When we popped by Tokyo on our way to Aomori in April, some good meals were in order. I’ve come to perceive that the Japanese don’t really do international food – everything is a fusion to suit Japanese tastebuds. Anis, touted as a French bistro helmed by an up-and-coming chef (and making Eater Tokyo’s hot new restaurant list!) seemed like it housed a kitchen that would serve up some interesting food. Was also really curious to find out what made a chef “up-and-coming”.
Started off with an entree of clam and avocado in tomato consomme. About this time I started to fall in love with the cutlery – it was so beautiful. Stuffed up on a variety of bread as well; my favourite / most memorable / filed in “Things to Recreate” was pistachio with black pepper levain, served with sour cream. A really simple and delightful combination.
Firefly squid with some vegetable whose name has slipped my mind. I’m so bad at remembering these things! It went really well with the sauce, which I think was apple ginger puree. Don’t they look like pink shooting stars? Every dining table needs a black serving plate.
Sous vide salmon with radish, pickled ginger and basil mousse. Ohhh this was terrific! And A’s favourite. We both loved how the salmon slid onto the fork so easily and practically melted in your mouth. The pickles were very good too, but then I am partial to pickles, and the Japanese do it so well. This was served at room temperature, which was pretty interesting because I’ve generally always liked salmon warm, unless it’s raw.
New Zealand pork crackle atop onion marmalade with a rainbow halo of vegetables! Was rather surprised that the chef decided to use NZ pork since the Japanese are generally huge on locally sourced ingredients. The vegetables I loved, since I lean towards being a herbivore more often than not. First time eating gobo (burdock root) in blanched form because it’s usually deep fried and served as the tempura accompaniment to udon. By this time I’m really wishing that I knew more Japanese because the servers explain everything in such detail when the food is placed before you! Little English is spoken, though they do make an effort.
Salad, because its good to eat sweet and edible flowers, and dessert to erase any misconception that it’s a healthy meal you’re having. Quite enjoyed the pairing of kinako ice cream and liquor – either rum, or a house Anis liquor which was significantly stronger and helped to tone down the sweetness of the dried fruits. Alcoholic that I am, I doused my cake multiple times with the house liquor of course.
For lunch, this was quite a spread. I did like that the items never felt heavy though, and the inclusion of a Japanese tweak to each dish. The wines suggested to pair with the dishes were also on point and much appreciated…we were so full by the end. Oh and see what I mean about the cutlery? I am so on track to becoming one of those Aunties who bring SQ forks and spoons home. Except from more than an airplane of course.
Restaurant Anis レストラン アニス
1-9-7 Hatsudai, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo