Our guest editor Dine Guy shares some hidden gems from his recent travels.
Rare is the occasion that rises to the challenge. Or the friend. Or the cocktail. Or the meal.
And even rarer the one that proclaims itself in advance. Most would call this arrogance. Or hubris. But very, very occasionally it turns out to be humble pride in an almost incredible attention to detail. The thing legends are borne of. And lunchtime stories.
It is not for nothing we have been spreading the buzz about “the buzz”. Or as it is in French, “L’Effervescence” in Tokyo.
Only to our most beloved foodie friends you understand. Those who will appreciate the finesse that can make you wet your pants over a humble turnip. And salivate over a ‘McDonalds Apple Pie’.
It should be said, we had been introduced by two intersections of a very interesting and disparate Venn diagram. One a noted chef who trained and practiced in 2* and 3* Michelin kitchens for 18 or more years before opening his own place in Sonoma, California (watch this space). The other, a friend who was in a school heavy metal band playing covers of Metallica. Both had crossed paths with the man with a name, Namae-San, the man with a name behind the buzz. And both had assisted in helping arrange two seats for two humble foodies.
Every meal at this level demands at least one ethereal food item. In a twelve course tasting menu here eleven made the grade. Which is a bold statement from a dineguy who rarely found even one at New York’s Eleven Madison Park. Oh the irony.
A blow by blow would simply reduce the writer’s dopamine receptors to mush. So we will pass. But we must also note that what made the experience and the three stars we expect Michelin to award sooner rather than later was the triumvirate of sensory assault.
For not only was the food beyond compare both in terms of its inventiveness and execution, but the service was impeccably witty and educational, while the wine and sake pairings over twelve courses were both a delight to the palate and an education in and of themselves. Did it all fit together? Like the roundest peg in the roundest hole you have ever felt.
Should you go? Of course not. For if you do we will not be able to visit again.
2 Chome-26-4 Nishiazabu
Minato, Tokyo 106-0031
Tel. +81 3-5766-9500