Tokyo Restaurants - Jun 2012 part 2
Given all the hypes this restaurant enjoy on this board and else-where (the chef even asked me if it is becoming very famous overseas), I had high hopes. It was good, but not impressive.
I had the 7500yen menu called the Promenade. The menu consisted of
Slow cooked Ainame and clam puree (the clam puree was good, the fish, so so)
Whole cooked Turnip (it is their signature dish, turnip cooked for 4 hrs, very juicy, but without the parsley emulsion, it just tasted like a boiled turnip, i.e., rather blend)
Fois gras with loquat and broad beans (a disappointment, the ingredients just DO NOT go well together, granted, I am not partial to fois gras)
Iwate Tankaku-gyu sirlon (this was real good)
Service was professional and attentive, the Japanese wine served were good.
This restaurant is in Kandajinbocho, just next to my favourite Yikitori place Ranjatai. I had several rounds of beer and sake before my dinner, wasnt that hungry, but gosh, the meal was truly impressived on the upside. Ryu-gin like inventive and imagination are apparent. I am quite used to Japanese hospitality, but the service (+explanation of dishes) offered is impressive even on the Japanese scale of hospitality.
The owner-chef, trained with Ishikawa.
1. Quite unconventionally, the meal started with a Japanese waffle munaka, (this is usually a japanese dessert,) but the filling was fois gras and japanese radish, the waffle had a lovely smoky taste
2. Japanese Dumpling, the dish was arranged as if leave is sprouting from the soil. The dumpling is made with bean, milk and kuju.
3. Asparagus tofu (this was really impressive) served with egg yolk. THe chef emphasised this was sugar-free.
4. Deep fried pike conger
5. Sashimi, not the conventional type, isaki mixed with shrimps mixed with lime and radish seeds
6. Eel. (Peaking duck style, served with miso sauce and cucumber) + black sugar bread.
7. Salad. This was the real tour the force. Observing from the counter, could really see the effort the chefs put into it. All the vegetables were grown by the chef's sister, each was prepared individually and differently, like deep-fried pumpkin flower stuffed with red-rice, baby pumpkin eaten raw, rocket lettuce flower, baby carrot coated with raost tea, potato, burdoch, vinegared tomato, etc. This was divine.
8. Asari soup. (the huge asari was a bit too chewy for my tate)
9. Rice I have never had a better rice with which to conclude my meal. It rice with corn and onion, sitting on the rice was a big piece of fragrant beaf shoulder. I was dining alone but the beef was big enough to feed 3 ppl. Too bad i was already quite full and could not even finish my serving's beef. THis was also divine, from the smell, to the taste and texture.
The chef seems to be a sake connoisseur, he offered a variety of sake throughout the meal and he told me the list changes monthly.
All in all, the cost performance, inventiveness, service were all ramarkable.
Btw, the staff at the restaurant is taking English class and can take reservations in English.
CWFOODIE, how far in advance did you make a reservation at Den?
They use Open Table, which could be handy for foreigners like myself, but when I tried to make a reservation there, there was a 1 month before limit, and it was booked through the next 31 days. So, it's useless.
I requested the concierge at the hotel to make the reservation at Den about 2 months in advance and they succeeded.We went last night.I certainly agree with CW Foodie on the salad,probably the best salad I have ever eaten.I also thought the yam was fantastic.The chef was very friendly,and with the help of one of the staff,described every dish to us.
The cost at Den is about 2/3 the cost at Ishikawa,which we visited a few days ago.I would return to both when I am next back in Tokyo,both fully deserving their Michelin stars and high Tabelog ratings.
Vert interesting post. Thanks again. I have looked on the web but cannot find a single other review of DEN - nor its address. Do they have a web site, or could you provide a phone number or email. Are they open for lunch? Thanks.
Ps: the japanese waffle special seems amazing. Do you have a picture?