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Aug 9, 2009 09:00 PM

Alain DUCASSE and Beige

I know what you will all think.... I won't go by myself, but I realy wonder on the subject concerning the Michelin evaluation of the One star restaurant.
Every know the bad reputation the restaurant has, but I still would like Alain DUCASSE to be the 3rd world MICHELIN chef rated and for CHANEL. I am the only one to think on this subject ?

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  1. What bad reputation? I've heard the food is somewhat underwhelming but no more than that.

    1. been for lunch about a year ago and it was excellent and well deserving of its status. Much better than Atelier de Robuchon in Roppongi (many shortcuts taken - ie my amuse was same as my wifes first course, we were slowed down in our meal the whole evening to keep us on track with the diners at the next counter so the kitchen could serve the menu to all four of us at the same time).

      1 Reply
      1. re: Ollieweber

        BaronDestructo and Ollieweber, thanks for your post. I just wanted it.
        Fame is with reputation... It is to difficult to handle the rumors and I won't report on things I never tested myself.

      2. I've been to Beige a few times. I think it is OK, not great, and expensive for what you get. If you want good value for money, better food, and still "Ducasse", you should head to Benoit in Aoyama. I love that place.

        9 Replies
        1. re: Uncle Yabai

          Uncle Yabai, I am agree with your choice. I have been to Benoit in the beginning of 2008, and the 1st chef was Massimo, the chef recommandation menu was at 11,000yens and inventive. The restaurant Benoit was closed on the summer 2008 and re open. It is the same group "Ducasse" ? I know that Massimo is not in Japan anymore.
          My foodie group won't go to Beige even the japanese friend I know. the Cahnel building is beautiful with the lightings.... though the cooking heat of Beige seems to be electric (friend knowledge).

          1. re: Ninisix

            Yes, Benoit in Tokyo is still run by the Ducasse group. Current chef is Kojima-san, who was the Sous Chef at Louis XV in Monaco, so no slouch. Man is a genius, actually.

            I was there for lunch today, and I reiterate my thumbs up. Very very good, wouldn't be surprised if it ends up with 2 Michelin stars on the next go-around.

            1. re: Uncle Yabai

              Great to hear, Uncle Yabai. Benoit was on my original list but I thought I heard it had closed. Your having lunch there yesterday indicates I heard wrong.

              Although my dining list is heavy on high-end French, I'm thinking of including it given that my choice for Chinese high end, Maison d'Umemoto Shanghai HAS closed and I've read some weak reviews of my second choice, Reikasai.

              1. re: BaronDestructo

                Sounds really nice... a bit on a sushi monopoly year.

              2. re: Uncle Yabai

                Went to Benoit for lunch today. They've "revamped" their menu, make it more bistro-like, and offering a 2,000 yen set course option. Still pretty good, but the choices are more limited and the prices are the same, lowering its value for money ratio. Cheapest full lunch is 3500 yen, which comes with starter, main, dessert, and coffee. Before, the cheapest lunch was still 3,500 yen but there were more options to choose from. Service was very good, as usual, would return again, especially since I was given a couple discount coupons good until 2/28/2010.

                However, I have to assume that they won't be getting their second star, since they've pulled back a bit on the fancy factor (e.g. less choices, before they had a choice of 4-5 bread types, and now you get some pretty good dark rye, but that's it). Maitre 'd confirmed that they aren't gunning for the Michelin stars anyway, which seems to be a shift from my previous impression.

                Place still pretty full, and still a very satisfying and well-executed lunch, but not on the trajectory I was expecting them.

                1. re: Uncle Yabai

                  A lunch at 3,500.-yens is cheap for a fine french restaurant in Omotesando area. Thanks for the review.

                  1. re: Uncle Yabai

                    Bleh. Found it very average at a recent lunch for a restaurant of that type, with shockingly slow service (three courses took them 3.5 hours; we had to wait for dessert for 50 minutes even though the place was more than half empty by the time we had finished the main course) and incredibly average beef and other menu items. The more I think about it, the more I can't understand how many people seem to rate it, unless they had a very serious off-day when I went recently (which is of course entirely possible).

                    Maybe I'm being a little unfair, but a dinner I just had has made me appreciate many people's impression that Tokyo seems to find it easier to get Michelin stars than European locations. I am contrasting Benoit with one of Prague's top restaurants where I just had dinner. They have a mention in the Michelin guide but no star. What my wife and I just had there blew anything I had had at Benoit out of the water. The fallow deer with a medley of gingerbread sauce and mushroom sauce or, comparing like and like, the pan-fried foie gras, was so much better than anything Benoit had to offer in my (admittedly limited) appearances there (that includes dinner, but a while ago) - if the Prague restaurant ("V Zatisi") has no star, Benoit certainly should not have one. It is a pleasant place with nicely executed dishes. Not Michelin star material on current form. Uncle Yabai says they are not gunning for stars, and indeed they should not.

                    1. re: Asomaniac

                      My thinking is that, for better or for worse, Michelin has gone mainstream and more populist in its approach to giving out stars. Otherwise, it would be impossible to square 3 stars for Mizutani, 3 stars for Lung King Heen (at the FS in Hong Kong), and 3 stars for Le Bernardin (in NY) in the same breath. Their New York guide was the opening salvo in this "new, improved" Michelin approach to rating, and the Asian guides followed that path. Wouldn't be surprised if Europe is next in this "revolution".

                      Even the way the guide is written and printed is a major change. I remember traveling through Europe with my crusty/trusty Guides Michelin Rouge (only in French!) eating my way through Spain and France. All you could get about the restaurants was the address (maybe a little map), the phone number, the rating, and maybe 1-2 lines of commentary, even for the most highly exalted. Nowadays, you get a full page of breathless (all-positive) prose per starred restaurant, together with a picture or two.

                      As for Benoit, you must have gone on an off-off day. We were in and out of there in 90 minutes, and service was quite good. Food wasn't too bad either, although not as good value for money as before.

                      1. re: Uncle Yabai

                        Too bad to hear bad news about the Alain Ducasse Group and also about Spoon and Plaza Athenee. In 1991, the chef Alain Ducasse, before becoming this big multinational, had 2 restaurants with 3 stars Michelin (Louix XV and Plaza Athenee). It seems that the chef under his group stays, like Massimo Pasquarelli (actually in Monaco), quite glad there is not a challenging market of chef for this group.