Home
Feature
The Small Print
Faces & Places
The Goods
Travel
Tech Know
Sports
Cars & Bikes
Arts & Entertainment
Music
Japan Beat
Clubbing
Art
Stage
Books
The Agenda
Listings
TV
Movies
Dining Out
Sake
Wine
Tastemaker
Table Talk
Local Flavors
International Dining
Restaurant Review
Bar Review
Classifieds
Jobfinder
Horoscope
Mailbox
The Last Word
Photo of the Week
Archive
About Us
Subscribe
Search
Distribution Points




word of mouth

Ramen shops are usually the haunts of students and ojisan, so the opening of Fuga in Asagaya (2-13-2 Asagaya-Kita, Suginami-ku; http://tinyurl.com/fuga-tokyo) is something of a surprise. This sleekly designed eatery is stylish and clean, with jazz BGM and a variety of tables in addition to counter seats. The owner is said to have visited “countless” ramen shops gathering information on how to make the best tantan-men—and it shows. Fuga’s award-winning version of the dish comes in several varieties, including regular (above, ¥880), shrimp (¥1,180), chicken (¥980) and even cheese (¥980). Other ramen dishes include chuka soba (¥700), the ever-popular chashu (¥950), wonton (¥950), and a variety of salt-broth-based noodle bowls: plain (¥700), chashu (¥950), butter (¥800) and chicken (¥700). A plate of five gyoza dumplings costs just ¥350, and Fuga also offers rice dishes like chashu donburi (¥400).

Cremamore serves up exactly what Tokyoites are hungry for during the dog days of summer: authentic Italian gelato. Recently opened in Shiodome’s Nippon TV Tower (B2, 1-6-1 Higashi Shimbashi, Minato-ku; www.cremamore.co.jp), the new shop joins branches in Hiroo, Jiyugaoka and LaLa Port Tokyo Bay, as well as overseas locations in Italy, France and Switzerland. All of Cremamore’s gelato is made from scratch following the original Italian manufacturing process. To ensure freshness, milk, eggs and fruit are purchased in Japan, and no preservatives, artificial coloring or additives are used. Besides traditional flavors like lemon, strawberry, pistachio and chocolate, Cremamore offers offbeat gelato like tomato, pumpkin and even “sparkling wine.” Limited time-only flavors include pineapple-basil and strawberry with bitter chocolate. A small (single-flavor) cup or cone is ¥400, while two flavors cost ¥450 and three go for ¥500. Dieters will be happy to learn that gelato contains less than half the dairy of normal ice cream—so dig in!

Ma Chambre in Roppongi Itchome (Izumi Garden Tower 3F, 1-6-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku; www.ma-chambre.com) is also doing its part to help locals get through the summer. On Friday, September 4, the elegant French restaurant will host a "vegetable tasting" event featuring produce from Nishiwaki Farm in Nagano. The ¥8,000 full-course dinner includes herbed cucumber and feta cheese cocktail; "Kita Akari" potatoes and foie gras confit seasoned with black sesame; red bell pepper and Mimolette gateau; fresh fish from Numazu with creamy eggplant; stuffed French quail with corn galette; and, for dessert, soufflé glace with tomato confiture and Tawny Port. Seating is limited to just 50 people, so book your spot now by calling 03-3560-5013 or via the website.

The owners of Hanabi in Nakameguro are so confident you’ll enjoy your meal that they’re offering an eye-opening deal to repeat customers: bring the receipt from your first visit, and 40 percent of that total will be discounted from your next one. Located on the Meguro River and melding the flavors of Europe, Japan and the rest of Asia, Hanabi (2-16-11 Aoba-dai, Meguro-ku; www.hanabi-nakame.jp) offers dishes like spicy Korean cucumbers (¥480), tandori shrimp (¥580) and vegetable terrine (¥580). Kushiyaki items include the usual chicken and pork skewers (from ¥150), plus shiitake (¥200), eringi mushrooms (¥180) and quail egg (¥200). A lineup of four pizzas is accompanied by a full page of pastas, as well as main dishes like stir-fried pork with oroshi ponzu (¥980), chicken Nanban with housemade tartar sauce (¥880) and yougan yaki (a tabletop stone grill). Top off your meal with desserts ranging from traditional Japanese wagashi (¥980) to banana-caramel parfait (¥1,080), gelato and gateau au chocolat (¥880). —Eds

