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Archive for the ‘ MIAM ’ Category
Everything has probably been said about noma. Best restaurant in the world according to the S.Pellegrino ranking, foraging back in vogue, danish tradition reinvention thanks to the use of contemporary cooking techniques… This restaurant that used to excite only a few people writing on cutting-edge culinary blogs or forums is now a socialite conversation topic, with its chef Rene Redzepi appearing in women’s magazine or mainstream TV news! That should have whet my appetite for going there. Nevertheless, I had been craving for a meal there for three years. So it all began one July 2010 morning, with a lot of F5-key smashing. Bingo! I managed to snatch a reservation. Waiting three more months proved hard, but not deadly.
The day of the meal arrived, at last. I had asked for the “nassaaq”, the most comprehensive menu that offers noma classics as well as new creations. We arrived at the doorstep at 11.59PM, only to leave four hours and a half later, enraptured after a meal that suffered from only one mishap.
When thinking about Japanese gastronomy, one often thinks about seafood first. Yet, another product that has a fantastic reputation, but seldom found in Europe, is the subject of must discussion: wagyu beef, an name under which several beef species are regrouped. They are used in Japan because of their high propension to yield a very marbled meat, rich in intramuscular fat, a highly sought-after quality. If the most often quoted example is Kobe beef, other regions like Matsusaka or Kagoshima are also reknowned for their bovine output.
However, after nurturing the dream of tasting this legendary product, I resigned myself to do that another time, as I was still troubled at the idea of spending that much money for a “simple” steak. Then, during our stay at the Iwaso ryokan in Miyajima, we were served a sukiyaki with very marbled beef. Just after the first bite of this very profound-tasting beef, I realized my mistake: I did not know when I would come back in Japan, so I had to have a steak there before leaving.
As it was not possible to have a reservation for Kawamura, that I discovered through a fantastic post on Gastroville (which may very well be my favorite food-blog out there), I was wondering whether I should go to the illustrious Aragawa, or the less famous Dons de la Nature. After checking a few websites, I settled with the latter. What a great idea that was!
It’s been several months since I returned from Japan, and I still not have finished my restaurant reviews. Of course, this is mainly due to my natural laziness, moving to another country and switching jobs. But I still believe that I’m taking my time because as long as I haven’t finished, there still is the need to remember, which makes me feel like I’m still in Tokyo a bit longer, indefinitely enjoying these exceptional meals.
Some, in particular, are unforgettable. Those are the ones that help getting up in the morning to go to work. Of course, there are very few of these meals. Going to the restaurant becomes more and more like the desperate quest of a junky looking for his “first time” feeling. With time passing by, the probability of such an event happening feels more and more unlikely. So when a meal achieves to set up a new landmark, far above all others, as in a real “next level” experience, heaven might not be far away. This lunch at Sawada was one of those meals.