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word of mouth
bar news and views

776: Fangumu
775: Edosada
774: Istanbul
773: Aquavit
772: Tsunahachi
770-71: Nakae
769: Ehon no Kuni no Alice
768: Mother Esta
767: Tatsukichi
766: Ebisusan
765: Gion Kahala
764: Churari
763: Sonoko Café
762: Le Pre Verre
761: Nuun
760: M Café de Chaya
759: Kagurazaka Stagione
758: Peter
757: Ivan Ramen
756: Cha-coo-la
755: Otofu Bijin
754: Tamai
753: Serendip
752: Shilingol
751: Sano
750: Life
749: Silverado
748: School Food
747: Keke
746: 57
745: La Fiesta
744: Lugdunum
743: Jim Thompson’s Table Thailand
742: Hemp Restaurant Asa
741: Aureole
740: Radio Bar
739: Sou
738: Café de Shinran
737: Maman Terrace Aoyama
736: Roof
735: Madal
734: Sasashige
733: Italiana Enoteca d’Oro
732: Fukunokami
731: Kakura
730: Hapuna
729: Rainbow Kitchen
728: One Garden
727: Side Door
726: Pin
725: Cita Cita
724: Kamayaki Toriya Honpo
723: Tokyo Rotisserie Chicken DC
722: Asuka
721: Soba Giro
720: Buta Gumi
718-719: Gaya Aoyama
717: Il Ristorante Nella Pergola
716: Harem
715: Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse
714: Tibet Tibet
713: Leroux
712: Uva Rara
711: Nirvana NY
710: Bistrot D’Artemis
709: Yaffa Organic Cafe
708: Pizzeria Bar D’Oro
707: Sennin Dou Shin
706: Salt
705: Yanagibashi Daikokuya
704: Eat More Greens
703: Shun
702: Arossa Ginza
701: Vege China
700: Hinokizaka
699: Minsk
698: Diya
697: Tribes
696: Siddique Palace
695: A-Kan Ginza
694: Podo
693: California Pizza Kitchen
692: Tribeca
691: Nefertiti
690: Ra Ku Ra
689: O Pulecenella
688: Manuel Casa de Fado
687: Mominoki House
686: Iconic
685: Lamb Junkie
684: Ebisu Shuka
683: Cuisine(s) Michel Troisgros
682: Fusho Shuka
681: Vegan Healing Café
680: Genkatsu
679: Ristorante Ruby
678: Bentornato! Maggio
677: Toumai
676: Suji’s
675: Seafood & Grill Atlantic
674: Brasserie Paul Bocuse Le Musée
673: Tonka
672: Ginza Hachi no Go
671: Masuya
670: Mango Tree Café
669: The White Fox
668: La Verde
667: Hale Kai
666: Lime
665: Yè Shanghai
664: Baker Bounceé
663: Yonchome Café
662: Ren Ren Ren
661: Ristorante Cantare
660: Bistro 35 Steps
659: Hong Kong Café
658: Pizza Express
657: Al Solito Posto
656: Firehouse
655: La Cascata
654: Brasserie Aux Amis
653: Wasabiya
652: Ling Ling Saikan
651: Dobro
650: Who Cares?
649: Saryo Tsujiri
648: Vinuls
647: Kougetsu Tokyo
646: Chinmaya
645: Tofuya Ukai
644: Les Vinum
643: C’Zon
642: Le Bistrot de l’Echanson
641: Bar de España Muy
640: Yoneyama
639: Dazzle
638: Ekki Bar & Grill
637: La Pitchouli de Loulou
636: Toshomenso
635: Manuel
634: Yoshimura Soba
633: Kobikicho Tenkuni
632: Akasaka Kirin
631: Higashi-Yama Tokyo
630: Aotea Rangi
629: Hatago
628: My Lebanon
627: Signature
626: Fungo
625: J’s Kitchen
624: Kohmen
623: Chum Apartment
622: Benoît
621: Bape Café!?
620: Cerise
619: Tapas Molecular Bar
618: Jyapuche
617: Café Tosca
616: Kakomiya
614-615: Ambrosia
613: Paradise Macau
612: Restaurant & Wine Cellar Davis
611: La Bohéme Qualità
610: Les Saisons
609: Pizza Mia
608: Ajanta
607: KINTAME
606: Otemachi Café
605: My Humble House Tokyo
604: Shirube
603: The Pink Cow
602: Smoky
601: Calm Terrace
600: Pure Café
599: Gordon Ramsay at Conrad Tokyo
598: Saku Saku
597: Ura
596: Betta Aoyama
595: Ume no Hana
594: Suna
593: Hanbey
592: Il Saggio
