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Nihonbashi & Kyobashi restaurants
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PostYou have posted in this forum: Fri Aug 31, 2007 2:54 pm Back to top

Tapas Molecular Bar - Molecular Gastronomy

Address - 4-12-4 Hamadayama, Suginami-ku, Tokyo
Opening hours - dinner starts at 6pm or 8:30pm; 7 seats per round, reservation mandatory
Telephone - 03-3270-8188 (from 9am to 9pm)
Menu - In Japanese and English
Credit Cards - OK

Chef de Cuisine - Jeff Ramsey
Assistant Manager - Naoya Sugino / Yutaka Shinoda
Dress code - Smart Casual

Molecular gastronomy is getting quite popular in Europe, but barely unheard of in Japan. Tapas Molecular Bar is an excellent opportunity to try this type of food. The restaurant is located in the luxurious Mandarin Oriental Tokyo, close to Mitsukoshimae station, on the 38th floor. It is in fact located directly in the Oriental Lounge and Bar, and a maximum of 7 guests starts eating at 6 or 8:30pm. They are seated in front of two chefs who prepare the food in front of them, commenting all steps. Those two chefs are in fact assistants of Jeff Ramsey, but they both worked in some of the most famous molecular restaurants in Europe.

Molecular gastronomy term was coined by Hungarian physicist Nicholas Kurti and French chemist Hervé This. The concept is to apply modern science - mostly physic and chemistry - to culinary problems, inventing new recipes, and using new tools and methods.

At the Tapas Molecular Bar, only one menu is served, consisting of about 20 small dishes ("tapas"). Seeing the usage of new tools in the kitchen is part of the fun of molecular gastronomy, so all 7 guests are served at the same time the same dishes. If you want to try something really new, and learn a lot about food and science, by all mean try this address. Even people who have tested molecular food in Europe might be interested to give this address a try: several dishes are based on Japanese ingredients, so while some of the dishes are "standards" for molecular menu, some are completely original to Japan.

Before describing some of the dishes, a comment on the price : the menu costs 12'000 yen + 10% service, and the drinks are not included (a 7'500 yen wine course is available, consisting of 1 glass of champagne, 1 of white wine and 2 of red wines - all of good quality). This is not cheap, but compare to similar restaurants in Europe, it is still a bargain!

The two cooks we had are Japanese, and are in fact the assistant of the chef, who was not at the table that night. It seems that if you specifically request it at the reservation, the restaurant will make sure that someone speaking English is available during your dinner.

Here are some pictures taken during the dinner.

Image 726

Blue Hawaii

Using liquid nitrogen is common in such type of cuisine, not only because it gives interesting properties to the food, but also because it is very easy to attract the attention of the audience. Instead of serving a mere cocktail, this Blue Hawaii drink was frozen at -196 degrees Celsius and served directly to the guests. If you eat it (rather than "drink") in the next 20 seconds, your mouth will fill with gas (the released nitrogen), while the taste of the cocktail starts to appear.

Image 727

Ikura on passion fruit

The fun of molecular gastronomy is not limited to the ingredients and the cooking procedures, it also resides in the way the food is presented to the guests. This test tube contains ikura which are to be directly sucked in your mouth!

Image 728

Carrot Caviar

A classic! Liquid carrot with sodium alginate are added dropwise (the seringues) to a solution of calcium chloride, which makes the spheric drops solidify on their surface. You get the size and consistency of caviar... which still only carrots. This is probably the most famous example of molecular food...

Image 729

Unagi, Pineapple, Miso

Except... there is no miso at all! But the combination of unagi, pineapple and avocado gives a taste very close to that of miso. Another feature of molecular gastronomy is to change the way aliment are perceived by your senses.

Image 730


And a nice selection of desserts! Although less interesting that the rest of the dishes, perhaps because they were not prepared in front of us.

Image 731

The best toilets in Japan ?

Just look at the view...

