If there is one thing that Japanese people enjoy, it’s food. As with many things, Japanese people work very hard to produce excellent food.
I wanted to try a wide range of food while in Japan. I always focus on Japanese food, which make sense as well, I’m in Japan. However I really wanted to try a Michelin starred restaurant, as I don’t get this opportunity in Australia. Ristaurante Aso came up time and time again during my research, and it had a lunch menu which was a much more cost effective way to try 2 michelin star food.
The restaurant is located in Shibuya-ku, the hilly part of the Shibuya area (probably a 15-20 minute walk away from the centre of Shibuya). It was a lovely afternoon, and the restaurant was a trendy area of town. They were expecting us when we arrived and greeted me in a very respectful manner, referring to me as Ana-sama. We were treated to our own personal waiter and sat facing the patio (I had requested this – our view was a pretty little internal court yard with a paved area and plenty of fresh flowers). I selected the 5 course menu as well as a glass of French white wine.
We were provided with a variety of breads to try, each a different flavour. My favourite was the olive bread, as well as a flakey croissant type bread. Yummy.
The first course was a warm lobster in soup. It wasn’t overpowering and had pleasant chunks of lobster sitting at the bottom of the glass. The fresh herbs went well with the soup and I really enjoyed the soup itself – flavoursome with lobster (they must have used the shell to make the soup).
The second course was a salad of broccoli and cauliflower, with tomato salsa and capers. I’m not a big fan of capers, however it went well with the tangyness of the tomato salsa. The broccoli and cauliflower were lightly blanched and still firm, and was very refreshing to munch on.
The third course was one of my favourites – spaghetti in light tomato sauce served with anchovy foam, caviar, and jelly. The dish was very innovative in presentation, with the pasta being presented in an insulated glass that you poured onto your plate and mixed into the anchovy foam. The caviar was slightly salty and the jelly was slightly tart. As the pasta was tomato-y with a slight chilli taste, I experienced all of these flavours and sensations in one mouthful. It was delicious.
My fourth course was pork three ways. A pork sausage, roasted pork belly, and bacon that was stewed with apples and pears was baked in a teeny French iron casserole dish. I really enjoyed the pork belly as well as the sausage, as it had a rustic texture to it. I also really enjoyed the baked fruit. However I must confess that after the orgy of sensations from my previous dish, this one seemed almost too simple in flavour.
Finally I got my dessert. I have an obsession with salted caramel, so I chose the salted caramel ice cream. Now this was an impressively presented dish – two scoops of ice cream (one was caramel, one was kind of a milk flavour) perched on the edge of a slab of ice. It was so pretty. I received three little chunks of salt to try with my caramel ice cream – sea salt, Himalyan salt, and a sulphur salt. I didn’t like the sulphur salt, so stuck to the other two. It was lovely ice cream.
After a cup of lovely English tea, we received complementary petit fours. It was presented in a vase like a bouquet of flowers (there were fresh flowers mixed amongst the sweets). We had around 10 different sweets, as well as some fresh fruit. Home made marshmallows and jellies, a chocolate truffle, a teeny chocolate eclair, a petit chou, and a few teeny biscuits and muffins. I was so full by this stage, but made my made way through them. ALL.
My favourite was the petit chou, admittedly I’m a sucker for petit chou.
I really enjoyed Ristaurante Aso. I don’t often get the opportunity to eat fancy meals, and enjoyed my fine dining experience. The cost for my dining experience was around ¥7000, including my wine and mineral water. This is about the same cost as a normal 3 course meal in Brisbane. So while not cheap, is well worth it in my opinion. I will return here the next time I travel to Tokyo, and will take Mr Ana for a romantic lunch.