menu and I have not tasted an off dish yet. I highly recommend this place for a business or personal occasion.
Tel: 03-6771-7030

French Dining, Iidabashi フレンチダイニング 飯田橋

You would think that they could have thought up a more original name for this French restaurant situated not from from Iidabashi. Anyway the staff is mostly French which lends an air of authenticity. I have been for lunch quite a few times and there is always an interesting lunch set on offer with friendly and efficient service. Worth trying out for lunch if you are around Iidabashi.
Tel: 03-3260-7022

Wine Bistrot - Rouge ou Blanc, Ebisu ワインビストロルージュウブラン 恵比寿

If you want to eat at this little French style eatery in a back alley near Peacock in Ebisu you'd better arrive early, or visit on a Sunday. This is a very popular place to eat lunch for people that work around Ebisu. For a light lunch you can't go past the Asparagus Risotto, or for something more substantial the beef pasta is delicious. Prices are reaonable and the service is efficient.
Tel: 03-5456-0848

Sunday, 11 November 2007

La Bastide, Mita ラ・バスティード 三田

La Bastide is a friendly little French restaurant not far from the big G2 home centre at Mita. The food is quite nice and the service very friendly. If you're in that part of town I would check it out for lunch.
Tel: 03-3453-1120

Enzo, Nishi-Azabu エンゾパステリア 西麻布

Enzo is a place where you can get a good honest pasta for lunch or dinner for a reasonable price. If you have to eat out with people who are on a budget this is not a bad place.

Tel: 03-5778-3923

Cabana, Ebisu カバナ 恵比寿

Cabana is a very good western style cafe with a good chef not far from Ebisu Garden Place. They have nice sandwich/lunch sets through the week and on the weekend you can have an eggs benedict which is to die for (and excellent if you have a hangover). They're also not too bad for dinner. My only gripe would be that lunch on the weekend is really expensive and the coffee although nice is very dear.

Tel: 03-5421-2228

Bar Verano, Naka Meguro バルヴェラーノ 中目黒

Bar Verano is a little Spanish tapas bar with good food, comfy couches not far from Naka Meguro station.

Tel: 03-3793-3822

Buona Cucina Italiana Piola, Shirokane ブオナクッチーナイタリアーナピオラ 白金

Piola is a very authentic Italian restaurant situated in Shirokane near Meiji Dori. The food is fresh and tasty with interesting things on the menu like beef tongue pasta. Very nice for a quiet lunch.
Tel: 03-3442-5244

Au Petit Paris, Shirokane オー・プティパリ 白金

This is a cute and quiet little French restaurant near Shirokane that may be nice for a change once in a while. I remember eating a very nice foie gras there.
Tel: 03-3449-7301

Konomu, Shirokane このむ 三光坂下 白金

Konomu is a little Izakaya in Shirokane where you need to sit on the floor. It comes over as very Japanese style but in fact there are many western dishes on the menu so it's a good place to bring foreigners (if they're ok with the floor). My favourite dish is the mayonnaise prawns.
Tel: 03-6408-0744

Aladdin, Hiroo アラジン 広尾

Aladdin is one of the finest French restaurants I have been to anywhere. It's almost next door to Pitchouli (see other post). The food is expensive but well worth it if you have a special occasion to mark. Memorable for me was the rillette which is the best I have ever tasted, and the cheeses are amazing.

Pitchouli de Loulou, Ebisu ラ ピッチョリー ド ルル 恵比寿

Pitchouli is a cute little Basque style tapas izakaya/restaurant in Ebisu (but it's actually closer to Hiroo station than Ebisu). The large range of dishes seem very authentic and are very delicious. The service is a bit lacking as they seem to know there are plenty of customers where you came from (and for good reason). Be sure to book.
Tel: 03-3440-5858

A Tes Souhaits, Shibuya アテスエ 渋谷

A Tes Souhaits is a charming little French restaurant tucked in the backstreets of Aoyama/ Shibuya not far from Aoyama Dori. It looks just like a real little French brasserie and the food is great. I went there for lunch one Sunday and my favourite was a black pepper flavoured chocolate pudding!
Tel: 03-5464-7388

TY Harbour Brewery, Shinagawa ティワイハーバーブルワリー 品川

Popular with all the expats working nearby at Citigroup, TY is another of those expat favourites in Tokyo. You can sit outside or in and the food is a pretty good casual international style. It's a bit on the expensive side for what it is, but quite a reasonable experience when it's all said and done.

