Saturday, October 24, 2009

L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon, Roppongi (Tokyo, JAPAN) ★★★☆☆

L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon at Roppongi Hills wears the usual black and red and from our first glance, it looks exactly like its twin brothers in London and Hong Kong.

I have always been amazed with the quality of service and food at Joël Robuchon's restaurants. They never seem to disappoint - well, at least on most given nights, they don't.

But this time, our lunch didn't get off to the flying start as we all hoped. A largely forgettable amuse bouche came in the form of a pork Rillette on crostini while we were expecting something more sophisticated or at least better presented (3/10).

But we quickly got back to the right tracks with our next course - grilled scallops in an asparagus and cream sauce (8/10).

Almost equally impressive was the foie gras ravioli in a warm chicken broth with herbs and spicy cream. You can't go wrong with Robuchon's scallops and ravioli (7.5/10)!

Our main courses were good but perhaps not as strong as the starters. First up was my baked chicken with the seasonal vegetables (5/10).

The pork loin was not a bad choice. It tasted a little like "char siu" from the Chinese cuisine. Very tender (6/10)!

Last but not least, a grilled white fish (which I happened to forget what exactly it was) served with some veggies and pumpkin puree (5/10).

Food Rating: 6.5/10
Price: ¥¥¥
Address: 6-10-1 Roppongi (Roppongi Hills), Minato, Tokyo 106-0032, Japan 
Closest Metro Station: Roppongi
Tel: +81 (0)3 5772-7500

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Friday, October 23, 2009

Fish Bank (Tokyo, JAPAN) ★★★☆☆

We have passed by the entrance of Fish Bank a zillion times but like most restaurants with a scenic view in Tokyo, it's impossible to get a table without advanced booking. Fortunately, we got it right this time by calling the restaurant a few weeks in advance.

Billed as a contemporary French restaurant on the 41st floor of the Shiodome City Center, Fish Bank features a skyscraping view of Shiodome district with a stunning view to the Rainbow Bridge.

Similar to its cuisine, the interior décor of Fish Bank is also largely contemporary. The main dining room is considerably big with a few tables extending to the upper floor.

We were slightly disappointed with the view. Despite getting a nice table by the window, the Rainbow Bridge was nowhere to be found.

Fish Bank serves a number of prix-fixe menus ranging from ¥2,500 to ¥5,800. The set menu prices differed depending on the number of courses and the main course chosen.

Starting off lunch was a fresh oyster for every one (5/10).

This was not Fish Bank's signature sea urchin flan but it's close. Fresh sea urchin in its shell (6/10).

But after the sea urchin, every thing started going downhill.

Prawn and squid salad with pesto sauce (3/10).

Tomato with cous cous - refreshing but nothing spectacular there (4/10).

Tartare of assorted fish. Nice presentation but again uninspiring (3.5/10).

Pumpkin Soup was silky smooth and delicate (5/10).

Grilled prawns with baby greens - the first disappointing dish of the day (2/10). At this point, we still haven't seen a great deal of cooking techniques in any one of these dishes.

The menu was in Japanese but I recalled this was a trout fish that was again not up to par (3/10).

Penne tossed in a rich tomato sauce (5/10).

Veal was a bit on the dry side (3/10).

Beef tenderloin was slightly better than the veal but still not as good as the seafood courses (4/10).

Apple Crumble with cinnamon and ice cream (4/10).

Fruit sorbet with blueberry sauce (3/10).

Their Mont Blanc was arguably the best of the three desserts (5/10). 


We were a little disappointed with the view but very disappointed with the food. There was not much technique nor creativity involved in most of these dishes. Although billed as a French restaurant, the French flair has been sorely missing.

Food Rating: 3.5/10
Price: ¥¥¥
Address: Shiodome City Center 41/F, Higashi-Shinbashi 1-5-2, Tokyo, Japan
Tel: +03 3569-7171
Closest Metro Station: Shinbashi 

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