If there is one thing that never fails to delight is a classic French haute cuisine when it’s executed properly. Thankfully, Mr. B and I experienced just that last weekend, when my sneaky husband decided to surprise me with a spontaneous date night and booked us a table at two Michelin-starred Dominique Bouchet Tokyo. Just before we left I tried to do a small “background check” on the restaurant, but couldn’t find a single blog review about it which spiked up my curiosity. I happily put on my high heels and headed out to explore new and untrodden culinary domain. The restaurant is owned by Dominique Bouchet, famous French chef who started his career working with Joel Robuchon and then became Chef de Cuisine at Michelin-starred restaurants like the Jamin, La Tour d’Argent and the hotel de Crillon. He currently has 2 restaurants in Paris and one in Tokyo. We were lucky to have the Chef present at the restaurant during our visit even though I was too shy to ask to meet him personally. Located in a swanky Ginza district the restaurant recreates the ambiance of a Parisian apartment. The industrial chic décor features exposed concrete and brick walls, grey paneling, cream-color velvety banquets and white cloths. The atmosphere is refined and hushed, cue to a formal dinner ahead. From the very first minute courteous and knowledgeable waters waltzed around us to make sure everything was exactly how we liked. While we were putting our orders for the wine and tasting menu, the first set of complimentary amuse-bouches was served. First, crab meat and avocado served on a sheet of flaky and light pâte feuilletée (puff pastry). Second, a breaded bite of pork reminiscent of a croquette – crispy on the outside and delightfully tender from the inside. Both were very flavorful and served as a wonderful amusement to the palate setting a great tone for the rest of the night. Freshly baked baguette and creamy butter was supplied and constantly replenished on a side – totally destructive feature, yet something I cannot keep my hands off. Soon, we were served another delectable amuse-bouche which was part of the La Découverte Tasting Menu we opted for. Cauliflower cream soup with broccoli which was a tad thin for me, although Mr. B disagreed. Crispy crumbles of croutons provided a satisfying crunch next to the silky smooth soup. First course, baby turnip stuffed with a scallop mousse was topped with creamy dollop of sea urchin. The symphony was complimented with rich and flavorful bisque. I might be in the minority, but turnip is a bit of a lackluster for me in general, although this one was cooked beautifully retaining slight crunchy texture which paired so well with the creaminess of scallop and uni. Next, we were served what must have been one of the most sublime courses of the night – pumpkin ravioli crowned with black truffle and bedded in ricotta cheese emulsion. There were so many beautiful layers that unfolded in this little dish – ravioli was cooked perfectly al dente, pumpkin brought loads of brightness to the bite and was further enhanced by the aromatic truffle and its earthy flavor. Lastly, that smooth and creamy sauce… oh, that rich creamy sauce just kept me coming for more. It was so good that both Mr. B and I reached for bread to soak up and devour every little drop off the plate. The following course didn’t fail to amaze our taste buds and stimulate all three of our senses. Intoxicating aroma of this gorgeous dish captivated our nostrils as soon as it was served on the table while its presentation was undeniably pleasing to the eye. Last but not least, the taste was sensational… Beautifully cooked succulent chunks of Blue lobster were topped with mashed potatoes which had a perfectly crispy top. However, what made this dish stand out and elevated it to a whole new level was Sauce Beurre Blanc. The Chef put his twist on the classic recipe and turned it into the specialty of his restaurant. Ossetra caviar and salmon roe enriched the sauce with umami flavor which was so nicely balanced by chives and a touch of acidity from lemon juice. It added a whole new dimension to the already delicious lobster and made for a truly outstanding dish. Every bite of this course was heavenly and neither of us wanted it to end. Bravo, Chef!
Next, we got a catch of the day from Tsukiji Market – perfectly cooked, flaky and moist halibut was bedded on vegetables and accompanied by savory concentrated sauce which packed a ton of flavor from mussels, mushrooms and butter. To cite Mr.B: “There was not a single element in this dish which was not fantastic.” The last savory course was a multi-element dish which created a beautiful harmony on the plate as well as the palate. Pigeon was perfectly roasted with lovely crispy skin and juicy meat and was expertly paired with slightly sweet and tangy sauce. On the side, a buttery polenta infused with Taggiasca olives and vanilla flavor was simply a perfection. And the red wine poached pear (wow!) and artichokes served as an equally wonderful accompaniments to the poultry. After this a tempting and fragrant selection of cheeses were wheeled out (to be ordered a la carte). We both went for a selection of three. I was particularly smitten by a semi-soft sheep cheese with rosemary and olive oil rind which had to be enjoyed with cayenne pepper jelly. A brilliant pre-dessert game. Thankfully, before the desserts started coming we had a little break where the waiter brought out a platter with a selection of teas and a coffee. It was fun to go through all the varieties presented, although picking one among so many great options was very hard. Mr. B chose to drink Brazilian coffee, while I opted for a hot pot of bergamot tea. And then, the sweet magic starting flowing. First up, a bed of chopped fresh strawberries was topped with smooth cream cheese and vanilla ice-cream and garnished with a candy made from strawberry leaves. It was further enriched by the fresh and vibrant strawberry sauce. The dessert was unbelievably bright and flavorful, almost like a refreshing palate cleanser (only it packed way more calories!). Multi-layer chocolaty heaven was served next. Now, forgive me for being a terrible food blogger and not getting all the components down, but it was an absolutely luscious combination. Yuzu-infused hard chocolate base, caramel cream, soft brownie with chunks of nuts and ice-cream to top it all off made for a dessert that had us coming back for seconds! And as if this was not enough, the dessert was then submerged into a chocolate mousse (?) and at the very end garnished with light espuma. Oh, and that pretty piece of gold added a nice luxurious touch to it all.
I must say I could hardly breathe after this, but the dinner was not over just yet. To cap off the astounding evening they brought us our hot drinks with a platter of petit fours: chocolate, choux topped with cream and chopped fresh lemon (the combination of sweet and tangy citrus was divine – my favorite!), raspberry tart, mousse cake, and brownie with chocolate cream and nuts. We took our time, but savored every piece. The night was truly unforgettable and could classify as one of the top epicurean experiences we have had in Tokyo so far. Everything was executed to perfection and tasted delicious and the service was impeccable. Dominique Bouchet Tokyo is definitely worthy of its two Michelin stars.
- Address: 〒104-0061 Tokyo, Chuo, 銀座１−５−６
- Phone: 03-5537-3290
- Reservation required.