Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Nutso Weather?

Weather in Japan is crazy, but it's been especially crazy recently.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Restaurant Review: Café Troisgros

Café Troisgros is situated directly above the Shinjuku station west exit, on the 8th floor of Odakyu Department Store.  When you arrive, the café has an elegant façade tucked in the corner.  Surrounded by shops, it almost feels out of place.  When you walk in the simply yet sharply-dressed waitstaff immediately attend you.  Originally decked in purple and lime green, it was remodeled with a more neutral palette.  The now-mellow interior has approximately sixteen tables for two that can be pushed together to accommodate larger groups as well as six single tables, no doubt for the business lunch-goers (like myself).  Owned by Michel Troisgros, a Michelin-starred chef with several other awards and honors, this restaurant gives speedy service and good quality.

The lunch menu is limited meal-wise, but not lacking.  The dessert menu is nearly as long as the lunch fare, and the drink menu is significantly bulkier, as expected from a café.  There are a variety of coffees and teas to choose from, as well as some alcoholic choices and a few non-alcoholic juices and such.  Undoubtedly to keep preparation time down there are four main-dish choices, including a salad, sandwiches and a daily pasta special.  Despite the temptation to try one of the luscious-looking desserts instead of a main dish I chose the daily pasta special, which was a wild mushroom farfalle.  Since the drink menu was rather large and the waitstaff came to take my order after only a short time I decided to drink water.  When the meal arrived its aroma immediately caught my attention, as well as the presentation.

The green froth appeared to be a spinach sauce.  At first taste I mistook the flavor for spicy but the spice faded immediately.  The mushroom sauce hinted at a cream of wild mushroom soup that had been blended and thickened.  It blended nicely with the spinach and held well to the farfalle.  The farfalle itself was surprisingly tender, uncharacteristically so for a restaurant.  Diners who prefer al dente pasta may be disappointed.

The cost of the menu is low- to mid-range, with lunches starting at ¥1,000 and desserts and drinks from ¥630.  The daily pasta is ¥1,550.  For someone with a large appetite it will definitely not suffice, but in the heat of summer it was perfect for me.

As a lunch or afternoon tea spot Café Troisgros is a good option for someone who wants quality food but also wants to get in and out quickly.  The quality for price is quite good, but those who prefer larger meals will be left short.  Be sure to check the menu on the stand outside before you go in and have an idea of what you'd like to order; they appear to have an almost fast-food-eqsue approach to speedy service.  Overall, a nice café for someone looking for relax and have a light repast, but not linger too long.