If you're looking for the best reindeer steak in Tokyo, your search is over. Allt Gott in Kichijoji serves up high-level Swedish cuisine, made from traditional ingredients but prepared with a light, modern cooking style. And thanks to its off-the-beaten-track location, the prices here are much lower than you might expect for food of this quality.
The food menu covers a range of Scandinavian standards, with a special emphasis on seafood. The cold appetizers start with boiled ama-ebi (Northern shrimp), seasoned very simply with dill and lemon to better bring out the fresh flavors of the shrimp itself. The cold avocado salad is much more elaborate - basically a Scandinavian guacamole w/ diced shrimp and plenty of herbs, served in a hollowed-out avocado shell.
It's hard to resist good Swedish meatballs (from the warm appetizers section), and the ones here are very tasty. Again, they're nicely herb-infused and served with a thicky gravy full of mushrooms, plus a small dish of tangy lingonberry jam for contrast.
They're a good buildup to the reindeer steaks - two fillet steaks (just large enough to share between two people) served with a rich dark-cherry sauce and intensely creamy mashed potatoes, with just a sliver of toasted lotus root topping things off. The meat was very tender and pleasantly gamey, beautifully grilled with lightly charred edges and a juicy center.
Note that the Hokkaido-raised reindeer is available in season during the winter, with Hokkaido Ezo venison a reliable alternative at other times. Other meaty main dishes include Icelandic lamb steak and roasted Danish pork.
If you hate making choices, prix-fixe dinners are priced at Y3,800-9,000, with fancy prix-fixe lunches running from Y2,200-4,500. There's a big dessert tray, and the Allt Gott-style chocolate cake is highly recommended. It's moist but not overly rich, enlivened with a splash of vodka and topped by a layer of good solid chocolate, and served with whipped cream and cherries on the side.
The wine list is small but serviceable and attractively priced - most are in the Y3,300-7,000 range, with eight choices by the glass (from Y680). There are even a few Swedish wines as well as Norwegian craft beer. For a real Scandinavian end to the meal, there's vodka and a choice of three different aquavits (the Aalborg is our favorite), all served nice and frosty, straight from the freezer.
Photos: Avocado salad with crayfish; herring, avocado salad and unagi terrine appetizers; two salmon appetizers; Coquilles Saint-Jacques; roast sea bass; roast venison with lingonberry sauce; grilled Icelandic lamb; assorted desserts.
by Robb Satterwhite