Savor the taste of extravagance in Nishi Azabu
There comes a point in everyone’s Tokyo
lifetime when the cost of living stops being alarming and
a ¥660 minimum taxi fare seems reasonable. At that point
the laws of relativity dictate that extravagances like steak
are not unreasonable either. That’s what we told ourselves
as we stepped out of a taxi in front of Porterhouse Steaks.
The Porterhouse people were so keen to make their restaurant
authentic that they combed the US and selected elements from
top-notch steak eateries, including the Prime Steakhouse at
the Bellagio in Las Vegas.
The result is elegance with a modern Tokyo touch, seen in
the slick bar, the black leather booths, and the striking,
sculpted doors to the upstairs dining room. The restaurant
is lit for a cozy feel; General Manager Yukihiko Uchida wants
customers to relax, savor the food and wine, and have fun—something,
he told us on a press visit, some of his local customers could
His philosophy worked for us, with the help of a bottle of
Brut Billecart Salmon (¥9,000) perfectly accompanying
the chilled shellfish platter (¥3,200/person) of raw Hokkaido
oysters and large hamaguri clams (both so fresh we could taste
it), crab legs and shrimp cocktail.
We followed the platter up with a light Caesar salad (¥1,300),
whose thick, succulent chunks of bacon hinted at the quality
of the meat to follow, and a creamy New England clam chowder
(¥1,200) full of caramelized onions.
Our helpful and attentive English-speaking waiter helped
us choose the Vine Cliff Cabernet Sauvignon Napa (¥12,000)
as our mains arrived: 21oz (600g) Porterhouse steak (¥11,000),
rack of grain-fed lamb (¥4,800) and steamed Canadian lobster
(¥4,800). Three dishes for the four of us, we decided,
after watching the neighboring table surrender, their meals
We were silent as we savored every mouthful of the Porterhouse,
the flavors of the bloody meat mingling with the Cabernet
Sauvignon and the radiant Louis Latour Vosne-Romanee (¥14,500)
that followed. With the selection of mustards and gravies,
we could create a new flavor with each bite. The lamb was
equally excellent alongside creamy mashed potatoes (¥700)
and steamed asparagus (¥1,200), and the lobster, served
with vegetable risotto and double Madeira sauce, was exquisite.
(We agreed to have the lobster served before the meat next
time, so we’ll be able to appreciate it fully.)
With our mouths still in awe, we refrained from ending on
a sweet note despite the temptation of New York cheesecake
(¥1,100) and the Kouryoku Apple Tart (¥1,100), or
even the selection of port (¥1,500-¥2,400/glass).
It was a rare treat, and something rare is by definition special,
something hard to value. It was a meal we would savor with
delight, and as such it was priceless. M
1F Faro Nishiazabu, 1-15-4
Nishiazabu, Minato-ku. Tel: 03-5771-5788 (Japanese), 03-5771-5322
(English). Open daily 6pm-midnight. www.chanto.com
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