Salle à manger (サラマンジェ@虎ノ門)

サラダ ガストロノミ。
ブーダン・ノワールとレンズ豆、林檎 バナナのラグー。
Salad gastronomy: smoked duck breast, foie gras, karasumi, cresson(water cress). Boudin Noir with lentil, apple and banana ragu.

0712080007詰め物をしたホロホロ鳥のロースト キノコとフォワ・グラのソース。
蝦夷鹿ロースト 赤すぐりソース。
Stuffed guinea fowl, mushroom and foie gras sauce.
Hokkaido venison with redcurrant sauce.
Lamb shank Cassoulet.

Oven-baked la France(European pear) with ice-cream. Chocolate cake.

This place calls itself “Oyaji‘s French”, basically saying that the food is macho, meat-heavy, straightforward, no fancy presentation and no sensational fanfare of creative fusion which is more pleasing to female customers. I starved myself at lunch to prepare for this dinner, but turned out that it is not that macho afterall. The menu is mainly meat dishes, but the portion is not too big. Surprisingly the taste is quite delicate and never too greasy or salty. Two of us shared two appetizers and THREE main courses, before we had desserts. Everything we ordered was delicious, except perhaps the chocolate cake which was grossly sweet. Among the 3 main dishes we had, I like the guinea fowl the most. The bill was about 10,000yen per person including a glass of champagne and 2 glasses of wine and also coffee. Not exactly cheap, but not overpriced either. The interior is not so pretty – it is more like a cheap yoshoku place than a French restaurant. But the young waiter is friendly and the chef, whom you can see cooking all by himself in the open kitchen, is also helpful in explaining the menu.

Salle à manger
Add: B1, 1-11-5 Toranomon, Minato-ku
Tel: 03-6903-6730


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5000yen dinner. Everything is included in the course for one person.
Maguro(tuna)’s chin meat Tartare, with grilled aubergine and endive.
Hirasuzuki(a kind of seabass) carpaccio, maitake mushroom saute, rucola salad, very sweet tomato sauce, and pistachio sprinkled on top.
Both are absolutely divine!! I never had Hirasuzuki before, it is so nice. Very generous portion of my autumn favourite maitake. A good start and it only gets better.
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Steamed octopus with potato. I am actually not a big fan of octopus but this is so soft so delicious. Even the simple potato tastes amazing.
Two kinds of bread – sesame and cheese. Both so good that even though we knew we should control as we were only on our third course, we couldn’t resist finishing them all and asking for more.
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Fish base soup with turnip purée, saffron, Chitarra(pasta), topped with maguro karasumi. Wow amazing depth of taste just as the many ingredients have promised. The karasumi is salty to eat alone but very nice with the soup.
Homemade fettuccine with baby lamb, porcini mushroom and truffle oil. The fettuccine is not overcooked like in so many Italian restaurants(even the expensive ones). The ragu sauce with such generous amount of porcini and lamb would never go wrong, especially the truffle oil gives off an appetizing fragrance that you simply forget you already had 4 plates of food.
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鹿肉のオーソブッコ: 鹿のスネ肉の赤ワイン煮。焼き栗のペーストと砂糖漬けの洋梨添え。
Vension knuckle simmered in red wine, with grilled chestnut paste and glaced pear and a slice of truffle on top. The tender meat just slid off the bone. So yummy. The sauce, the chestnut, the pear are all sweet.
Simple spaghetti with tomato sauce. In case you are still hungry, you can ask for any grams you want. The standard is 60g, I was greedy and had 80g. ^^;; The tomato sauce is thick but just so good that I finished every drop.

Dessert and coffee are not included in the dinner course, and we were just too full to even ask for the dessert menu. The course itself is 5000yen, I ordered a glass of champagne and a glass of BIO white wine that the staff recommended, plus a coffee at the end, the bill came up to 9000yen. For the amount and the quality of the food, a great deal I think. Though my friend, who likes mild taste and can’t quite take rich food, said this place is a bit too salty for her.

This restaurant is on the second floor of a shabby building with a sign almost impossible to spot. We simply walked straight past it the first time. Very small place and crowded with customers even on a rainy weekday evening. We booked 2 weeks before but all tables were full and only the counter seats were available.

Very very friendly people working here. All guys. The chef who came out and explained the dishes to us, was so sweet and looked like he was in his twenties that I didn’t realise he was the chef himself at first and thought he was just a waiter. ^^;;

Restaurant Kobayashi (レストランコバヤシ@平井)

