Saturday, March 6, 2010

Chez Tomo

I'm still on my self-declared mission to eat through 20 Michelin stars (a mere fraction of its over 200 total stars!) in Tokyo within a year, but Michelin stars don't come cheap, so I perused my Tokyo Michelin guide for the best value-for-money meals I could find and Chez Tomo topped the list for its 2890 yen lunches and 5780 yen dinners (not cheap, but for a full course meal in Tokyo, a veritable deal). Not to mention, their signature dish of 25 vegetables, prepared in bite-sized morsels, already put them on my radar.

On a quiet street in Shirokane, Chez Tomo is a cozy yet modern, sleek yet unpretentious restaurant with an all-white setting. The service is impeccable and the staff goes out of their way to make your dining experience memorable (including trying to move a light fixture so that our photo would come out better!).

The dishes are well executed French-influenced-by-Japan, served beautifully, and were generally excellent. The 5780 yen dinner course is all inclusive - six courses, two of which are set (two appetizers) and four which you choose (appetizer, main, dessert, choice of after-meal beverage).

Butter and pork rillettes for bread

Lobster and soft-scrambled egg in a sea urchin soup (could have used a teeny bit more salt, but otherwise luxurious and delicious)

Foie gras terrine - made with actual pieces of foie instead of the foie spread/paste usually found in terrines. Absolutely delicious!

Chez Tomo's signature vegetable plate: 25 different vegetables, prepared uniquely. Some were delicious, others didn't quite hit the mark, but I was just happy to see so many vegetables on my plate!

Delicious duck two ways, served on a puree of beans (I couldn't tell what was delicious and tasted a bit like hummus, a bit like refried beans)

Deconstructed cheesecake - a mound of fresh whipped mascarpone on top of a crumble crust, with strawberry coulis. So delicious and light!

Crepe flambee dessert - quite good, but I thought the cheesecake dessert was the best out of the three (the other dessert, not pictured, was creme brulee with ice cream)

Food rating: ****
Bang for buck rating: 4.5

The essentials:
Location: Shirokane, Tokyo
Average price of meal for two (dinner): 12,000 yen (~$135)

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