591: Colours of India
590: Café de Raisin
589: Bamboo Grassy
588: Junkadelic
587: Kushi
586: Qahwa
585: La Bettola da Ochiai
584: Brown Rice Café
583: Il Pinolo Due
582: Kin No Saru
581: Garb Pintino
580: Good Honest Grub
579: Norabo
578: Cardenas Charcoal Grill
577: Tamasaka
576: Sadler
575: David’s Deli
574: El Quixico
573: The Hump
572: Sans Le Sou Bistrot
571: Cuisine Française Tateru Yoshino
570: Ginto
569: Kakyu
568: O.R.G. Food Bar
567: Porterhouse Steaks
566: Hakoniwa
565: Bochi Bochi Sakura-Shinmachi
564: Naka Naka
563: Chinese Café Eight
561-562: Beige Tokyo
560: Hinaya
559: Spago
558: Com Pho
557: Toushoumensou
556: Canela
555: Via Quadronno
554: Nabi
553: Sitaara
552: Chameleon
551: Cabana
550: Sora no Niwa
549: Wine & Dining Anthology
548: Chef’s V
547: Tokyo Main Dining
546: Charleston Café Oriental
545: Maimon Wine & Grill
544: Kitchen Shunju
543: Ricos Azabu
542: Restaurant Burdigala
541: Ocha-ya Kosen
540: Sukiyabashi Jiro
539: Sirocco
538: Café Slow
537: Kyo-no-sin
536: Casita
535: Angelo
534: Super 5
533: bys Tokyo
532: Cha Cha Minami Aoyama
531: Testa Matta
530: Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant
529: Laune Café
528: Brin du Muguet
527: Devi Fusion
526: Kyosuzu
525: Stefano
524: Kina China Shigouin
523: Spyro's
522: Colline Arrondie
521: Tokyo Soul Diner
520: Samrat
519: Nihonbashi Yukari
518: Mikura
517: Il Mulino
516: Marunouchi Terrace
515: Kelly
514: Irodori
513: Shellfish Bar Kazan
512: Tao Ryu
511: Sala Ferrari
509/10: Café California
508: Kurumonto
507: Hobgoblin Roppongi
506: Cicada
505: Dish
504: Asli
503: Restaurant J
502: Sasagin
501: L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon
500: If
499: Rikyu
498: Alishan Café
497: Vinpicoeur
496: Cube Zen
495: Nataraj
494: Maimon
493: Nylon
492: The French Kitchen
491: Arossa
490: Il Pacioccone
488: The Oak Door
487: Tera
486: Water Grill Oyster Bar
485: Favela
484: The Oregon Bar & Grill
483: Juniper
482: Olives
481: Caminetto
480: Mango Tree Tokyo
479: Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill
478: Norbulingka
477: Yuris
476: Che
475: Épice
474: Pearl
473: Luxor
472: Mako
471: Legato
470: Ko-tona
469: Coriander
468: Surfers Table
467: Afternoon Tea Baker and Diner
466: Takewaka
465: Shunju
464: Sonoma
463: Aux Amis Tokyo
462: Chung king Lo
461: Tokyo Apartment Café
460: Sui Sui
459: Toraja
457/8: Zuna Grill
456: Rainbow Roll Sushi
455: Fish Bank
454: Wolfgang Puck Café
453: tama
452: Stellato
451: Tukiji
450: Kawa No Hotoride
449: Bape Cafe!?
448: Pumpkin Cook Katsura
447: Barbacoa
446: Kubakan
445: Sydney Blue
444: Sam Choy's Tokyo
443: Maisui
442: Canal Café
441: Humming Bird
440: Sabbath
439: Eau
438: Eno Gusto
437: Anniversaire Restaurant
436: Vietnamese Cyclo
435: Le CoCon
434: DonCarmine
433: Tsunami
432: Soho's Omotesando
431: Underground Mr. Zoogunzoo
430: Mizuho
429: Zum Einhorn
428: Hu Tong Mandarin
427: Hananoren
426: Planet3rd
425: Harem
424: Kamonka
423: Havana Café
422: Imahan
421: A.O.C. Yoyogi
420: Daichi
419: Spago
418: Erawan
417: Ducafe
416: Hotaru no Niwa
415: Asa
414: Azur
413: Zsolnay
412: Tokyo Daihanten
411: Tokyo Salon
410: Twenty One
409:Meson Madrid
408: Torigen
407: Aoyuzu
406: Linamha
405: Aladdin
404: Immigrants Cafe
403: Niu
402: Chandlerfs Crabhouse
399: Winds

