When it comes to choosing favorite cuisine both J and I unanimously scream French, so I never imagined booking another restaurant for his birthday celebration. This time around the choice fell on two Michelin-starred Cuisine[s] Michel Troisgros housed in Hyatt Regency Tokyo. Michel Troisgros is the third-generation owner-chef of Troisgros, a famed restaurant in Roanne, France, and looks to Japanese cuisine as a source of inspiration incorporating local produce while creating contemporary French dishes. Cuisine[s] Michel Troisgros is elegant and refined featuring wooden pillars and floor-to-ceiling windows. I was particularly impressed by the impeccable service. From the moment we set foot into the restaurant and were escorted to our table every single member of personnel who met us made a point to bow and warmly greet us. Even though the atmosphere was quite formal that made us feel very much at home. Traditionally we opted for a tasting menu and started the night off with a glass of wine. Mine was rather sweet, fruity and light dessert wine Cave Yves Cuilleron Roussilliere, which was perfect considering I just had six cocktails at Bar Gen Yamamoto.
The dinner kicked off with a trio of amuse bouche – perfect little morsels which set a tone for the rest of the dinner. We also enjoyed our buckwheat croissant bread which was perfectly flaky and buttery. The first appetizer of the night was a real show stopper – succulent chunks of tuna served with sweet watermelon. Addition of shiso and mustard added a depth of flavor, while lemon brought everything together with a touch of zesty aroma. Next, we devoured smoked veal carpaccio which had delicate flavor profile enriched by the earthiness from mushrooms and a special mustard from France. It draped over a buttery toast which provided a nice textural contrast to the dish. I don’t think anything could speak of summer more than our next dish – cooked mussels were bedded on diced cauliflower and served in a full-flavored celery broth. A touch of wasabi added a nice depth of flavor while capers provided the necessary saltiness to the spoonful. This dish very much reminded me of gazpacho, packed with so much brightness that it keeps you come for more. The following course didn’t leave us any less excited even though as a fish snob I was a bit skeptical in the beginning. Slightly seared aji fish (mackerel which is so loved in Japan) was served with spicy butter, zucchini and what I think were *pickled* baby tomatoes resting on zucchini flower. The fish was cooked so beautifully, with that nice char on the outside and raw flesh on the inside, it totally changed my perspective on mackerel. Meanwhile vegetables, as simple as they looked, were simply spectacular. Especially those tomatoes burst into flavor and made my tastebuds sing. J and I both agreed that it was extraordinary dish and I wish it didn’t end so soon. We also thoroughly enjoyed our perfectly cooked scampi which was just unbelievably moist and tender. The presence of cucumber and kiwi tasted as refreshing as it sounds, while aniseed and dill filled the dish with refreshing “herby” (yes, I invented this word) flavors. As our final main dish we were served a roasted pigeon with a beautiful crispy skin and moist flesh. It was served in a savory and light dashi broth which made it such a comforting dish. As a little added bonus, crispy pigeon thigh was served on a side with a nice sweet and sour ume sauce. We were glad that overall the portions were kept small which left plenty of room to enjoy desserts. I enthusiastically asked for a selection of cheeses. As you can see there was quite a choice to to be made. While all of them were delicious, two flavors particularly stood out – sake flavored and whiskey flavored cheeses – both being quite complex with a lingering finish.Sadly, the first desserts might as well qualify as the most disappointing dessert I have EVER had in my life. Eggplant puree was served with frozen yogurt and miso. With all due respect to the chef I simply didn’t get it, and didn’t enjoy it. Which is totally fine, because I gladly moved on to nibble on amazing petite fours served with a cup of flavorful Earl Grey tea. Piece de resistance was certainly this decadent dessert which was so complex and sophisticated we kept talking about it the next day. Perfect delicate meringue tubes were filled with layers of different fillings: mango puree, corn ice-cream, passion fruit cream and saffron butter cream. This meant every single bite was an explosion of different tropical flavors. I particularly loved the ever-so-slightly salty popcorn which somehow texturally married so well with the meringue shells. Overall, we felt like we couldn’t have chosen a better place for J’s birthday celebration and we’d not hesitate to recommend the restaurant to anyone else.
Cuisine[s] Michel Troisgros | 2-7-2 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-Ku, Tokyo, Japan, 160-0023 | Tel: +81 3 3348 1234
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