Dom quote

Dom quote

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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Monday, 25 July 2011

La Brianza, Azabu Juban ラ・ブリアンツァ麻布十番

Once in a while you'll visit somewhere that you just know is working really hard to provide the maximum for their diners, and to keep this within a reasonable budget. Such a place is La Brianza in Azabu Juban. It's a fairly unassuming little place, but its popularity indicates it has certainly struck a chord with value-conscious Tokyoites.

For around 5,000 yen a head you can indulge in no less than eight separate, and surprisingly luxurious dishes. Cramming in eight courses into the budget does involve some compromises in refinement, but for this money who's complaining?

Well worth a visit for a fun, informal evening with friends or loved ones.

Yummy tempura of something. Wish I could remember what...

One of the tastier Bagna cauda I've had recently. When did this trend start I wonder?

Foie gras and ICE CREAM!!! Yipee, looks like it would be just up my tastebud alley. Does it work? Hmmm

Kanpachi carpaccio

Artichoke pudding

Baked egg with truffle. This was a really yummy one...

Shirokane pork from Iwate-ken

White pudding for dessert

Tel: 03-5440-8885

Yamada Chikara, Nishi Azabu 山田チカラ南麻布

I was first made aware of the power of Yamada from inveterate fellow sybarite and Tokyo blogger, Terry. For some reason, repeatedly I failed to make the journey to this well reputed establishment run by Chef Yamada, an alumnus of the late, great molecular gastronomy laboratory El Bulli. It was only when I realised it's all of five minutes walk from my house, and that the interesting shopfront that I took a picture of a few months ago was not only a restaurant, but THE Yamada Chikara, did I take the plunge.

Yamada Chikara has the atmosphere of being a place that people "in the know" go to. Tiny, discrete and totally chilled, it is the epitome of the modern Japanese dining experience. The wine list features some beautiful wines (and sakes!) and my dining partner, being much more skilled than I in the art and pleasure of wine ordered some excellent pairings.

The food was first class. Creative, fresh, and beautifully presented. I found nothing particularly surprising about it, but this is not to detract from the obvious love and thought inherent in its preparation. I think that the chef has, probably quite wisely, decided that molecular gastronomy is best in small doses. After some stomach-churning experiences in the world of molecular, I tend to agree.

I would recommend Yamada Chikara for a time in business or in romance when you must not fail to impress. Success is guaranteed.

Tel: 03-5942-5817