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Complementary appetizer is sardine and butter on crackers. Tasty! While the bread is just so-so.
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活け締め鮟鱇(あんこう)とあん肝のジュレ テリーヌ グリーンペッパーとディル風味。
Appetizer from Today’s menu: Ankou(angler fish) and Ankimo gelee(jelly) terrine, with green pepper and dill. Ankimo is like foie gras, slightly bitter but decently prepared that it doesn’t have any unpleasant taste. The jelly makes the whole thing very refreshing and light.
Fish soup. Very thick and strong prawn taste. Would have really loved it if it were not just lukewarm.
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北海道産 雌エゾ鹿とフォワグラのパイ包み焼き 丹波産 栗添え。
Also from Today’s menu: Hokkaido Ezo vension and foie gras pie, with chestnuts. I knew this choice would be heavy and was prepared for it, but what came out was 10 times heavier than what I expected. The pie was loaded with butter which was fine, but it was not as crispy as I would have liked…nothing is more difficult to cope with than an uncrispy pie. Furthermore, it was drowned in very strong sauce made from gibier. One bite, and I thought I could eat no more. Probably should have ordered roasted meat instead of stuffed pie. Couldn’t help envying the wild duck at the table next to us.
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紅玉りんごのタルト バニラのアイスクリーム添え。
フランス産レンズ豆とバナナのコンポート 和三盆糖を使った牛乳のシャーベット。
My friend and I ordered different desserts to share. Apple tart with vanilla ice-cream. Again not crispy enough. My friend who likes to cook, said that maybe there were too many orders that the oven was overloaded and couldn’t maintain high enough heat to bake crispy pies.
Lentil and banana compote, with milk sorbet. Quite simple but not bad.
Dinner course is about 5000yen but there are additional charges for most of the options on the menu. The extra charge for my appetizer and main dish was about 5000yen. House wine is 840yen per glass and not quite generous in volume. Maybe because it was right before Christmas that the restaurant was full even on a weekday, and there was a lot of waiting between the courses. The manager served alright but he was too busy. The other waitor was incredibly unmotivated and we had to ask him twice for water refills as if we were in a family restaurant. All the waiting also forced us into the unhappy situation of having to rush through our coffee and petit four at the end, even though we arrived at the restaurant pretty early….the dinner took 4 hours!
Today’s menu here.
Restaurant Kobayashi

Bistro La Ciboulette (ラ・シブレット@浅草橋)

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Cozy bistro with only 2 tables and counter seats. Location is obscure but apparently very popular – always a queue at lunch time, and reservation a must for dinner.
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Went with a friend and sat at the counter. The delicious egg tarts are teasers, one with prawn and the other with salmon roe. Two for one person so no fighting.
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フレッシュフォワグラのポワレ イチジクの甘酸っぱいソース、1890円。
Seems like there is no set course. For appetizer I had Pan-fried fresh foie gras in fig sauce. Absolutely heaven! And such a big piece! Maybe it is meant to be a main?
For main course, I had Roasted venison thigh. Lean and tender meat, incredibly generous portion. The sauce is kyohou(Japanese grape), very sweet very yummy! After I devoured the meat, I joked that I wish I had a spoon to drink the leftover sauce. The next second the madam gave us a spoon each…I swear I wasn’t loud(^^;;).
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Two of us shared the pear compote with vanilla ice-cream. So good! Not too sweet, very refreshing, especially after the meat feast. While having coffee, we were *quietly* talking about the Canelé displayed on the counter and my friend said you get those at lunch time. The next second the madam gave us a plate for free…she does have good ears. I have to say, this Canelé is the best I have ever tasted!! Never a big fan of this French sweet, but instantly hooked.
Two drinks, a massive appetizer, a main dish, half the dessert, and coffee, I paid only 6800yen. Very good value!
Menu(Japanese only): 1, 2.
Bistro La Ciboulette

La Goulue (ラ・グーリュ@巣鴨)

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Saury Carpaccio, Balsamico sauce.
Pan-fried gurnard, with coriander – the vegetables and the sauce make it quite chinese tasting.
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Roasted venison, walnut sauce. Rather bland, but the meat is soft.
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061110 124洋梨、キャラメルソース、チョコレートムース。
Pear in caramel sauce and chocolate mousse.
Lunch set is 3675yen. Price is not cheap considering the location. It is one of the restaurants I heard about and wanted to try but never quite got the chance and sorta forgot about it for years. Didn’t feel comfortable about dragging friends to go with me so I just went alone. Unfortunately the attentive service didn’t quite make up for the mediocre quality. Good thing that I was alone…
La Goulue

Restaurant hAru(ハル)

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Seafood including prawn, shellfish, scallop, sea urchin and oysters, with consomme jelly and carrot mousse. So good! The scallop is super sweet.
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Pan-fried foie gras, with truffle and spring onion. Foie gras very rich-tasting and cooked just right.
“Ezo” venison, black pepper sauce. I always get venison whenever it is available somehow, even though the portion is always so much smaller than say pork or beef, which my friend got and couldn’t finish cos they were too big portion! ^^; But the venison here is very soft, but fried crispy outside.
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紫イモのモンブラン 紅茶のアイスクリーム添え、1200円。
洋梨のジュレとムースのパルフェ仕立て 牛乳のソルベと御一緒に、1000円。
I had the taro Mont Blanc, with tea ice-cream. My friend had pear jelly and pear mousse parfait with milk sorbet. Both are very good.
Overall very good, the waitor and the waitress were super friendly, which really makes a difference. The only weak point is the bread, which is a bit hard and tasteless. So I ended up not eating much bread and didn’t feel as full as I should have. One glass of wine and a coffee, it came up to 11000yen, quite luxurious. ^^;; Oh the restaurant is owned by Rakuten’s boss’ wife, and by chance the boss and his wife and their kid were all there when we went. I didn’t know them of course but my friend got quite excited. ^^;;
Restaurant hAru