602: The Kanten craze
A popular new diet shows jelly isn’t just for kids
601: Six Little Secrets
Our sommelier recommends his favorite wine bars
600: Healthy Options
Organic restaurants and shops are sprouting up all over Tokyo
599: Dive in
Aged sake is worth exploring, but the good stuff is forever young
598: Latin Flavors
Give thanks for Brazilian appetites
597: The Italian Job
Mitsuru Sakuraba is out to persuade Tokyo’s coffee drinkers that quality counts
596: Brilliant bakeries
Because man cannot live by rice alone
595: Golden Grains
One type of rice sticks out above the rest
594: Pietro Androsoni
Pastry Chef at Riva Degli Etruschi
593: Ripe for a Comeback
Australian Shiraz enjoys new-school cool
592: Down under and all over
When all is said and done, marcus yip just loves to cook
591: Cool foods
Chill out this summer with some traditional—and innovative—warm-weather treats
590: Mastering the art
Changing times bring new challenges for sake’s master brewers
589: French twist
Chef Thierry Voisin lands on his feet at the revamped Les Saisons
588: The heart of europe
Dry and unabashedly pure, the wines of austria make for a perfect summer quaff
587: Nutty About Natto
Don’t turn up your nose…this infamous goo is an acquired taste
586: Smoke-Free Feasts, Part III
Stub out and eat up at Tokyo’s no-smoking delis, cafes restaurants
585: Josef Budde
Executive Chef of the Grand Hyatt Tokyo
584: The Earl Arrives
... And he’s delivering gourmet sandwiches to Tokyo’s overstretched office workers
583: Stand and Deliver
Get a quick hit of sake at two of Tokyo’s top tachinomiya
582: Smoke-Free Feasts, Part II
As World No Tobacco Day Nears, Celebrate at Tokyo’s organic and ethnic eateries
581: Yoshiaki Abe
Executive Chef at Kakyu
580: The Donburi Diary
A foodie goes in search of the perfect partner for lunch
579: In Praise of Pinot
Our sommelier salutes Hollywood’s homage to the world’s most glorious grape
578: Eat up, don’t light up
The smoke is slowly lifting in Tokyo’s dining rooms
577: Keeping it Real
Unpasteurized sake is like uncensored film: Risky but irresistible
576: The Man from Lavazza
Tadahiro Iwahashi wants to change the way Japan drinks coffee
575: Aarin Teich
Maitre ‘D and Manager of Stellato
574: Demystifying the Market
Kanji-ridden packages often hide delicious treats not to be missed
573: Open for Debate
You’d be a fool to turn up your nose at a wine just because it’s sealed with a screw cap
571: Tipple Trips
Visiting a sake brewery will enhance your appreciation of the drink and its craft
570: Art in a Glass
Mixologist Douglas Ankrah says Tokyo needs to be shaken and stirred
569: Mario Frittoli
Creator and head chef of Ristorante Luxor
568: Get Saucy
Simple japanese sauces can dress up otherwise bland veggies for a healthy diet
567: A Matter of Concentration
How a wine’s sweetness is achieved will help determine its value
566: Look Before You Slug
Cup sakes can be more than they’re cracked open to be
565: Hot Topics
The pick of Japan’s culinary magazines
564: Culinary Resolutions
This year, pledge to explore more of the world of food and drink on your doorstep
563: Losing Its Pop
Champagne makers need to face facts to put the fizz back in their bubbly
561-562: Seasonal sipping
This New Year's, drink sake the traditional way with the herbal mix known as otoso
560: Comfort Food
Healthy and hassle-free nabe warm the soul through winter
559: A bright Thamara
Canela’s young new chef brings a taste of Latin America to Tokyo
558: Mac attack
Our sommelier chews the fat with former roommate and Supersize Me creator Morgan Spurlock
557: Warming trend
As winter approaches, sake makers and drinkers alike get a taste for the warm stuff
556: Turkey Day delights
Tokyo restaurants serve up classic Thanksgiving fare
555: Harvest festival
Reap the best of the season as autumn’s fruits, vegetables and more reach their peak
554: Sugar and spice
Last year’s hot summer made some wines suffer and others truly shine
553: Tricks and treats
Tokyo bars and restaurants get into the Halloween spirit
552: Legends of the fall
Japanese brewers usher in autumn with traditional seasonal offerings
551: Master Glass
Sommelier Glenn Tanner crafts an award-winning wine list at Olives
550: Soy right
There’s never been a better time to try the impressive array of Japanese soybean product
549: Say cheese
Tokyo offers some tantalizing prospects for cheesecake lovers
548: White knight
