Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Aronia de Takazawa @ Akasaka, Tokyo - アロニア ド たかざわ (高澤) @ 赤坂東京

Cuisine: modern/molecular gastronomy (Japanese/French fusion)
Price: JPY30,000 per person without alcohol (what we paid for)
Visited: 9 July 2014
Food: 7/10
Atmosphere: 9/10
Value for money: 6/10
Services: 9/10
Scale: [1=poor ---- 5=average/standard ---- 10=outstanding/exceptional]

Aronia de Takazawa is definitely something really rare. The thing about this place is the limited seats. Yoshiaki Takazawa, the owner and the chef, only serves 10 customers per day during dinner time. While Yoshiaki runs the whole of the kitchen solely by himself, his wife "Akiko" as well performs the front role independently and flawlessly. Luckily, Akiko speaks very good English (but Chef Yoshiaki is opposite though), so there should be no worry for foreign visitors here. The kind of food Chef Yoshiaki serves is French/Japanese fusion with modern style and partly molecular technique.

Here, at Aronia de Takazawa, you have to really book in advance and it is compulsory. There is no a la carte menu but only tasting menu. You will get to choose your preferred set when making reservation. Deadly Bunny went for 9 courses tasting menu for the night. The course began with 3 amuse bouche: tomato soup, green pepper soup, and aji with ginger and spring onion. Aji with ginger and spring onion did not seem outstanding. Tomato soup was surprisingly clear with no trace of red colour of tomato but was full of tomato aroma. The green pepper soup came in a little shape. We believed the soup was held inside with dashi stock jelly skin. It was rather well made. Frequently, this kind of technique could be troublesome and at an expense of flavour but Chef Yoshiaki did bring this out well.

By the way, just a friendly notice that Chef Yoshiaki can be quite shy and does not like taking photo. Hence, taking photo of the kitchen might be avoided. In addition, respect to other customers is very important here. Thus, taking photo of food is allowed but the atmosphere when customers present is prohibited.

tomato soup

green pepper soup

aji (horse mackerel) with ginger and spring onion

The first course was the famous Ratatouille. This comprised of 15 kinds of vegetable marbled and layered in a terrine-like style (mini and tiny one). The flavour was well marinated and of excellent quality of ingredients. It came along with pork belly pate to be served with toast. The pork belly pate was mild with a hint of smoky aroma. Next was Cucumber Cappuccino. This was a blend of cucumber with cucumber puree, tomato, mango, and sweet shrimp. It represented cleanse and freshness. This was nice but not impressive.


Pork Belly Pate with Toast

smoky aromatic pate

Cucumber Cappuccino

The third dish was called Awabi. Simply abalone served along with seaweed from Okinawa called "Sea Grape". At the time that Deadly Bunny visited, it was July and it happened to be the season for awabi. This dish was presented with tartar sauce that had been fermented with awabi. Overall picture was fine but just saltiness that was a little overwhelmed.

A dish called Tiramisu was then followed. This was perhaps the dish of the night. It was so smooth and creamy. There were 3 layers in which top and bottom were creamy corn with crab meat in between. An addition from a touch of salt flakes on top of Tiramisu did play its role pleasantly: another dimension of flavour that balance the picture. There was grilled sweet corn coming along side too.



Harvest from Takazawa's Farm was the next to arrive. This was a nicely presented dish. It is perhaps just all about presentation. The dish was simply green and white asparagus to be eaten with black truffle mayonnaise (served in the toothpaste tube). What you can see in the pictures below that look like soil was in fact crumbs with garlic (which was edible of course).

Harvest from Takazawa's Farm (green asparagus)

Harvest from Takazawa's Farm (white asparagus)

black truffle mayonnaise

grilled green asparagus in crumbles

green asparagus

white asparagus

The sixth dish was named "Rock on the Seashore". This was another presentation. But more importantly, the attention was on aromatic dimension. Once the dish had arrived, you could scent sea breeze right away. Rock on the Seashore came in 2 parts: the rock and the soup. The soup was lobster bisque which was lovely. The rock was, on the other hand, crispy potato skins with shells inside. The last dish before going to desserts was Japanese Green Cabbage Roll. Pork was the best part of the dish: Spanish Iberian pork vs. Hokkaido pork. This was really tender and juicy. The sauce was mild Japanese mustard base: a little too mild actually. The cabbage was crisp but bitterness didn't really go with the dish. There was as well a piece of crispy pork skin along side.

Rock on the Seashore

shells in the rock

Japanese Green Cabbage Roll

Lastly, desserts came into two parts. The first one was Ohishi Plum. It was beautifully presented. The plum ice-cream was so smooth. The genius about this simple looking dessert was the balance. Sweetness and sourness of Japanese plum did not overwhelm each other. The white base was shiso jelly which matched well with the ice-cream. The other part was called "Dinosaur Egg from Miyazaki". This, on the other hand, did not quite match the level of Ohishi Plum. The egg shell was white chocolate. The egg white and egg yolk were meringue and mango respectively. This was served with spicy & salted wasabi. The taste was kind of unusual though.

The course ended with a pot of flower tea and some petite fours. Well, Aronia de Takazawa produces a rather interesting experience for each customer. The presentation is good and the technique is unique. Some of imagination also involves. Just some of the dishes that might be too difficult to get hands on or perhaps balance is needed. Anyway, if you are thinking of visiting Takazawa, booking in advance is important. Remember, there are only 10 seats a night and be prepared for an expensive meal. Bon Appetit!!!!!

Ohishi Plum

Dinosaur Egg from Miyazaki

Meringue White and Mango Yolk

flower tea

Petite Fours #1

Petite Fours #2

Petite Fours #3

Aronia de Takazawa @ Akasaka, Tokyo - アロニア ド たかざわ (高澤) @ 赤坂東京
Floor 2, Sanyo Akasaka Building
3-5-2 Akasaka
Tokyo 107-0052

Open Hours: daily from 06:00pm - 09:00pm (last reservation)

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