Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Yonemura Restaurant, Tokyo *One Michelin Star*

Painting of humans and rice plant. Rice is a staple not only in Japan but in Asia, so the plant is highly perceived and some say sacred. With no alphabets ABC nor english or french on the entrance of this restaurant, how would a tourist walk in here? very intimidating huh? But believe you me, we have seen even more intimidating restaurant in Japan, which doesn't even look like restaurant. It's as though they don't want u to come. Such is the style and format here. Some restaurant even needed "introduction" to dine need to have a friend who's already a regular patrons there to introduce you to the chef/owner before you are welcome to dine at their establishment.

It was a Sunday brunch and we were walking round Ginza for a bit. The Fukuyamas believed that burning some calories before a feast is essential. Actually they were locating the Leica boutique for JS. Round and round we turn the same block *oh at the same time I spotted some really nice Soba Udon restaurant hua hua hua* and finally we found it. JS has kept silence bcoz he already saw the Leica boutique much earlier to our dismay -_- In fact he also wanted us to walk round and round like some hamsters to burn calories.

seeing how serious these guys are....I know it's gonna be much more than a feast for a Sunday brunch. Bring it on!!!!!

The camera wasn't focusing on the cup of consomme but on the beautiful long table counter. The grain on the wood is really beautiful huh? :)))))) On the menu, it's stated "Clear Soup" but indeed it's an outstanding flavourful beef consomme.Too small a cup just to tantalise our taste buds before lunch begins.

Higashiyama is a district in Kyoto and this origin of Yonemura is from the beautiful city of Kyoto. Their first outlet is at Higashiyama Kyoto. After this scrumptious brunch, we instantly booked a table in Kyoto which is 460km away. Kyoto here we come!!!!! It is the 2nd most visited city in Japan after Tokyo.

Bread is also essential in the west culture. Bread here is alwiz served warm....such comfort piece of food with its malty crust leaving u to having more than you could. The middle was really soft and airy. I don't mind a LOAF now...hahahaha. Even at their outlet in Kyoto, it is the same bread same texture same taste same format. Such standards can only be achieved through consistency.

A medley of entree, Abalone served with yellow flower sprout from the sweet corn plant, toufu skin with caviar, ikura on toast, white fish, konnyaku jelly, and finally sardine. In the middle was a pickled sweet onions and grilled ginkgo served with a few specks of salt.

Yonemura is a Yoshoku type of restaurant - Yoshoku is a westernised cuisine with influences from the West but ingredients from the East. I was surprised that Yoshoku cuisine was originated many many years ago during the Meiji Restoration period....that's like during the 19th century!!!! Somehow today....every single establishments from New York to Paris to London and Barcelona *inclusive of El Bulli* thrived on this Yoshoku format...with a lot of ingredients from Asia.

So don't blame me when I wasn't wow-ed nor surprised when Guy Savoy in Paris served me Chicken infused in Lemongrass and its pepper was from Sarawak. -_-" Instead the tables around us were coo-ing over such creations. C'est delicieux!!

my favourite was the Yuba = Toufu skin. These are fresh yuba skin...soft and silky....with the aroma of the beans. Excellent. I am never a Toufu person....this trip have changed my perception. My favourite food in Japan was Toufu....hahaha yes laugh all u want, I was luffing at myself everytime I put a piece into my mouth. Still couldn't believe myself.

Many friends avert to certain type of food and meat bcoz most prollie they had bad experience consuming them. I guess if you have a good one, it will be a memorable experience...

Yonemura is really a small restaurant, so reservation in advance is highly recommended. Food were prepared under the watchful and delightful eyes of patrons.

Next dish was a Beef Stew Croquette
Croquette is also Yoshoku food. Croquette known as Korokke was originated from Portugal.

the one served here at Yonemura was extremely yummy. The Croquette was encased in a crispy exterior crumbs, inside it was yummy tasty creamie soft mashed mushroom. To eat this dish, we were advised to take a bit of the yummy sweet beef stew and dip into the creamie croquette b4 putting them in our mouth. The earthiness of the mushrooms really balance the sweetness of the beef. This is truly a comfort food :)))))))))

yes yes I am really happy and enjoying my Croquette. MW Maho must be eyeing my portion coz I tend to eat very very slowly enjoying every single morsels.

MW Maho: "U are not bad for a skinny chinese gal!!!"
Monkey: "Meaning??"
MW Maho: "U can eat a lot and walk for miles hahahahaha."

Next was 2 pieces of really generous serving of really huge mouthful of seabream fish and scallop, topped with uncured ham, and at the bottom was a piece of sweet juicy fig.