397: Salvatore Cuomo Bros
396: Vampire Cafe
395: Nobu

394: Gonpachi
392: Kunpuu
391: Il Cenetta
390: Goo
389: Hisio
388: Little Saigon
387: Dainari
386: Shinjuku Un
385: Organic Cafe
384: Guts
383: Dragonfly Cafe
382: Lawry's The Prime Rib
381: Oblong
380: Uoshin
379: Christon
378: Oasisi Bar & Grill
377: Volga
376: Deux dE Zeque
375: Shamaim
374: Kura Carmine
373: Roti
371: Ukai-Toriyama
370: Bowerey Kitchen
369: Kaikaya
368: Bon Monsieur
367: The Aegean
366: Echiopia
365: Cafe 8
364: Furutoshi
363: Daidaiya
362: Sonne
360: Daikonya
358: Chaiyaphum
357: Natural Harmony
356: Punraku
355: Outback Steakhouse
352/3: Tandoor

ISSUES 349-
ISSUES 299-
ISSUES 249-
by Tama Miyake

Wolfgang Puck Café

It's been more than a year since Wolfgang Puck closed the doors at Spago, his iconic Sunset Strip bistro, and a few months since the chefs at the Tokyo branch revamped their menu to the point where all that remains of Puck is his name on the door. It would seem the shine is off the quintessential celebrity chef. But after a couple visits to the new Wolfgang Puck Café in Akasaka and word that he plans to open dozens more around the country, we realized this Austrian's star is burning as bright as ever.

Taking over a corner of the Ark Hills building, the Café is part of a chain of casual dining spots serving Puck's signature blend of Asian and European cuisine. It's also everything you'd expect from the man who made his career in southern California in the early '80s—pumpkin-painted walls, multicolored mosaics and Madonna belting out “Paradise” in the background.

Eager to taste Puck's 21st-century creations, we made our first visit within weeks of the grand opening and found a dining room overflowing with families and visiting executives, but short on staff and experience. The situation improved on our second visit, a relatively quiet evening spent among lone businessmen with one eye on the 76ers game on the big screen over the bar and a handful of couples and young families.

Puck's passion for mixing it up was evident the minute we picked up the menu—the mile-long drinks list named every cocktail known to man and even a few nods to Japan, including the tempting Ume Cosmopolitan (vodka, cranberry, ¥900). Opting to save our taste buds for the food, we settled on a light Frog's Leap Sauvignon Blanc (¥5,000/bottle) and turned our attention to the rest of the menu.

Having tucked into Puck's gourmet pizza (¥2,000) on the previous visit, we took a chance on the spicy salmon and shrimp dumplings (¥1,000). The generous serving of six steamed dumplings, sitting in a yuzu and butter broth, was light yet flavorful with meaty fillings and thin rice-paper casings. It was also a perfect warm-up to the pepper-crusted ahi tuna (¥2,500), which came artfully arranged around a mound of horseradish-flavored mashed potatoes and steamed baby vegetables, with a tangy mustard sauce drizzled along the rim of the plate.

Our Japan-sized stomachs were put to the test with the arrival of our wiener schnitzel (¥2,400). Stretching over both sides of a large dinner plate, the lightly breaded veal cutlet barely left room for the accompanying potato salad and spinach. It was so hearty and tasty, however, that the plate was wiped clean in a matter of minutes.
Feeling flush with accomplishment, we soldiered on with a crËme brulee (¥700), another American-sized serving that went down surprisingly well thanks to the crispy caramelized coating and warm, creamy center.

Puck may have traded Spago in favor of an eponymous café empire, but if his portion sizes are any indication the “father of fusion” is poised to really hit it big.

Open 11am-11pm (LO 10pm) daily. 1F Ark Mori Bldg, 1-12-32 Akasaka, Minato-ku. Tel: 03-5575-2100. Menu in English and Japanese. Nearest stn: Tameikesanno, exit 13.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Wolfgang Puck Café

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