Restaurants & Bars 19

Typical 'Western' Michelin Star meal in Tokyo

Charles Yu | Mar 18, 200806:29 PM

I noticed most postings on this board by fellow chowhounders have been centred on Japanese cuisine, be it sushi, Kaiseki, contemporary Japanese etc. With my memory still relatively fresh from my latest trip to Tokyo, I thought I might just talk about my experience with a typical 'Western' meal prepared by a Michelin star Japanese chef.

Three nights ago, I enjoyed a well prepared 7 course tasting menu from a small and cozy Michelin 1* Italian restaurant - Piatto Susuki. At only JPY10800 or US100 ( tax and graduity included! ), I think its a steal when compared to most of its European and'or North American counterpart!

Amuse bouche was a mixture of Fava beans, cherry tomato coulis/buffalo mozzerella , olives and pickled vegetables

The meal started off with an appertizer consisting of a trio of caparcios - tuna, octopus and a whole abalone, All delicious and refreshing with the abalone surprisingly tender.

Then came a single white asparagus wrapped with parma ham with a sunny side up quail egg atop a small pool of velvety hollandaise sauce on the side to provide an interesting 'dip'. Again, the timing of the asparagus was spot on with the tip crisp and the stem just firm enough but very juicy.

This was followed by two pasta dishes, one hot and one cold. The cold one was a nicely seasoned capellini with diced grape tomatoes and raw sweet prawns. The al dente pasta, the crisp tomatoes and the spongy prawns each providing a different texture sensation. Not a lot of places on earth would one find this dish since the 'sweet' prawns were amazingly fresh! The hot pasta was an interesting homemade spinach linguini with cheesy smoked artichoke hearts tossed with a very light cream sauce.

The fish course was the star of the evening. Its a piece of 'crispy on the outside/very moist on the inside' white fish that I'm not familiar with. Its like a cross between a sea bass and garoupa. The fish was bathe in a heavenly tasting clam/seafood broth surrounded by four ultra plump and fresh clams on the shell. Simple but very very tasty.

The meat dish was a modified veal milanese with the Wagyu veal prepared 'thick', rather than your typical thin piccata style, hence the rare pink centre. Again, only the ultra tender wagyu veal and the Japanese expertise in deep frying can make this dish possible. As for the sauce - rather than a statement, a question! How come the Japanese know how to make such great pomodoro sauces?!!

Dessert was a duo of Italian Millifuille and creme caramel. Delicious but very fattening! And the petite fours with a little cup of hot chocolate- Yummy!

Overall, a delicious meal worthy of a Michelin star. The mixture of contemporary and traditional dishes was a nice approach. Service was efficient but a bit rush. Then again, it was a packed saturday evening and we were over half an hour late!! Ooops!

Finally, an aside for fellow chowhounder 'FourSeason'. My 3 course meal of seafood soup ( HK$190 ), Spaghetti a la Vongole ( HK$480 ) and Ox tongue with cabbage ( 6 tiny pan fried morsels atop of some aged balsamic and EVOO @ HK$420 ) in HK's Da Domenica ended up costing me over US$150 !! ( before wine and coffee and no dessert ). BTW, the ox tongue was tough and ordinary tasting.


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