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Oct 16, 2009 12:59 AM

Cuisine[s] Michel Troigros

Thomas Keller often says that upon completion of a dish, if you think something is missing that you can't quite put your finger on it's probably acidity or a lack thereof. While far from the inventor of this notion I believe it is one that rings true especially when it comes to the cuisine of Michel Troigros and more specifically Lionel Beccat, executive chef of Cuisine[s] Michel Troigros. Cuisine[s] is truly a restaurant after my own heart. Strong, bold flavors, never out of balance on the plate, beautiful plating influenced by Beccat's love of fine art, and warm attentive service courtesy of our server Kato san. The more I reflect on this meal the more I admire the balance of flavors complimented by the balance of plating to really bring a dish to completion.

Our Amuse included (if my memory serves me) watermelon with spinach puree.

Beet Gelee with Foie Gras.

Ham with tomato on puff pastry.

Asparagus with red pepper puree.

Our first course was Tuna Tartar with capers and dry raisins in a white wine/mustard nage. Great balance of tastes and textures. Looking at this dish one would almost surmise that ingredients where chosen purely on aesthetic value although that's obviously not the case.

Our next dish was pan fried Scorpion Fish, Anchovy Butter with Anise, and Ravioli Ricotta with Mint. The fish was perfectly fried and the acidity of the tomato relish on which it rested served to balance the fish's rich buttery taste. Anchovy butter was nice complimented by the artichoke hearts beneath it and the sweetness of the cracker on which it was spread. Ravioli was rich. smooth and creamy with just a hint of Mint.

Which was followed by a dish compliments of the chef. It was a carrot ginger puree under a blanket of Tofu. The Tofu had the consistency of, for lack of a better example, processed cheese which leads me to believe that it was set in Agar maybe? Can't be sure. Very subtle tastes going on here and a nice interlude before our main.

Next we had Spicy Lamb with Harissa. Lamb was perfectly cooked and the Harissa just served to compliment an already fragrant meat. The real standout here was the marinated/pickled? Eggplant. Sweet and acidic, almost gelatin like in texture, albeit a firm gelatin. With regards to the plating I noticed that our two mains where triangular in composition perhaps utilizing a strong shape to drive what should be the two main events.

Forgive my latent disregard for getting the names of the cheese. I spaced out. I can tell you that they where served with a Banana Jam, Pickled Miyoga, a Muscat Grape, and Orange Rinds.

Our first dessert was a split pea tart with strawberries and yuzu sorbet. Split peas are sweet in nature so they worked well as a dessert with the acidity in the yuzu sorbet and the strawberries snapping me back to reality before I got too lost in the rich sweetness of the tart. Beautiful sense of play on the plate here, I like how the dots of strawberry form a square and the dots of split pea form another square with the tart and the sorbet along a diagonal axis on the plate.

Our second dessert was Fresh Melon, Caramelized Feuilletage with Thyme, and Vanilla Flavored Tomato Sorbet. A refreshing end to a fantastic meal. Beautiful sense of symmetry on the plate. I almost didn't want to eat it.

Again, my apologies as I can't recall what all of our mignardises where. There was fried ice cream. What I can tell you is that the domino is marshmallow and a testament to the attention to detail in the kitchen. Each of our Dominos had a different numerical value. Small detail, nice touch.

Scott Olsen once wrote " By carefully linking the ratios and proportions of a work of art, ensuring that the parts reflect and synchronize with the whole, a painter can create an aesthetic, dynamic, living embodiment of the harmonic and symmetrical principles lying behind nature itself."

Well apparently, so can chefs.

Hyatt Regency Tokyo
2-7-2, Nishi Shinjuku, Shinjuku-Ku
Tokyo 160-0023 Japan
Lunch: Y 7,900

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  1. Very interesting, Thanks. Is the meal you described the lunch at Y 7,900. I am staying at the Hyatt Regency in 10 days time and was considering a meal at this restaurant I assume you would recommend it ! Wasn't sure wether to have lunch or dinner.

    1 Reply
    1. re: macsym

      Yes, I had the Lunch at 7,900. Next time I go it will be for dinner for sure. If I went for dinner I may even order a la carte, lots of interesting dishes on their menu. Make the kitchen really work for my meal instead of just pumping out tasting menus. (Not that they're not already working hard)

    2. Thanks for this. I'll be in Tokyo for a couple of weeks in November and was just informed by my hotel concierge that a couple of the restaurants on my list are booked on the nights I'm thinking of going. I was looking for substitutes and Michel Troisgros sounds like a great candidate.

      4 Replies
      1. re: BaronDestructo

        Yeah, obviously I would recommend it. The whole reason I posted is that there's not a lot of info on the Japan board about it and I thought the meal had great value. I was told I could pretty much walk in any day of the week but they get busier on weekends so maybe keep that in mind.

        Another thing of note, I couldn't find their signature dish of Salmon in Sorrel sauce on the menu.

        1. re: Notorious P.I.G.

          I will second the recommendation - I had an absolutely stunning meal there. And thanks for the excellent report.

          1. re: Notorious P.I.G.

            Well I am very grateful that you did, because lack of comment on this site had made me wonder if it was not a worthy contender to visit - but now I shall! Thank you.

            1. re: macsym

              Yeah, I was surprised at how little info there was on this board about it. I mean, it is the Troigros family afterall some of the gods of French Cuisine.

          1. re: buttertart

            I was fat in highschool and that was my nickname. :O

            1. re: Notorious P.I.G.

              Bad nickname, but great for this. Enjoyed the post, too.

          2. Finally got the answer :)

            1. Hi Notorious,

              Thanks for the great review. :) I've never heard much talk on Cuisine[s] Michel Troigros but this is added to my list of places to try.

              If you end up trying their Dinner Tasting Menu, please let us know how it compares. Thanks.

              3 Replies
                1. re: Notorious P.I.G.

                  Just to say - I had lunch there last Tues (27 Oct) and it was extremely good and worthwhile. Pleasant surroundings, stunning food and excellent service, particularly from the very friendly and chatty Lebbad Nourry. Good value for Tokyo.

                  1. re: macsym

                    Oh yeah, that guy's hilarious. He worked at Au Pied Du Couchon, in Montreal so being a Canadian we had lots to chat about.