From the 5500yen “omakase” course. Katsuo Tartare on chicory. Carrot mousse, uni and consomme jelly. Pretty common combination but the generous amount of uni is unusual. The mousse is very delicious with natural sweetness from vegetables that actually outshines the uni completely.
Foie gras and fig in Balsamic vinegar sauce. Fig is delicious, but the foie gras could be better. The foie gras I had in my last visit here was much nicer(see tag) though it was from a la carte menu.
Kinmedai and scallop. The orange paste on the side is spicy. Big portion for a fish course in a 5-course dinner. Love the scallop. Nice “granite”(sorbet) with strong champagne flavour that got my non-drinker friend a little high.
Roasted pork is a bit dry. But the dessert is a real treat. Rich crunchy tart with two kinds of cherries – American cherry and Japanese Satou-nishiki(佐藤錦). Also raspberry sorbet on the side. After hearing my raving about the amazing “Canele” in this place, my friend requested for it when she phoned to reserve(a month in advance). I wish I could buy a whole lot of it…one is not enough!
A glass of sparkling wine, a glass of red wine, about 7000yen per person. The food is in general very good. Value is fantastic. Since it is only the chef cooking everything himself, if you go in a group of more than 3 people, you have to order the omakase course. Having tried both a la carte and omakase, I think a la carte is much more satisfying.
Bistro La Ciboulette (ラ・シブレット＠浅草橋)
Add: 2-27-5, Asakusabashi, Taito-ku.
A newly opened French restaurant near Yoyogi Park. From the 6000yen dinner course.
Amuse: warm tart with Iberico ham and cèpe mushroom. The warm homemade bread is tiny but refillable. So good that I had about 5 of them….
The uni(sea urchin) cocktail is recommended in a few blog reviews and I was really happy that it happened to be included in the dinner course(If you order it from the a la carte menu, it is 2500yen – but in that case the size will be bigger). It is so pretty and with an exquisite taste to match. Would have been perfect if it weren’t for the unnecessary scrambled egg in the middle layer which is a bit too sweet and dominating. The lobster sauce, Kyoto carrot mousse, consomme jelly, 3 different layers made from uni, caviar and hojisho(Japanese Perilla) on top, are still amazing and overall an appetizer to die for. Side view here.
Medai(Japanese butter-fish) in shellfish sauce. A bit salty but very good.
Roasted duck breast in fig sauce, and duck confit with salad. Not impressive but still tasty. The meat is soft and tender. Comes with foie gras on a spoon.
There were four of us and we had 4 different desserts to share around.
Yuzu Blanc Manger. Warn apple tart with herb ice-cream(good!).
Warm chocolat terrine sandwiched with banana(good!). Strawberry parfait.
Herb tea and Petit fours(a bit oily).
Overall the food is of high quality. We were pleasantly surprised that the 6000yen includes service charge and tax. Unfortunately the staff who served us was a bit pushy, like he must have come to urge us to order more drinks for 5-6 times, even before we finished the ones we were having. My friends don’t have high tolerance for alcohol and we all have already ordered 1-2 drinks(non-alcohol cocktails included) each, yet he would say stuff like “You guys really don’t drink that much” and made us feel really bad. But then they gave us a lot of special service like, one of my friends who arrived at the restaurant very early, was served a free rose champagne while she was waiting. Instead of a second appetizer included in the 6000yen course, we were served a fish main dish instead. The same pushy staff kept giving us bread before we had to ask for it. So I guess if you open bottles of wine then you won’t be bugged so much and will have no problems with the service. ^^;;
Add: 1-14-20 Tomigaya, Shibuya-ku
Grilled pork with salad.
Spaghetti with sea urchin. Linguine with crab.
La Bettola is a very popular and high-profile Italian restaurant. The original shop is La Bettola da Ochiai where the main chef Ochiai is based in. He goes on TV a lot – gourmet shows, CM etc. Booking is almost impossible – apparently 2 months wait is the norm. This sister restaurant I went to is only a few minutes walk from the original shop and is easier to book because they only take bookings one week in advance. Still we were only allowed to stay for two hours before giving up our seats to the next round of customers.
Dinner course is 3360yen, where you can choose 3 plates from an extensive menu of appetizers and pastas. There is no “main dish” in the menu, but the pork I picked, which is supposed to be an “appetizer” and came first, was so huge that it was practically a main dish. The uni pasta is the chef’s specialty(available also in original restaurant) and it is to die for! I mopped every bit of the sweet and creamy uni sauce with bread. A must order! Dessert and coffee are not included in the course but they are inexpensive. The cheese cake I had was not too sweet and very good.
