Thomas Keller often says that upon completion of a dish, if you think something is missing that you can't quite put your finger on it's probably acidity or a lack thereof. While far from the inventor of this notion I believe it is one that rings true especially when it comes to the cuisine of Michel Troigros and more specifically Lionel Beccat, executive chef of Cuisine[s] Michel Troigros. Cuisine[s] is truly a restaurant after my own heart. Strong, bold flavors, never out of balance on the plate, beautiful plating influenced by Beccat's love of fine art, and warm attentive service courtesy of our server Kato san. The more I reflect on this meal the more I admire the balance of flavors complimented by the balance of plating to really bring a dish to completion.
Our Amuse included (if my memory serves me) watermelon with spinach puree.
Beet Gelee with Foie Gras.
Ham with tomato on puff pastry.
Asparagus with red pepper puree.
Our first course was Tuna Tartar with capers and dry raisins in a white wine/mustard nage. Great balance of tastes and textures. Looking at this dish one would almost surmise that ingredients where chosen purely on aesthetic value although that's obviously not the case.
Our next dish was pan fried Scorpion Fish, Anchovy Butter with Anise, and Ravioli Ricotta with Mint. The fish was perfectly fried and the acidity of the tomato relish on which it rested served to balance the fish's rich buttery taste. Anchovy butter was nice complimented by the artichoke hearts beneath it and the sweetness of the cracker on which it was spread. Ravioli was rich. smooth and creamy with just a hint of Mint.
Which was followed by a dish compliments of the chef. It was a carrot ginger puree under a blanket of Tofu. The Tofu had the consistency of, for lack of a better example, processed cheese which leads me to believe that it was set in Agar maybe? Can't be sure. Very subtle tastes going on here and a nice interlude before our main.
Next we had Spicy Lamb with Harissa. Lamb was perfectly cooked and the Harissa just served to compliment an already fragrant meat. The real standout here was the marinated/pickled? Eggplant. Sweet and acidic, almost gelatin like in texture, albeit a firm gelatin. With regards to the plating I noticed that our two mains where triangular in composition perhaps utilizing a strong shape to drive what should be the two main events.
Forgive my latent disregard for getting the names of the cheese. I spaced out. I can tell you that they where served with a Banana Jam, Pickled Miyoga, a Muscat Grape, and Orange Rinds.
Our first dessert was a split pea tart with strawberries and yuzu sorbet. Split peas are sweet in nature so they worked well as a dessert with the acidity in the yuzu sorbet and the strawberries snapping me back to reality before I got too lost in the rich sweetness of the tart. Beautiful sense of play on the plate here, I like how the dots of strawberry form a square and the dots of split pea form another square with the tart and the sorbet along a diagonal axis on the plate.
Our second dessert was Fresh Melon, Caramelized Feuilletage with Thyme, and Vanilla Flavored Tomato Sorbet. A refreshing end to a fantastic meal. Beautiful sense of symmetry on the plate. I almost didn't want to eat it.
Again, my apologies as I can't recall what all of our mignardises where. There was fried ice cream. What I can tell you is that the domino is marshmallow and a testament to the attention to detail in the kitchen. Each of our Dominos had a different numerical value. Small detail, nice touch.
Scott Olsen once wrote " By carefully linking the ratios and proportions of a work of art, ensuring that the parts reflect and synchronize with the whole, a painter can create an aesthetic, dynamic, living embodiment of the harmonic and symmetrical principles lying behind nature itself."
Well apparently, so can chefs.
Hyatt Regency Tokyo
2-7-2, Nishi Shinjuku, Shinjuku-Ku
Tokyo 160-0023 Japan
Lunch: Y 7,900