The noble Chardonnay holds it own against a rush of New World upstarts
547: Zest for life
Cookbook author and culinary school director Elizabeth Andoh shares her passion for Japanese cuisine
546: Drinking fountain
Shinbashi's Sake Plaza overflows with information and examples of its namesake beverage
545: Top shelf
Once a rough country spirit, shochu is now the most sought-after drink in Japan
544: Style guide
A new book aims to single out the coolest restaurants in Tokyo
543: Tasting notes
An Italian wine show offers a chance to savor some of the country’s top offerings
542: Behind closed doors
Akira Ishibashi has made a second career out of hiding hip bars in nondescript locales
541: A matter of taste
Today's brewers carry on the tradition of the summertime sake sampling
540: Must-eat TV
Yukari Pratt feeds her yen for Japan's eclectic menu of food programs.
539: In the raw
Veteran sushi chef Takashi Ono takes Carlo Niederberger behind the scenes at Roppongi Hills’ Sukiyabashi Jiro.
538: Spanish lessons
Sommelier Ned Goodwin studies the wine and cuisine of the "New" Spain to see what all the fuss is about.
537: Red, white and brew
American Bryan Baird is the brains behind one of Japan's most popular craft beers. Bryan Harrell meets the brewmaster.
536: The nihonshu express
John Gauntner disembarks at Tokyo Station and finds a wealth of fine sake.
535: In the market
Depachika denizen Yukari Pratt gives us the inside scoop on the scrumptious world of department-store food floors.
534: Branching out
Looking for a gourmet meal that won’t empty your wallet? Steve Trautlein visits the less-expensive outlets of some of Tokyo’s elite eateries.
533: Think pink
It’s pretty, it’s tasty and it’s perfect for summer. Ned Goodwin reveals why wine lovers should take another look at rose.
532: Taste of success
Pizzafest winner Makoto Onishi tells Ai Uchida about the highs and lows of becoming Italy's most famous foreign pizza chef.
531: Toast of the town
John Gauntner reveals why Niigata reigns supreme as Japan’s top sake region.
530: Cha cha cha
529: Growth complex
Tokyo is seeing a surge in new buildings that cater to curious chowhounds. Tama M. Lung tours three recent arrivals.
528: Workaholic
Ned Goodwin stretches the limits of his sommelier skills at one of the world’s largest wine fairs.
527: Moveable Feasts
Matt Wilce's pick of Tokyo delis make a Golden Week picnic a walk in the park.
526: Grains of truth
John Gauntner sets the record straight on the diverse variety of sake rice.
525: Prost!
Bryan Harrell raises his glass to the beers of Germany, and the best places to quaff them in Tokyo.
524: Spices of life
Get your pho and dried mango fix at these five international food stores in Tokyo. Hanna Kite goes to market.
523: Que Syrah
Sommelier Ned Goodwin heads to his homeland to sample the latest darling of the wine world.
522: Shanghai surprise
Chinatown's newest attraction gives visitors a chance to sample the delights of the Middle Kingdom. Steve Trautlein chows down.
521: Spring fling
John Gauntner ushers in the warmer weather with a host of seasonal sake.
520: Luck of the Irish
Chef Dorje Heavey has become Japan's latest culinary sensation by bringing a taste of traditional Ireland to Japan. Aodhan O'Faolain hears his story.
519: Golden bowls
Carlo Niederberger tours Tokyo's newest "ramen town" and gets his fill of noodles from across the nation.
518: The sweet stuff
Resident oenophile Ned Goodwin tracks down some Tokyo chocolatiers whose wine lists match their bonbons.
517: Down to earth
A charter member of Japan's environmental movement, Hideo Fujimura serves up organic goodness at his down-home izakaya. Bryan Harrell pays a visit.
516: By the numbers
John Gauntner delves into the pluses and minuses of selecting sake.
515: Star gazing
When only the best will do, serious gourmands look to the stars in the esteemed Michelin guide. Tokyoites can also get a taste of its award-winners' fare, as Tama M. Lung reports.
514: Let them eat bread
Hanna Kite checks out the hot new bakeries making yeast lovers rise across Tokyo.
513: Bubbling over
Resident oenophile Ned Goodwin rediscovers the joys of Champagne with a little help from Dom Perignon.
512: Frugal feasts
Tokyo's finest restaurants offer affordable lunch sets for a fraction of the dinner bill. Hanna Kite takes lunch outside the office.
511: Some like it hot
