Monday, November 2, 2015

Jean Georges Tokyo (Tokyo, JAPAN) ★★★★☆

I will be the first to admit that Jean-Georges Vongerichten is not my favorite French chef. Over the years, I had the pleasure of dining at a few of his establishments around the world but the results have been largely mixed. Will JG Tokyo fare better? That's the answer I'm looking forward to finding out this afternoon.

If my memory serves me correctly, this place used to house a pretty popular chocolatier not too long ago. Now they have transformed it into an elegant casual dining restaurant with the open kitchen and bar tables on the ground floor and a formal (but tiny) dining room on the mezzanine floor.

The first pleasant surprise we got from JG Tokyo came from the lunch prix fixe menu. Much to my surprise, a 4-course lunch set starts at 4,800 yen only. For a Michelin starred restaurant of this caliber, that's a huge bargain.

After a warm brioche, things got rolling with our first starter, a simple mushroom salad with pine nuts and a dash of mustard sauce on the side. A pretty boring salad but the mustard sauce managed to make it a little more interesting.

I went with the blue fin tuna tartare with avocado and radish in a ginger dressing myself.

This was a beautifully decorated dish without a question. But the fact that I've already tried JG's signature blue fin tuna ribbons with virtually the same supporting cast, has somewhat taken the suspense away. The combination of flavors was pretty exciting but unfortunately it didn't surprise me like it did the first time around.

Both of us love sea scallops so there's really no surprise that we both decided to go with the caramelized sea scallops as our seafood course.

The sea scallops were absolutely perfect. The grilled cauliflower did its part to take some of the oil away and I love the caper raisin emulsion for its acidity to balance the sweetness of the scallops.

We decided to go our separate ways with our meat course. First came the crispy suckling pig with silky rutabaga and smoked bacon marmalade (+1,000 yen). From the texture of the suckling pig, it felt as if it's been slow-cooked first before the chef put the finishing touch on with the frying pan. 

This was drawing mixed reviews from the two of us. I thought it tasted a lot more like a mille feuille of pork. The texture was nice but overall, it's not entirely impressive. 

Less successful was the seared Hida beef, which was served with poached daikon, mustard essence and crackling kale (+2,000 yen). The A5 graded Hida beef was marinated with soy sauce, ginger and served medium.

The beef was crispy on the outside and soft inside but for a A5 graded Hida beef, I was expecting the meat to be a little more well-marbled and tender. 

Both of us got room for dessert thanks to the small portion of the savory dishes. The honey panna cotta with glazed figs and rosemary sorbet was a popular choice for dessert around here mainly due to its creamy flavor and it certainly didn't disappoint.

The spiced pumpkin creme brulee and pomegranata sorbet was OK. I will leave it at that.

A very good petite four and cup of coffee wrapped up this fabulous meal for us before we headed back into the rain for our last day of shopping.

It was a very entertaining lunch with absolutely impeccable service from a very dedicated team. In terms of food, it had its ups and downs but thankfully, there were more ups than downs. I guess it won't be long until I come back for a return visit.

Food Rating: 6/10 
Price: ¥¥¥
Address: Roppongi Hills, 6 Chome−12, Roppongi, Minato, Tokyo, 〒106-0032, Japan
Closest Metro Station: Roppongiicchome / Azabujuban
Tel: +81 3-5412-7115

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