There are a few restaurants bearing the same name La Bettola. Make sure you only go to the original shop La Bettola da Ochi or bis LA BETTOLA. The other two branches (LA BETTOLA per tutti Nihonbashi and LA BETTOLA per tutti Nishi-Shinjuku) are not directly related to the original shop and definitely not as good.
Menu(J): 1, 2, 3, 4.
bis LA BETTOLA
Add: 1-27-8 Ginza, Chuo-ku
From the 6510yen lunch course.
Amuse-bouche. Asparagus mousse in the front. Prawn and clam soup in the middle. Forgot the other two…
Kidney beans, with lobster and squid. Fried shirasu(baby sardine) and lobster on the spoon.
Kamasu(Saury pike or Barracuda) and uni, sandwich-style, with Vervain sauce.
Veal and smoked foie gras rolled in sansai(wild vegetable) with spice and sarriette(savory) flavour.
A small dessert, and then dessert wagon service where you can choose what you like. I had ALL. ^^;; Petit fours with the coffee, and then a small cup of fresh herb tea.
The food is just amazing. The presentation is beautiful yet taste is not compromised to make it look good. The mille-feuille-looking fish dish is pretty AND delicious, with many layers of uni, fish, prawn etc. The veal is tender and perfectly cooked. The most impressive part however, is the veggy on the side – all standing up and artistic-looking, and each of them has something unpredictable stuffed inside, e.g. ratatouille inside the radish, corn paste inside the aubergine…I love them all! The desserts are nice too. Souffle cheese cake with lavender, and honey ice-cream were the best. For the 6510yen lunch course, you can also choose a dessert plate instead of wagon dessert.
The environment is lovely. There is a church next to the restaurant(first pic). In fact on the day we went, there was a small wedding reception going on, and one-third of the restaurant was partitioned by glass panels and separated from where we sat. We could still see the bride and hear the clapping and cheering though.
If you print out the coupon here, you get a discount of about 1000yen for the “seasonal lunch course”. Very good value! One coupon can be used for up to 4 people.
La Rochelle Minami Aoyama
Add: 3-14-23 Minami Aoyama, Minato-ku
5250yen dinner course. They only have one prefix course, plus some a la carte menu.
Appetizer: Prawn, abalone, ginger, cream cheese with ika no shiokara, bream and aubergine roll.
Suppon turtle chawanmushi. This is so good!
Maguro, karei, squid sashimi. Very fresh.
Uni is not included in the dinner course. Side order is 1500yen.
Grilled Tachiuo and summer vegetables. The fish is smooth and juicy.
Fried suzuki(sea bass) and aubergine, with ume(sour plum) ankake sauce. Miso soup has fish in it, which makes it sweet.
Dessert is panna cotta and almond pudding. Almond pudding is better.
All the food are delicious. I have come here about 3 years ago(see tag) and really loved the experience, so I am glad that quality and value haven’t dropped. I sat in the private room last time while I had the counter seat this time. The atmosphere is casual and friendly, there is a waiter who can speak a little English and is willing to explain the menu to foreigners.
Add: 7-16-3, Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Five minutes walk from West Exit of Shinjuku Station
Open: 11:30-14:00, 17:00-23:00
From many lunches.
Pork shoulder loin in curry sauce. So-so.
Grilled guinea fowl with breadcrumb, “devil-style”(curry taste ^^;;;). Very good!
Fried anago tartare sauce. It is massive!! Very good.
Menchi-katsu. Juicy inside and crispy outside.
Chicken breast saute, mushroom sauce. Too healthy-tasting for me…
Roasted duck with mustard sauce. Okay.
Mixed fried shrimp/scallop/crab cream croquette. Good.
Chicken and clam saute, basil sauce. Good.
Grilled chicken with breadcrumb, green beans brasier. Very good.
Roated lamb with mushroom and basil sauce. Bad.
Beef beer-stew. Mixed fried(shrimp/scallop/oyster). Uni with consomme jelly(from dinner menu).
Long queue on weekday lunch time! Must go no later than 11:30am when it opens for lunch. For weekend lunch and dinner, you can reserve in advance.
Yoshoku-style deep-fried stuff are all good, the two grilled chicken with breadcrumb are good, but big chunks of red meat(pork, lamb, and duck also) are not so recommended…usually too rare and impossible to cut or chew despite its softness, UNLESS it is made into a stew like the beef(see tag), which is only available at night and weekends. Weekday lunch menu usually has 3 deep-fried seafood sets(Mixed-fry, Fried Anago, Fried prawn), 1 meat cutlet choice(A lunch), 1 bistro-style meat choice(B lunch), and beef curry. Lunch A and B change everyday.
Beef curry(Y950). Menchi-katsu as a side order without rice(Y700).
Restaurant Shichijo 七條
Chiyoda-ku, Japan 101-0003