Friday, October 16, 2009

Bistro Marsanne, Kanda

Hey hey, drop what you're doing and go to this place for lunch! I was really impressed. It seems to be worth a 'top 10' mention for area lunch options, although it would be worth another visit to confirm. Maybe next year...

Lunch today was with Ding, who hasn't slept all week (full time job + full time student?), and we wandered around inanely in the beautiful Fall weather for a while before the Marsannes jumped out at us. OK, I saw it on the map earlier too...but it's a fully-deployed bistro theme, staffed by two young chefs and a nervous waitress. It's also right at the outer limits of walking distance from the office - with the 20-minute (brisk) walk up past the west-Kanda shopping street, we were gone for 80. You should go on a day when time is less important so that you can enjoy the 3-course menus and newish, sparse Japan-bistro decor.

Ding is a big spender on food, which I like. We stumped up for the Y2000 full lunch menu; it differs in that you get an assorted appetizer and dessert, whereas the Y1200 lunch plus Y300 dessert allows you to choose the first and 3rd courses. I'm not sure which is better actually.

I AM sure that the food was very good right off the line. The mixed entree included a piece of fluffy, warm quiche with good crust, a big hunk of duck-based country pate, a small rilette slice on toasted baguette, and a nugget of breaded, fried fish in tartar-ish sauce. And a salad. These were all good, seriously. In a rough-and-ready way, but very good - lots of fat is the secret, I think.

We each got one of the mains. I think Ding was the winner with a big slice of pork shoulder, grilled but soft and very juicy. I really liked the fresh tomato sauce that they put on it too - bright red but still somehow tasting very simmered. Mine was the snapper, skin crisp and inside meaty and juicy, and it came with a mustard sauce and assorted vegetables. Two kinds of squash among the veg was impressive - a regular Japanese pumpkin and then a small cube of spaghetti squash. I've never seen that in Japan before.

Dessert sampler included a pistachio creme brulee where the crust was a bit thin and a bit burnt, and a fresh mint ice cream that was tasty but a little icy. The standout was the caramel ice cream, heavily burnt and really delicious. There were a few lightly macerated berries too (if I may use such language).

Now that I think about it, it might be better to go three courses for Y1500 and get to choose your adventures (the pork was an option either way, for instance). This place was near empty at 1:20, which either means it's a good bet and you can feel comfortable going over there, or else you should hurry because they can't sustain the operation. Either way, do try it!

Oh I say, smashing! Pip pip.
03-3254-7171

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