Whole cooked turnip and parsley oil emulsion, Kintoa Basque ham and brioche
2-26-4 Nishi-azabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo, 106-0031
+81 3 5766 9500
A disciple of both Michel Bras and Heston Blumenthal, Shinobu Namae applies well-honed European technique to sensational Japanese ingredients at this slick Minato restaurant. The cooking here is playful but highly skilled: a riff on McDonald’s notorious deep-fried apple pie features wild boar, sage and matsutake mushrooms. The 11-course tasting menu that most diners opt for changes regularly and is built around seasonal and sometimes esoteric Japanese ingredients, although some produce of Western origin gets a look-in too.
L’Effervescence has developed a reputation for show-stopping desserts – Namae worked as a pastry chef under the aforementioned Blumenthal for a year – with left-field creations such as shards of chestnut crème brûlée with rum and raisin ice cream, wild grape jelly and olive oil-steamed buns. The year Namae spent at the chef’s seminal UK restaurant in Bray is referenced in a Homage to The Fat Duck’s famous hot/cold tea dish, but the kitchen at L’Effervescence gives it a Japanese accent by using Taiwanese tea and fresh peach.
Images: Ms Mari Ikeda