With its Francophile name and decor, this Ebisu hideaway has all the trappings of a French bistro, but it's one of the best places for dim sum in the city. Incongruous though this must seem, once you step through the heavy wooden door, there will be no mistaking the delicious aroma of authentic Hong-Kong style Chinese cuisine.
The Y2000 yum cha (dim sum) set offers excellent value - it includes an assortment of steamed and fried dumplings; ebi chiri, or shrimp in a sweet and sour chili sauce; congee rice porridge; and dessert. They do standards very well here: the shrimp-filled ha gow dumplings are plump and springy, while the char siew bao roast pork buns are both savory and sticky-sweet.
If your party numbers three or more, however, consider ordering a la carte for a more varied experience. For those in the dim sum know, the menu presents a number of difficult-to-find treats. The scallop and pea sprout dumplings taste like a bite of spring. The deep fried taro root dumplings stuffed with ground meat and shiitake mushrooms are crispy, soft, smooth, and chunky all at the same time. The choi-fun - loosely rolled rice noodles filled with shrimp, and submerged in a mildly sweet soy-based sauce - have a delicate, silky texture. The kitchen makes only ten plates per day, so go early to secure your order.
The non-smoking upstairs dining space is bright and cheerful, with large windows overlooking the small park beside the restaurant, making Le Parc a lovely place to spend a leisurely weekend lunch. (There's a separate dining space for smokers downstairs.)
by Melinda Joe
This book will introduce you to more than twenty of Japan's favorite specialty foods that are less well known abroad, along with a guide to the best places in Tokyo to try them and expert tips on what to order. From Bento.com.