Ham and sweet fruits alwiz pair very well. Example: Ham and Musk melon...but this was the first time I've eaten it with figs. Really a good marriage. On the side was a small dollop of grain mustard which I think wasn't necessary bcoz this combo is really good on its own already.

The chefs and cook here double up as waiters and Maitre'D as well.
They do the cleaning up service as well.

Bouillabasse which was originated form Southern France
served with Pike Conger, Japanese mussels, spiny lobster and the prized in-season Matsutake Mushrooms.

I really love Autumn. Because it is the season for a few types of fresh Fish, Shellfish, Chestnut, mushrooms, root vegetables etc.

this bouillabasse portion was extremely generous. It can be lunch on its own with generous servings of lobster, mushrooms and sweet juicy mussels. It seafood stock was so sweet on its own, with loads of light cream infused with saffron.

Papa Bear Seiichi and JS who was so tanned from golf
We were commenting that Papa Bear's shots are alwiz 1) with a glass of wine 2) downing a bottle of champagne 3) thumbs up

MW Maho: "U looked silly honey!!!"
whichever works for the happy man :)))

The wine list here is not too bad I must say. Wines in Japan are really really cheap, almost wholesale price at a restaurant here as compared to Malaysia. It must be the tax.

Our chef served us the next dish....most of the explanation was done in Japanese. Thanks to the Fukuyamas, otherwise we won't know wat's coming. Most of the establishments speaks French and Spanish with no problem....but english is pretty scarce.

the dish came in 2 inception. on the bottom bigger bowl was cold hairy crab all shredded with pasta served with japanese crunch fresh ginger flowers and baby leeks.

on the bottom tiny bowl was some fresh sea urchin

some japanese spinach

and sweet umami japanese tomatoes

mix it all and listen to the music in my mouth and finally tummy....they were singing in harmony and agreed this should be in my diet. The men said the portion is too tiny!!!!

For our Main course, was Wagyu beef steak....done in cubes and slices
with fried garlic and wasabi. served on the sides was some ponzu soyu.
this was really really good.....I want more if only my stomach's capacity isn't that small.

Really juicy and done to perfection and desired rare-ness.

Palate cleanser of Green Perilla and blood orange sorbet

We loved its base glass plate so much. Noticed the alphabet "M"?
every plate comes with it.

Soon we were presented with 6 of its beautiful Murano glass plate from Venice.
Murano is an island in Venice specialised in glass. Story was the Chef was given 6 pieces of these as a gift when he started the restaurant....once he's established he begin to purchase more from the artisanal creators of these tableware. Simply exquisite.

I think next time when we visit Chefs around the world, we should bring them gifts from our country too....err maybe Sarawak pepper? hahahah just kidding. Just like how we presented our prized "bak kua" to winemakers during our visits in France. They simply love it.

Lunch isn't over yet as the team was still doing our table setup

Rice or starch dish towards the end of the meal is a must. Usually served with cold roasted japanese tea. On the sides were some homemade pickles of daikon and japanese cucumber.

I chose Kaire Raisu....curry rice

so comforting and yummy. Surprisingly very spicy too yo!!!!
the grains were plump and juicy, when u pick it up with ur chopstick it simple didn't crumble but holds itself. The curry was not too rich, sweet and spicy with the aroma of pork broth.

The ladies were really really happy at this juncture. And desserts weren't serve then.

Montblanc - another famous french dessert.
Since chestnut is in abundance, you can find montblancs everywhere in Japan.

I know it's still too early for christmas but this isn't a snowman...
it's cream puffs!!!!!

first u eat the head with dark chocolate. The crust was crispy and thin with loads of vanilla creme on the inside. Not sweet at all and in fact so well balance.

and finally u indulge the rest with the yummy burnt caramel light ice cream.

and after coffee.....we were so contented and I was contemplating to go back to my room to ZZZZZzz b4 the Fukuyamas pulled us outta the street for more shopping and sight-seeing to burn off the calories. That day, we walked 22 km, and 40% of it in my Ferragamo heels. Now I think I am a damn-can-skinny chinese gal!!! woohoooo~~~~~either that, credits goes to's one of the most comfy heels around apart from Sergio Rossi. :))))

Outstanding creations, hence we went to both of its establishments in Tokyo and Kyoto. Below are the details:
Yonemura Restaurant *One Michelin Star*
6-8-7 Kojyun Building 4F,
Chuo, Ginza,
Tokyo, Japan.
Tel: +81 03 5537 6699

Yonemura Restaurant *One Michelin Star*
481-1 Kiyoicho,
Kyoto, Japan.
Tel: +81 07 5533 6699

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