Today’s post is from my special guest in Tokyo: Valérie Steinlauf. Valérie is a food lover and a restaurant’s connoisseur. I trust 100% her judgment and I’m very happy she’s sharing with us her amazing experience at Craftale.
Who knew that a test drive for a Citroen convertible would lead to such a beautiful culinary discovery?
Craftale is located on the second floor of a building along the Naka Meguro River, which grants it a spectacular view during the cherry blossom season. It holds 20 table seats and about six seats at the bar by the kitchen.
The setting is modern, simple; the focus is clearly set on the dishes. There is no menu, no a la carte, just a wine list in case you opt out of the wine pairing offers (four or seven wines).
This is omakase style: eight dishes chosen by the chef for ¥7000 (wine excluded). Just sit down, relax, and let the culinary journey begin.
I have to specify that my husband, Randy, is pescatarian, and to accommodate, the chef replaced the meat dishes with fish for him.
We started with a glass of champagne and two amuse-bouches:
Scallops sashimi, mushrooms, and cashew nuts on thin truffle wafers that looked like wood chips.
Bisque of crab with monkfish liver (see featured picture).
Then followed two appetizers:
We both had Yellowtail sashimi, black daikon infused with honey vinegar, snowball of yuzu, amazake (sweet sake) steamed bread and radish roses.
Randy got Grilled Razor clams, green risotto and sea urchin.
I got two types of pigeon: minced with grape marmalade in crust, grilled magret style, purple potato chips, boudin noir mousse.
Followed by our two mains:
Cod wrapped in cabbage, gratin style; cod milt tempura; cod, cheese and potatoes choux, mustard and green sauce.
Lamb chop, shavings of truffle, truffle sauce, soba sauce, homemade soba noodles, buckwheat crepe with Japan’s mushrooms, charred and dried green onions.
Randy had the same with red snapper instead of lamb.
Finally two desserts:
Fresh strawberries in mixed berry sauce with pistachio ice cream and dried raspberry hibiscus crumble.
Chestnut and chocolate tiramisu with mascarpone cream, chestnut mousse and light meringue.
Every single dish was exquisite, both to the eyes and the taste buds. The wine pairing was excellent and included wines from all over the world.
Chef Otsuchihashi, in the middle of the photo below, and his sous-chef, to his left (our Citroen salesperson’s husband, if you were wondering what the connection was!) met at Joel Robuchon’s 3 Michelin star restaurant in Tokyo. They opened Craftale in September 2015 and have just earned their first Michelin star this year!
Through his eight-dish menu, Otsuchihashi-san is able to mix French and Japanese cuisines in the most masterful and modern way, showcasing both techniques and ingredients from France and Japan’s culinary traditions.
With so much talent in the kitchen and a perfect service en salle, Craftale is destined to a very bright and delicious future. A must for all the foodies in Tokyo!
2F 1-16-11 Aobadai, Meguro-ku, Tokyo