Some links for those who want to learn more about molecular gastronomy :

- - molecular gastronomy and the science of cooking
- Chef Simon - theory and numerous recipes, in French

Internet -

Some blogs talking about this restaurant, with many pictures of the dishes (you will note that most of the dishes are the same as they were 2 years ago...) : Joseph Mallozzi's blog ans Strange Girl in a Strange Land.

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PostYou have posted in this forum: Fri Sep 07, 2007 4:47 am Back to top

Nihonbashi & Kyobashi


Tapas Molecular Bar - Molecular Gastronomy


Signature - French inspired cuisine


Mariposa - Paraguayan ****


Tempura Fukamachi (天ぷら 深町) - tempura *****

Last edited by secret-japan on Fri Sep 07, 2007 4:47 am; edited 1 time in total

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PostYou have posted in this forum: Fri Sep 07, 2007 4:48 am Back to top

Mariposa - Paraguayan ****

Address - 日本橋1丁目5-9 川瀬ビル3F
Opening hours - Monday to Friday from 11:00 to 14:00 and 17:00 to 21:00, Saturday from 17:00 to 21:00
Telephone - 03-3273-1445
Menu - In Japanese and Spanish
Credit Cards - OK

Mariposa ("butterfly") is the first tip I got out of Takubo Kenji's extremely useful homepage (now defunct). It's a cozy, little restaurant run by a Paraguayan-Japanese lady and two young and pretty girls. The food is very good and interesting, with strong Italian influences (plenty of us in Paraguay). Try the bocaditos, a collection of gyoza-like things, very tasty and costing around 400 yen each, or the Milanesa con Jalapenos. Everything is simple, but good. If you desire, you can also have mate, South American tea I never had a chance to try before, or never-seen-before South American liquors. Bills are moderate.

Recommended for a dinner with a member of the opposite sex and very easy to find.

Get out of exit B-10 in Nihonbashi. You will find yourself under the Tokyu department store. Mariposa is in the alley behind it.

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PostYou have posted in this forum: Sun Jun 08, 2008 6:56 am Back to top

Tempura Fukamachi (天ぷら 深町) - tempura *****

Address - 2-5-2, Kyobashi, Chuo-ku
Opening Hours - 11:30 to 13:30 (LO), 18:00 to 21:00 (LO). Closed on Mon
Telephone - 03-5250-8777
Menu - in Japanese and English
Credit Cards - ?
Michelin 2008 - 1*

My first "expensive" tempura restaurant. For dinner, they have menus at 10500, 12800 and 15750 yen. That cheapest 10500 yen menu includes a nice selection of tempura (2 shrimps, 4 fish, 4 vegetables), a tendon (tempura on rice) and a soup, as well as a dessert. It might look a little small, but it is really filling; the 12800 yen menu adds some sashimi, too.

The restaurant is pretty small, with 2 small tables for 2 persons, as well as a counter for 12 persons. Reservation for dinner are really needed, although it is sometimes possible to get a spot the same day. The quality of the tempura was obviously high, and you can make a clear comparison with tempura you would eat in a normal izakaya: they are much better at Tempura Fukamachi. The chef used to work in a tempura restaurant at Yamonoue hotel; he is using only sesame oil, which he changes every three customers. All dishes are prepared behind the counter, and sitting there is recommended.

Image 1195   Image 1196

On seat's blog, you can find extra information on lunch menu; the restaurant is offering a cheap 2100 yen tendon, as well as more elaborated courses.

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PostYou have posted in this forum: Mon Jun 16, 2008 5:07 am Back to top

Signature - French inspired cuisine

Adresse: 2-1-1 Nihonbashi Muromachi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, 103-8328 Japan
Heures d'ouvertures: Midi 11:30am-2:30pm, Dîner 5:30pm-10pm - Tous les jours
Tél: +81 (3) 3270 8188
Dress code: Smart Elegant - Tenue correcte exigée
Menu: Français, japonais, anglais.
Carte de Crédit: OK
Réservation indispensable

Michelin 2008 - 1*

Manager: Bernard Claeys
Chef de cuisine: Olivier Rodriguez
Chef Sommelier: Fumihiko Kamo

En résidence sur Tokyo, je me suis fait fort de vouloir essayer le restaurant Gastronomique du Mandarin Oriental, dont la cuisine est assurée et supervisé par le chef Français Olivier Rodriguez. Hôtel d'un luxe moderniste, nouvelle référence des happy fews sur Tokyo mais quid du bien manger français sur Tokyo ?

