[Tokyo] L'Effervescence レフェルヴェソンス
My meal at L'Effervescence was one of the highlight of my trip to Tokyo this time around! Not only was the food creative and impressive, the service was superb from start to finish with great attention to detail to everything. Making reservations for restaurants in Japan can be a challenge due to language barrier, but I must say that the process for L'Effervescence was a piece of cake because they accept online reservations through OpenTable! I also received an email from the restaurant personally closer to the date to confirm my reservation and address any special needs that I may have (which is to celebrate my birthday!).
In addition to 2 Michelin stars, the restaurant was also awarded #12 on Asia's 50 Best Restaurant by S. Pelligrino in 2015. The chef Shinobu Namae has worked at Michel Bras TOYA Japon and Heston Blumenthal's The Fat Duck in UK before opening up his own restaurant L'Effervescence in 2010. The cuisine here is very much modern French using prime Japanese ingredients with a playful take on the food and seasons. Both lunch and dinner are served with one set menu at ¥10,000 and ¥18,000 respectively while optional wine pairing starts from ¥10,000.
The ambiance and decor was elegant and minimalistic which was great for celebrations or a couple's special night out. While the lighting was dark in general, the tables were especially well-lit which made it perfect for taking pictures of the food!
We started out with this welcome drink which is an unique blend of sweet sake and wine served in an decadent gold sake cup.
We got two glasses of champagne to start off our celebration!
Although I am usually not a fan of olives, these salt and fig olives were refreshing small bites to have with our drinks.
The warm wheat bread with tofu, cream cheese and olive oil dip was incredibly addictive and light to eat - who knew that you can mix tofu, cream cheese and olive oil together which would result in such a delicious spread?
The next dish Just like the Apple Pie #22 is a playful take on McDonald's famous apple pie and it even came in a similar red paper box! The apple pie contained seasonal ingredients including monkfish liver, kumquat, pumpkin and bay leaf which also came with a personal message from the chef to remind us that in our quest for efficiency, we should remember to appreciate handmade crafts which takes time and passion to create, and the apple pie is a symbol of that.
The Shadows with Aori-ika cuttlefish "tagliatelle" and fermented kohlrabi "taglioni", lime, Brussels sprout and black olive was one of my favorite dish of the night as it was innovative and impressive by using cuttlefish and kohlrabi as pasta while the lime and black olive sauce served well to bring the flavors of the ingredients together!
A Fixed Point is a signature dish here with 4 hours cooked Tokyo turnip, parsley puree, and dehydrated Basque ham & brioche. The vegetable was painstaking prepared by being cooked for 4 hours and then seared in brown butter - this dish was simply amazing as I never knew that turnip could taste so good!
The Contrast with crackling Jerusalem artichoke, smoked mussels and Comte cheese sauce is meant to be a contrast between sea and mountain by combining ingredients from each element. I loved the smoky flavor in this dish which definitely served its purpose in bring out the contrast between the ingredients with different textures which complemented each other perfectly.
Before we moved onto our meat dish, we were served the Comfort Zone which served as our palate cleanser with this tiny chawanmushi with a pheasant and shijimi consomme plus a bit of umeboshi on the spoon.
The Hearth, in a quiet night with Aka-ushi beef leg roasted by open fire, mushroom extract, trumpet mushroom, taro, petit-vert and black truffle was juicy, succulent and full of beefy flavors which left us yearning for more.
For the East & West course, we had the choice to choose cheese or vegetables so of course J went for the cheese and I opted for the latter. The cheese plate came with 5 types of different cheese form Japan, Italy and Switzerland.
My gorgeous salad consisted of 44 vegetables which was tossed with tart mikan vinegar!
I don't think anyone is in disagreement with the message behind the dessert Longing for Spring to Come with strawberry charlotte and shiso, houjicha ice cream, plum jelly and yuzu!
The Little Red Heart with beetroot sorbet, blue cheese mousse and chocolate terrine was simple and yet gratifying with its surprising combination of beetroot with cheese and chocolate.
Even though I've been to Japan many times, I've never watched an official tea ceremony and I was surprised to get a taste of it here as we were served Matcha in front of us by the Maitre d’hotel who was a Westerner but based on his precise and meticulous movement, I do not doubt his authenticity plus the matcha we were served was very delicious.
To balance the bitter-sweetness of the matcha, we were served this World Peace at the end which turned out to be a heavenly glass of peanut milk! I'm not sure why we aren't drinking more of it since it doesn't contain any lactose and is therefore suitable for people with lactose intolerance.
Lastly, we wrapped up our amazing gastronomic journey at L'Effervescence with a token souvenir to takeaway. Our meal was flawless from start to finish and I definitely recommend this restaurant for everyone to try in Tokyo!
2-26-4 Nishi-azabu, Minato-ku Tokyo,106-0031Tel: +81-3-5766-9500
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