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Apr 21, 2009 02:51 AM

Les Creations de Narisawa

Les Creations de Narisawa was the only restaurant in Japan to make the San Pelligrino list of Top 50 Restaurants in the World. Has anyone eaten there? If so, do you think it deserves a place on the list?

I just tried to make a reservation during Golden Week, but they only accept parties of 2 or more. Too bad for me! (They do have several open tables during that week if anyone here wants to try them out--or if you're solo and looking for a dining partner, I'll go with you!)

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  1. Is Les Creations de Narisawa a michelin restaurant as well ?

    Hi prasantrin, Hakkasan of UK is also the only "chinese" restaurant in their Top 50. None of the hundreds of thousands of restaurans in HK and mainland China makes the list. Ummm...

    1 Reply
    1. re: skylineR33

      Yes, but it's "only" got one star.

      The list is definitely suspect, and I've been reading a discussion about it (in which some of the discussion participants are judges past and present). From everything I've read, it's about as accurate as the Miele list (interpret however you wish ;-) ).

    2. I don't know if Les Creations de Narisawa deserves to be on the list; all I know is that the San Pelligrino's list deserves to be thrown to the garbage.

      4 Replies
      1. re: FourSeasons

        Based on the copy I received in Singapore. After going through it, I totally agree with you, Fourseasons!

        1. re: Charles Yu

          Someone just email me the 2009 list. I almost choke and vomit. The best Japanese/Asian restaurants in the world are no.17 Testuya in Sydney, no.27 Masa in NYC, no.31Momofuky Ssam bar in NYC, no.34 Nobu in London. And I was verbally told Zuma of Hong Kong ranked no.52. Really belong to garbage; the voters are so brainless.

          1. re: FourSeasons

            As I understand it, the voting is limited to restaurants at which the voters have dined within 18 months prior to voting. That limits the playing field a lot, and of course many of the reviewers are more likely to have visited the "hot" places like Momofuku, Nobu, and Tetsuya than some new cutting-edge teeny tiny place no one has ever heard of. So of course those places are going to get the votes, rather than places that might be more worthy.

            Plus it seems they send out e-mails inviting votes to random people in the "food world". Those people are assigned areas, and they are required to vote for 3 restaurants in their area, and 2 outside their area.

            There was something else I read that made me think it was crap, but I can't remember it.

            Regardless, I'd still be interested in trying Les Creations de Narisawa. They (perhaps Narisawa-san, himself) called me within an hour or so of my sending them an e-mail, and they were very apologetic about not being able to accept my reservation. The person who called me spoke English exceptionally well, by the way (just in case any non-Japanese speakers want to give them a call, though their on-line reservation system is very convenient).

            1. re: prasantrin

              I am also being told they limit the number of panelist for the whole Asia (that includes Japan, China, Korea all the way down to Singapore and Indonesia) to just 30 participants while the French itself gets 30, Italian get another 30, and....And you wonder how many Europeans really known much about Asian food when they vote Tetsuya & Nobu as the best Japanese restaurants? Talking about democracy, the whole EU should be limited to just 50 participants, USA 30 while China gets 130, India 110, Indonesia 20, Japan 15...and you wonder what the result will look like???

              BTW, let us know how you like the food at Narisawa when you eventually try it.

      2. I've eaten there, not based on any recommendations from lists; the food was good, but not exceptional. Some dishes were plated interestingly (like bread with an anchovy spread that looks like a pot of dirt with sprouts growing from it, and a molecular gastronomy "breakfast"), while others tried but fell flat.

        It's been a while, but I also remember a lobster dish that was quite good, a very average beef dish, and okay desserts.

        I wouldn't consider it to be a special trip, but it's not a bad restaurant by any means.

        2 Replies
        1. re: tjr

          So lunch would be a better value, then?

          I checked the reservations again last night (I was going to invite a friend along, just so I could get in), and a lot of the free spots have now been taken!

          I guess the list had some effect on the place, even amongst the Japanese. Still some free dinner spots, though!

          1. re: prasantrin

            I went for dinner, but didn't pay, so the value of the meal didn't really hit me. I'm not sure how lunch would differ.

        2. Whether the list is credible or not, or just another super-commercial event to sell copies of the magazine, it seems there were a number of chefs at the award ceremony. Chef Narisawa was attending as well in the vid so I guess they all knew to be in the list beforehand. ;-P

          2 Replies
          1. re: dUvUb

            Of course, the chefs whose restaurants are on the list will want to attend the ceremony. And then they will hire a PR firm to release a press statement to say what an honor to be on the list, and then post that statement on the entrance for every guest to feel privilege to be in such a great restaurant. It's all PR gimmick...

            1. re: FourSeasons

              I wouldn't be surprised if the trips were fully or partially comped by S. Pellegrino, nor would I be surprised if the restaurants given awards served products from S. Pellegrino (or will serve them in the very near future).

          2. Ok, the golden week is officially over but if you will be in Japan for a while, and can bid this for less than 42,000 JPY for two persons (including wine), you may be able to grab a good bargain! (they shouldn't mind solo diners since this is a charity cause, right?)


            1 Reply
            1. re: dUvUb

              That would certainly be a good way to try the place! The bidding is only at 20 pounds right now, but Etxebarri's is already more than 100, and the closing is more than one week away! I'll wait a bit and see what happens.