Florilège – Amazing And Imaginative French Cuisine Worth The Money. 2 Michelin Stars, At Aoyama Tokyo
[Tokyo] Among all the rising dining stars in Tokyo, Florilège by Chef Hiroyasu Kawate is definitely the one meal to have if you are looking for a fine dining option.
Florilège, meaning anthology in French, serves up classy Japanese and French fusion cuisine.
The food served combines the exquisite styles and techniques of French cuisine with the freshest Japanese produce and ingredients.
Through this use of sustainable ingredients as well as through reducing food waste, Chef Kawate also aims to support local farmers and producers who are producing superior quality products.
As for his background, Chef Kawate was a former sous chef at
Quintessence (no wonder the exquisiteness) who had also trained at Le Bourguignon and worked as a chef in both Japan and France.
He spent most of his childhood in a kitchen with his parents running a western style restaurant with his brother specialising in Chinese cuisine and his cousin trained as a sushi chef.
The decision to become a French chef was one which he made during high school.
The interior of Florilège is a small 22 seater restaurant with 16 seats at the counter in a bold and theatrical Chef’s Table style.
All the food is prepared in full view of the guests in the huge open kitchen, with 6 seats in a private dining room.
The counters and walls are the colours of ash and charcoal, the carpets lava red. The plants in the open kitchen seem startlingly green, beacons of brightness in an otherwise dimly lit room.
The menu is omakase style French-Japanese fusion cuisine and varies with the seasonality of the ingredients and changes every two months.
Lunch course is 6 or 7 dishes at ¥7000++ (SGD$84.14), while the Dinner course is 11 courses at ¥13000++ (SGD$156.27).
Note: The menu prices were increased in Dec 2017. Well, coming from Singapore where fine dining can cost an arm or a leg, the prices over here were still considered friendly.
The dishes stayed close to the theme of poems and flowers. I was already blown away by the starter – a sweet potato dish called “Projection”.
I thought that the image resembled autumn, in which houjicha leaves were roasted and smoked, with a mellow-sweet, soft sweet potato buried within. (Note: The leaves were edible, though Chef recommended not to have them.)
The presentation was poetic in all sense of the words.
The cherry red coloured Beef Carpaccio was also melt-in-the-mouth amazing. From Miyazaki Wagyu, the marbling was exceptional with softly tender texture.
It was further explained that the cows used were of an older age, with expectedly tougher meat. However, Chef believed in sustainable farming, and found a way to tenderise the meat.
With the smoky nouri represented like a moss of greens, you would never imagine this was an oyster dish.
And if you were wondering where the lemon was, it could be found as the white pieces of cold lemon meringue. This was paired with hot oyster soup on the side for a fuller sensation.
Even if you do not take alcohol, please at least have the non-alcoholic drinks pairing, which I totally didn’t regret doing so.
Drinks here are designed to involve the five senses, which not only looked good, but also fragrant.
A glass of juice I had were surrounded with rosemary and thyme, added with star anise, presented like a small bouquet of flowers.
Reservations are accepted up to two months in advance and are recommended due to the popularity of the restaurant (cancellation on day booked will be charged at full price).
Only children 12 and older are allowed in the restaurant. There is no strict dress code but shorts and sandals are not allowed for men.
B1 Seizan Gaien, 2-5-4, Jingumae, Shibuya Ward, Tokyo City (6min walk from Gaiemmae Station on the Ginza Line)
Tel: +81 03 6440 0878
Opening Hours: Lunch from 12:00pm – 1.30pm (last order), Dinner from 6.30pm to 8:00pm (last order), Closed Wed
Google Maps – Florilège
Reservations Online – Florilège