Monday, October 26, 2009

Brasserie Paul Bocuse, Tokyo (大丸12階)

In the past I've said more than once that Les Brasseries Paul Bocuse are not a good thing. This is based on one particular visit I made to the Yurakucho branch; the food consisted of standards prepared in a barely competent way, and the prices were high. Today's lunch was altogether more satisfactory, although in thinking about it the quality may have been much the same as before. It's just that the prices, and my expectations, are lower at lunch.

Daimaru's food floor is actually somewhat frightening! Up there the restaurants are mainly in the over-2k range, which is heavy for daily lunches. Thus by getting the Y1700 one-plate special, I felt like I was saving money or something. It really was a decent value, and factoring in other factors that factor into our thought processes in Tokyo, quite good.

The one-plate lunch today (I should stop that, because it was two plates plus bread) was supreme de volaille, also known as chicken breast. More elaborately, it was a roasted chicken breast with chicken-derived, foamed sauce, a bit of basil puree underneath, sauteed liver and roasted potatoes. It was nice to have so many flavors going on in the plate; it covered for the fact that the chicken was really dry and tough. I found it ironic as well that the chicken breast was covered with foam - Mr. Bocuse, I think, being famous for putting the sauce under the meat, and also for dating from well before the Age of Foam. Served with a healthy 4 pieces of baguette, this was a very satisfying dish. Dessert was a simple creme brulee, not outstanding but also executed much better than the versions I've had at pretty much any other place in Japan - the custard a bit sweet, but smooth and not overly pitched in one direction, and the dish being shallow and wide enough to allow for a generous layer of perfectly-crisped (albeit extremely thin) burnt sugar.

What was really priceless, however, was one of the other Tokyo dimensions - sitting at a window table on the 12th floor of a Yaesu tower, looking East over the tops of other buildings and neon billboards. Factoring that in, this was an excellent value, and even without the view it was nice.

Thanks Paulie B.

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