Just in time for those frigid winter nights, John Gauntner debunks the claim that the only good sake is a cold sake.
509/10: Fresh meat
Matt Wilce dishes up 2003's best dining debuts.
508: Just desserts
Tokyo's latest theme park is a temple to all things sweet. Lisa Sekiguchi pays a visit to Jiyugaoka Sweets Forest.
507: 'Tis the season
With all the winter beers and holiday ales around, the amber brew's not just for summer anymore. Bryan Harrell throws a few back.
506: Talking shop
John Gauntner reveals the city's best-stocked but little-known sources for premium sake.
505: Haute chocolates
Top-class European chocolatiers avec cafés have oozed onto the Tokyo gourmet scene. Hanna Kite handpicks the city's best.
504: Home on the grange
Ned Goodwin toasts Penfolds, the prized winemaker of his native Australia.
503: Hot turkey
Hanna Kite finds out what's cooking for Thanksgiving this year.
502: Just for fungus
Bryan Harrell sniffs out matsutake, autumn's culinary delicacy.
501: Strange brews
And now, nihonshu wizard John Gauntner brings you sake completely different…
500: Masks and flasks
Carlo Niederberger counts the treats as Tokyo’s restaurants and clubs bewitch their tables for Halloween.
499: Import experts
Ned Goodwin talks shop with three of Tokyo's top foreign sommeliers.
498: Rise and shine
Whether continental or buffet, Western or Asian, Tokyo's hotels offer great ways to kick-start your day. David Chester breaks the fast.
497: Dining by design
Tama Miyake Lung digs into this week's slate of designer events and finds that even the eating is getting creative.
496: Sake and the city
Tokyo is filled with places to sample and study nihonshu. Resident expert John Gauntner offers a few pointers on where to begin.
495: Mexican dream
Tokyo is a tequila lover's heaven, with restaurants and bars serving up a margarita for every taste. Jenny Chen throws a few back.
494: A winning pair
Ned Goodwin expounds on the union of wine and washoku.
493: Big appetites
With yet another skyscraper thrown in the mix, Shiodome offers a world's worth of dining options. Chris Betros digs in.
492: A cook's tour
Matt Wilce joins Josef Budde at his chef's table to discover what brought him to the Grand Hyatt Tokyo.
491: Triple crown
Self-described "Sake Guy" John Gauntner kicks off a new column with three simple tips for enjoying good sake.
490: Rebel with a saucepan
Former Tokyoite Eric Gower pushes the boundaries of Japanese cuisine in a new cookbook, Tama Miyake Lung reports.
489: A place in the sun
Ned Goodwin casts his sommelier's eye over the best wines for summer.
488: California dreamin'
Tokyo restaurateurs are getting a taste for the Golden State. Jenny Chen reports.
487: Dean's list
Manhattan's most famous deli has begun its global expansion with a new outlet in Marunouchi. Martin Webb samples the selection of goodies.
486: Join the club
Tokyo's illustrious membership clubs are gaining momentum despite the recession. Carlo Niederberger reports.
485: Through the roof
Rooftop gardens aren't the only thing growing on top of our metropolis. Carlo Niederberger heads skyward and finds a new café culture blooming across the city.
484: Westward bound
Ned Goodwin travels across the Pacific and discovers an oenophile’s paradise.
483: Independent spirit
Carlo Niederberger scours the city for gourmet celebrations on the Fourth of July.
482: Hot flash
Summer’s here and suddenly there’s a “bar and grill” around every corner. Tama Miyake Lung explores Tokyo’s newest nightlife sensation.
481: Island hopping
Tama Miyake Lung navigates a sea of tropical dining spots in search of the endless summer.
480: Private eyes
Get out of the glare and sup in secret-Matt Wilce hunts out the most secluded restaurant seats in the city.
479: Iron supplement
Matt Wilce gets a gourmet dose from TV's Iron Chefs.
478: Chill factor
Summertime and the drinking should be easy. Ned Goodwin tells you what to sip when the heat soars.
477: Food for thought
Mohammad Yunos Hassani now wows Tokyo diners with Afghanistan cuisine. Carlo Niederberger reports.
476: Tapping the ivory
David Chester tells you where to sip and sup to the sounds of live piano music.
475: Top of the world
Haute drinking and dining is an elevator ride away. Carlo Niederberger reports.
474: Toque of the town
Roppongi Hills is teeming with innovative new restaurants and cafés. Chris Betros takes a look.
473: Historical present
Hanna Kite takes a tour of Tokyo’s oldest restaurants
472: Heavenly dining
