Tokyo Food Page
Restaurant I/
Harajuku:
International
5772-2091
Data
While Chef Keisuke
Matsushima is best
known for the re-
gional southern-
French cuisine at
his Michelin-starred
restaurant in Nice,
his newer venture in
Harajuku adopts a
more eclectic ap-
proach. The kitchen
draws on French,
Italian, Japanese
and Chinese tech-
niques, all filtered
through a distinc-
tive Tokyo sensibil-
ity. And it's a
point of pride that
nearly all the in-
gredients used here
are sourced from
Tokyo and the sur-
rounding Kanto re-
gion.

Vegetables - beauti-
fully colored, or-
ganically grown
heirloom varieties
in particular - play
a starring role on
Restaurant I's menu.
During a recent
visit we started
with a generous
selection of freshly
procured Kamakura
vegetables served
with tiny, fried
shirauo (icefish).
The exotic radishes,
greens and edible
flowers somehow
seemed more brightly
flavored than the
typical salad we
encounter, and the
vegetables and deli-
cate fish were well
matched with an
assertive, but spar-
ingly applied, an-
chovy sauce.

Our next dish was
roast "Tokyo X" pork
- a brand-name,
locally bred hybrid
of three heirloom
breeds that's prized
for its rich flavor
and fat content. It
was served with a
whole market basket
of Edo-yasai (tradi-
tional root vegeta-
bles from the Tokyo
area) that included
artichoke, lotus
root, bamboo shoots,
leek, and celery.
The simple but per-
fectly prepared foie
gras also benefited
from its accompany-
ing mix of market-
fresh greens driz-
zled in a subtle
balsamic dressing.

If one were putting
together a list of
the famous foods of
Harajuku one would
have to include the
products of the
neighborhood's popu-
lar crepe stands,
and Restaurant I's
pastry chef regular-
ly creates his own
playful interpreta-
tions of this Hara-
juku standby. To
mark cherry-blossom
season, delicately
fluffy crepes were
filled with a mix of
cherries and a
lightly whipped
cream cheese base,
perked up by a
splash of kirsch and
served alongside a
refreshingly sour
cherry sorbet. We
also sampled an
excellent lemon-
meringue tart,
served with tangy
yogurt sorbet and
several dollops of
honey that we
learned were pro-
duced by Tokyo bees.


Restaurant I's din-
ing room is quietly
restrained - the
walls are decorated
with tasteful art-
work, but the main
focus is on the
expansive windows
looking out onto the
patch of greenery in
front of the restau-
rant. Behind the
main dining room is
a more intimate
seating area;
there's a low wall
between them that
visually separates
diners in the two
rooms while still
allowing a view
outside.

The dining space is
bright and cheerful
at lunchtime, making
this a very pleasant
venue for an under-
Y5000 luxury lunch.
Prix-fixe menus
start at Y3800
(+10%sc) at midday,
Y6800 in the eve-
ning. Six wines are
served by the glass,
and bottles start at
Y3800, with an im-
pressive selection
of French grands
vins in the Y20,000-
60,000 range for
special occasions.

The schedule for
days they're closed
varies month by
month, so call
ahead.
Photo
Google Map
Map for AU phones
Map for DoCoMo
Nearest restau-
rants

Nearest cafes/
bars


Jingumae 1-4-20,
Park Court Jingumae
1F. Open 11:30am-
1:30, 6-9pm (LO).
Closed various days.

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