L'impression de départ reste bien fondé, même si le bruit du lobby, et la vaste verrière ne favorise guère l'intimité. Quand à la décoration, elle est inspiré, classique mais très contemporaine, avec quelques touches de classicisme exacerbé. Les tables, sont quant à elles, peut être un peu trop proche. Mais la vue sur Tokyo, même de nuit, est toujours aussi impressionnante.

Si l'accueil et la célérité du service semble respecté, il y a toujours quelques points d'écueils dans le service à la "nipponne". D'où l'étrange impression qui fut la mienne quand on m'apporta la carte des vins, n'ayant même pas eu l'opportunité de jetter un oeil sur le menu, et les plats qui le composent. Le menu, quant à lui, décline deux propositions aux multiples "courses", ainsi qu'une carte assez généreuse. Signalons que la carte de madame ne comporte pas de prix, à l'image des restaurants gastronomiques en général: parfaite attention courtoise. Si ce n'est dans le service du sommelier, le reste fut prompt à renseigner et à s'y essayer en Français. Louable élégance.

Maintenant, la cuisine:

Après le traditionnel amuse-bouche, frais et de bonne tenue, j'entamais les hostilités avec les raviolis au fromage de chèvre frais et herbes, accompagné de ris de veau poêlé, le tout soupoudré de Truffes. Si l'aspect général laisse une impression quelque peu dubitative, le goût des raviolis reste réhaussé par la sauce un peu trop vinaigré, et surtout le fumet (trop présent) des truffes. Agréable, sans plus. Le plat de résistance quand à lui, fut d'un niveau plus élevé. La cuisson du boeuf et sa qualité méritent d'être remarqué. Un goût exquis, et une sauce légère qui ne masquait en rien le léger croustillant du poivre fraîchement moulu. L'accompagnement, très provençal, consistait en une aimable "ratatouille" montée, et des "croquettes", peut être trop croquantes...
Le vin, choisi avec le conseil simple du sommelier, fut assez en accord avec le repas. Un goût franc, mais apte. Je poursuivai avec le dessert. Une succulente barre au chocolat rehaussé par une griotte au kirsch. Là, rien à dire, onctueux, et un chocolat, jouant les parfaits glaçages de la barre craquante, fondant paisiblement. Un délice. Le menu aux très nombreux plats, préparait à goûter les différentes composantes de la carte. Poissons, boeuf, ou poulet, furent donc de la partie, avec des contrastes probablement trop importantes. Mais on notera les cuissons, généralement très réussies. Café puis mignardises achevait le "festin" avant la douleureuse. En effet, l'addition, très "douleureuse", achève aussi vite votre enthousiasme.

Alors, l'impression générale ?? Si on ne peut guère classer Signature, parmi les potentiels étoilés michelin d'une rentrée hypothétique, on ne peut s'empêcher d'effectuer la comparaison avec d'illustres adresses gastronomiques. Et celle du Mandarin Oriental pâtit d'un intérêt à vouloir sur-représenter certains produits (truffes, caviar, etc), sans déplaire, et jouer donc, sur l'égo et la vanité de certains clients. On ne viendra donc pas ici pour goûter une cuisine faite pour charmer, surprendre et innover mais plutôt une cuisine faite pour "emballer" si on me permet l'expression. Cadre high tech et novateur pour cuisine avec ambition modérée, propre à satisfaire la clientèle internationale et tokyoite en mal de chic et de m'as-tu-vu. A essayer, si vous avez le porte feuille généreux, et des envies de séduire avec fastes.

Menu à partir de 5.000 Yens le midi, 14.000 Yens le soir.


Une addition, qui peut faire pleurer...

Last edited by Olrik on Mon Jun 16, 2008 5:07 am; edited 1 time in total

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