Georgia Jacobs looks up the city’s best restaurants with a view.
471: Flavor favors the brave
Forget boring wine lists, says sommelier Ned Goodwin, Tokyo is full of oenological adventures, if you know where to look.
470: Spring to your lips
Sink your teeth into the season’s traditional fare. Carlo Niederberger tells you where to find it.
469: Homemade
Wow your dinner guests with recipes from the stars—that’s star chefs. Georgia Jacobs gets cooking.
468: Let’s meat
There may be nothing new under the sun, but in Tokyo there’s plenty doing between two buns. Steve Trautlein wolfs down the city’s best burgers.
467: On a Clare day
Tucked away in the hills of South Australia is a wine-lover’s paradise—the Clare Valley. Ned Goodwin samples the delights.
466: Haute dining
The top two floors of Shinjuku's My City store have become a gourmet's delight. Chris Betros samples the cuisine.
465: Home and away
Already a success in the US, Mako Tanaka looks to bring his distinctive fusion cuisine back to Tokyo, he tells Steve Trautlein.
464: Pearl one
Shell out for the one you love this Valentine’s Day at the city’s top oyster bars. Add a bit of bubbly to the mix and you have a sure-fire aphrodisiac for a night of romance. Matt Wilce picks some piscine pearls.
463: Eat your heart out
Japan's brand of Valentine's Day is more about chocolates than hot dates
462: Wok around town
Matt Wilce celebrates the coming Year of the Ram with a taste of Chinese regional cuisine
461: Where the heart is
Ned Goodwin visits fellow oenophile Karla Pratt to discuss life, loss and love of wine at Tochigi's Coco Farm & Winery.
460: Soup's on
The mercury's falling and comfort food is calling. Before you get chilled to the bone, David Chester helps you find some solace for the soul.
459: Winter warmers
There's nothing like a steaming hot pot to keep out the seasonal chill. Stephen Cotterill comes to grips with chanko nabe, sumo-style.
457/8: Cream of the crop
Matt Wilce serves up the dining world's hottest debuts in 2002
456: Food's the fashion
Martin Webb shops then drops at these stylish in-store cafés
455: Bottle tops
Ned Goodwin seeks out the city's best and brightest sommeliers
453: True to life
Matt Wilce meets Don Foley, the man behind Ebisu café Good Honest Grub
452: Talking turkey
Carlo Niederberger gets ready to gobble it up on Thanksgiving Day
451: Steeped in tradition
Love it or hate it, steaming oden signals the start of winter in Japan
450: Thinking inside the box
Tama Miyake investigates the ubiquitous bento with help from culinary expert Elizabeth Andoh
449: What lies beneath
Resident wine expert Ned Goodwin delves into the depths of Tokyo's cellars
448: Devilish dining
Matt Wilce scares up some horribly different dishes for Halloween
447: Tour de France
The toast of Paris, chef Eric Frechon is no flash in the bain-marie
446: On a roll
Onigiri is being rediscovered as a culinary delight in its own right
445: Chow down
Tama Miyake makes tracks to Tsukishima, home to the shitamachi specialty known as monja
444: In the mix
Steve Trautlein goes on a not-so-fruitless search for Tokyo's best juice bars
443: Pop stars
Matt Wilce tastes the good life at Tokyo's toniest champagne bars
442: New York's finest
Tama Miyake takes a bite out of the Big Apple without stepping outside the Yamanote line
441: Gaga for gyoza
Tokyo's newest theme park for foodies
440: Into the fire
Few things say summer like a steak on the barbie in your own backyard
439: Kitchen confidential
Tokyo restaurants are branching out by teaching customers how to whip up their own creations
438: Mix and match
Top tips for pairing food and wine
437: Divine dining
436: Hot plates
435: Sundae school
434: Rare vintages
433: Oodles of noodles
432: Secret gardens
431: Eat your heart out
430: Bottle shop
429: The Italian job
428: The water table
427: For the love of the game
426: Life before Starbucks
425: Show time
424: Hot spot
423: Gift of gusto
422: Crossing the Rhine
421: Mamas' boy
420: Tales of tofu
419: Top of the food chain
418: Small awakening
417: Feeding unfrenzied
416: Sakura sweets
415: Modern master
414: Star turns
413: A sip of style
412: Digital bites
411: The loving spoonful
410: Fried & tested
409: California Drinking
408: Puff daddy
407: Let's do brunch
406: Spice world
404: Party poppers
403: Roll with it
402: Festive feasting
401: From bush to bottle
396: Gastronomic expolorations
395: Gourmet to go