Maison Kayser, Takanawa メゾンカイザー 高輪

This is absolutely my favourite bakery in Tokyo. The croissant aux amandes is just out of this world! They also have branches in other parts of Tokyo, see website below:

Boulangerie Patisserie Brasserie Viron, Marunouchi ブーランジェリー パティスリー ブラッセリー ヴィロン 丸ノ内

Viron is a French patisserie that also offers lunch. Just make sure that you get there well before 2pm. It's a nice place with atmosphere and the pastries that you can buy there are superb. They also have a branch in Shibuya which is a little less fancy. The Viron millers of Chartres are known for holding the trademark Retrodor baguette patent.
Tel: 03-5220-7288

Saturday, 10 November 2007

Cicada, Nishi Azabu シカダ 西麻布

Cicada is the place to see the gaijin 30-something "desperate housewives" as there is guaranteed to be at least one group there every time you visit. Apart from the people watching, the food is very good Tapas style and it's a great place for lunch or dinner.
Tel: 03-5447-5522

Harem, Aoyama (Kita Aoyama) ハレム 北青山

Harem is a great Turkish restaurant situated in a 70s style plaza near Gaienmae. The food is fresh, lovely and very interesting. The restaurant is a bit noisy but it's worth the discomfort for a really different dining experience from the usual in Tokyo.
Tel: 03-5786-2929

The Hamburger Inn, Nishi Azabu ザ・ハンバーガーイン 西麻布

Hamburger Inn is apparently a Tokyo institution. After having tasted one of their burgers in their unpretentious little store in Roppongi Dori just up from Nishi Azabu crossing I can see why. The meat is nice, the bun toasted and the fries are delicious.

Here's an article about Hamburger Inn:

Ninnikuya, Ebisu にんにくや 恵比寿

Ninnikuya is a veritable orgy of garlic, but it is disgustingly delicious! To start with you need to have the garlic toast which is just about the most over the top thing you will ever see - a piece of baguette served perpendicular with a 3 inch high pile of buttery garlic on top. I also recommend the whole roasted garlic, garlic steak, the baked salmon and the mixed fried noodle. The spring rolls are also pretty nice. Just pick a day when you don't have to see too many people the next day.
Tel: 03-3446-5887

Il Buttero, Hiroo イル・ブッテロ 広尾

Il Buttero is situated in a lane just off the Hiroo shopping street. It in a old house with a lovely tree outside. The food is your basic Italian and the attitude from the partially Italian staff is a bit macho, but basically it's a place for a good not too sophisticated Italian feed.
Tel: 03-3445-9545

Mai Thai, Ebisu マイタイ 恵比寿

Mai Thai is my favourite Thai restaurant in Tokyo. Great Thai food similar to what one might get back home in Sydney (so I'm not sure how authentic it is but hey, it tastes great!). It's crowded so be prepared to line up some nights.
Tel: 03-3280-1155

A Ta Gueule, Ebisu アタゴール 恵比寿

This is a tiny little restaurant in the same street as Zest in Ebisu. The chef has worked on the Orient Express and for various embassies. The food is rich and decadent French and the wines that the waiter suggested to us were superb. A great place for an intimate dinner.
Tel: 03-3449-8757

Benitora, Marunouchi 紅虎餃子房 丸の内

This branch of the Benitora chain situated under a non-descript office building in Marunouchi serves rich spicy northern Chinese dishes. If you're going on a Saturday you need to make sure that you get there before 2pm as they will not let you in after then. The food is great!
Tel: 03-3212-1772

Futon, Nishi Azabu 胡同 西麻布

This is a place where you need to cook your own food, which is something I don't usually go for. But this is much better than your average yakiniku restaurant with lots of different marinated meats and vegetables. It's a fun place and not at all expensive. For two people we ate till we were well stuffed and had about four beers each and got out of it for around 10,000 yen.
Tel: 03-5467-2213

Pas à Pas, Yotsuya パザパ 四ツ谷

This is a funny little French restaurant on the second floor of a rickety little shop in Yotsuya (or Funamachi to be exact). The food is cheap (dinner course 2,500 yen) but very good quality and extremely good value. The service is fairly indifferent but not an issue as the food is the main attraction. When I went there on Saturday night with a group of friends you could almost hear a pin drop after 9pm - so get there early, and book as it is a popular with the locals.
Tel: 03-3357-7888

Aotea Rangi, Ebisu アオテアランギ 恵比寿

This is a little "New Zealand" restaurant/ wine bar situated near Le Lion (see related post) in Ebisu. There's nothing very much New Zealand about it apart from the wine list, but it's not a bad little place. I recommend the oysters and the herb salad.
Tel: 03-3447-1496

Legato, Shibuya レガート 渋谷

Legato is yet another Global Dining restaurant (Tableaux, Stellato etc). This version of the formula has a great view over Shibuya from its bar. The food is average, but the prices are not too steep and there's a good wine list. A VERY popular hang out for foreigners in Tokyo.

Tel: 03-5784-2121