Dining Diary

Raclette. Courtesy of http://www.123rf.com/profile_margouillat

Perhaps the biggest news for gourmands in Tokyo is chef René Redzepi’s announcement that he will bring his Copenhagen restaurant, Noma, to Tokyo for two months in 2015.

Star chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten has finally opened the doors to JG Tokyo (6-12-4 Keyakizaka Dori, Roppongi, Minato-ku), his first restaurant in Japan near Roppongi Hills. Known for his Asian-influenced high-end French cuisine, his flavor profiles seem a natural for local diners. Chef Fumio Yonezawa will be overseeing the kitchen. .

Exciting news for coffee fans, as San Francisco-based Blue Bottle Coffee announced its expansion to Tokyo. The company’s first coffee bar and roaster will be near Kiyosumi station at 1-4-8 Hirano, Koto-ku, with shops also opening possibly in Roppongi and Shibuya. No Tokyo website.

Coutume (Minami-Aoyama 5-8-10, Minato-ku), the popular café from Paris, recently opened a branch in Minami-Aoyama. Hopefully, they will bring the public “cuppings” that they hold in Paris to Tokyo. It is interesting to note that both Coutume and Blue Bottle have said that there will be staff exchanges between shops in Tokyo and their respective home countries.

Trattoria Tsukiji Paradiso (6-27-3 Tsukiji, Chuo-ku), the Italian hot spot in Tsukiji that serves lunch and dinner using seafood from the market, is now open on Sundays.

Also, Jugetsudo Maruyama Noriten’s (4-7-5 Tsukiji, Chuo-ku) main shop at Tsukiji Market has reopened after extensive renovations. Come here for soba-cha, hoji-cha and a variety of sencha (green tea). The shop also sells mattcha-flavored sweets.

Known for its chicken broth and yuzu shio (citrus and salt) ramen, Afuri has opened a new branch in Roppongi (1F, 4-9-4 UF Bldg. 4, Roppongi, Minato-ku). Be sure to order the “extra fat.” Trust us. No website.

Looking forward to trying Jingumae’s new Ore Ryu Shio Ramen (Jingumae 6-9-14, Shibuya-ku), if only the lines at lunchtime would go away. No website.

Raclette, the Swiss dish of melted cheese that we first spotted at Centre, the Bakery in Ginza, is now showing up on menus at Gontran Cherrier in Shibuya and at the Shangri-La Hotel.

Lots of buzz in Nihonbashi as two new shopping areas opened recently. Buildings 2 and 3 of Nihonbashi Muromachi Coredo are host to many food shops and restaurants. Some of our favorites include farm-to-table French by chef Shinobu Namae of L’Effervesence at La Bonne Table, bread and pastries at Gontran Cherrier, one of Japan’s top kombu (kelp) purveyors Okui and Craft Beer Market.

By: Yukari Sakamoto | Apr 18, 2014 | No Comments | 948 views

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