394: Gourmet to go

391: Imperial Cuisine
390: Pizza pizzazz
389: Eat elite
388: Don't eat the scenery
387: Niku nashi
386: Shanghai Surprise
385: Uncorked
384: Cake walk
383: Gastronomic nomad
382: Short fuse
380: Eating eelectric
378: Through the grapevine
375: Culinary dancer
372: Roy raves
359: Love feast
354: Fugu Ryotei
351: Gateau de Noel
350: Seasonal specials

ISSUES 349-
ISSUES 299-

By Steve Trautlein

French twist

Chef Thierry Voisin lands on his feet at the revamped Les Saisons

Photos courtesy of the Imperial Hotel

Most Tokyo expats find themselves working
longer hours than they did back home. Not Thierry Voisin. At the three-Michelin-star restaurant Les Crayeres in Reims, France, Voisin would begin his day before 8am with a visit to the local produce market. He and his crew would then work the stoves until midnight, with a short break before the dinner rush. Here in Japan, though, thanks to different dining habits and a food service that does the shopping for him, Voisin’s day starts later and ends earlier. “It’s better to sleep one hour more in the morning than to choose vegetables,” he says.

But that doesn’t mean Voisin is slacking. As the head chef at Les Saisons, the flagship restaurant of the venerable Imperial Hotel, the 40-year-old is spearheading the rebirth of one Tokyo’s most storied dining rooms. Shortly after Voisin’s arrival this spring, Les Saisons underwent a ¥600 million facelift, adding four private dining rooms and decreasing the number of seats from 142 to 90—which increased the pressure on the kitchen to produce quality rather than quantity.

Speaking accented yet fluent English in an interview in the restaurant’s new salon de fumer, the charismatic Voisin seems comfortable with both the pace and the responsibility of his new job “In France, we might serve 100 customers an hour,” he says. “Here, there is more time for the small details.” Such details are evident in the menu’s seasonal touches. In spring, truffles and asparagus played starring roles, but now, in July, the menu bursts with lemon confit and peach soufflé. Mainstays include filet of beef in red wine sauce and chaource gnocchi, roast lobster casserole with forest mushrooms, and Voisin’s specialty, lightly smoked salmon with creamed potatoes and caviar.

Such ambitious fare might seem unlikely coming from the son of a mechanic father and postal worker mother. “My education came from my grandmother,” Voisin says, recounting his boyhood in Tours. “When I was young, I loved to cook with her.” By 14, he had decided on a restaurant career, and after two years in culinary school, the budding chef got his first job. “I was in charge of scrubbing mussels and peeling potatoes,” he says. “After two months, I was still smiling.”

Voisin didn’t remain at the bottom for long. An itinerant period at hotel restaurants in the French countryside led to a stint at the two-Michelin-star La Bourgogne in Paris, where he worked with noted chef and restaurateur Jean Paul Duquesnoy. Then Voisin met Gerard Boyer, owner of Les Crayeres, a sumptuous château in Champagne that’s been named “Best Hotel in Europe” by both Zagat and Travel and Leisure. Hired in 1988, Voisin found himself at the bottom once again, and it took seven years to rise from commis de cuisine to full chef in 1995.

During that time Boyer became a mentor and a friend, so when a change in ownership saw both men leave Les Crayeres, it was Boyer who told Voisin about the Imperial. “I also had offers to open restaurants in England or the US,” he says. Instead, the chef let intuition guide his next move. “It’s like when there are many women in front of you. Who can say why you choose one instead of the other?”

While still getting used to his new surroundings, Voisin enjoys exploring Tokyo with his wife and two sons, ages 10 and 14. On days off, he cooks at home or tries traditional restaurants—“the kind where you don’t wear shoes”—and he’s even managed to pick up a bit of the local lingo. “I speak French in the kitchen, English with the waitstaff, and I announce the table numbers in Japanese,” he says. Tokyo’s hottest new chef may be working fewer hours, but he’s definitely keeping up the pace.

Les Saisons Imperial Hotel Main Bldg, 1-1-1 Uchisaiwaicho, Chiyoda-ku. Tel: 03-3539-8087. Open daily 7-10am, 11:30am-2:30pm and 5:30-10pm. Nearest stn: Hibiya, exit A13.

Would you like to comment on this article? Send a letter to the editor at letters@metropolis.co.jp.

Discuss your favorite restaurants with METROPOLIS readers at
http://forum.japantoday.com

top