L'equateur (エクアトゥール)

Right after a fantastic meal with L'equateur's summer version — Kagero, i booked my next visit to L'equateur in December.

L'equateur is one of the best (non-Michelin) French restaurants in Tokyo, it is also always mentioned as 'my favoriate French restaurant' by lots of Japanese superfoodies. Likewise other French restaurants in Japan, L'equateur uses mostly Japanese ingredients, while the dishes were more French compare to the trendy Japanese-infused French cuisine in Japan.

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Here, i will skip the restaurant introduction as i have mentioned it in my Kagero post. Last time we were sitting at the only private room, this time we had dinner at the 6-seat counter. It was another lovely meal with wine pairing.

Every July to September, the French restaurant L'quateur will change name to Kagero to serve Italian food, which always ranked at #1 Italian restaurant on Tabelog during that three months. No matter Kagero or L'equateur, getting a reservation is almost impossible without leading by someone who have been there before.

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1. Kumquat & foie gras (金柑 フォアグラ)

1. Kumquat & foie gras (金柑 フォアグラ)

We started with a small snack of candied kumquat stuffed with foie gras mousse. The deep foie gras tastes works really well with the refreshing kumquat, a strong appetizing start.

2. Kobako-gani, consomme jelly, fish roe & clam sauce (香箱ガニ コンソメジュレと甲殻類のソース)
2. Kobako-gani, consomme jelly, fish roe & clam sauce (香箱ガニ コンソメジュレと甲殻類のソース)

My favorite dish of the meal was Kobako-gani (female Japanese snow crab) topped with a layer of refreshing and umami consomme jelly, finishing with a creamy sauce of fish roe. The crab was from Fukui (福井県), very fresh and juicy, its sweet tastes was enhanced by the delicious jelly and sauce. It is quite obvious that the chef was brave enough to create this unique combination. A sync dish of light and depth.

Homemade bread with butter
Homemade bread with butter
3. Kinmedai, Marinated Karasumi, Shirako sauce (金目鯛ミキュイ)
3. Kinmedai, Marinated Karasumi, Shirako sauce (金目鯛ミキュイ)

I was again surprised by the next creative dish, another amazing dish that uses only Japanese ingredients to make the dish so French-y. The kinmedai was slightly touched on the skin to create a crispy texture, while the flesh underneath was sous vide. On the side, the heavier-taste karasumi was marinated with white wine and sake to create a milder taste. The sweetness of the creamy shirako sauce brings the dish to an higher level.

4.Canadian Omaru lobster, shark fin, white truffle (オマール海老とフカヒレ 白トリュフ)
4.Canadian Omaru lobster, shark fin, white truffle (オマール海老とフカヒレ 白トリュフ)

What a luxurious to arrived next! This reminds me of another shark fin dish i have had at Kagero in the summer. The strong matching of the bouncy Omaru lobster from Canada and shark fin was mind-blowing. With Alba white truffle to give a mouth-watering effect.

5. Fugu Shirako, Aosa-nori (seaweed), yuzu (フグの白子 青さ海苔)

Another highlight of the meal was the perfectly cooked fugu (blowfish) shiarako, paired with Aosa seaweed sauce to balance the richness of fugu milt. Divine.

6. Sirloin, Oyster, Caviar and homemade ‘Menma’ pickles (サーロインと牡蠣 自家製メンマと山蕨)

6. Sirloin, Oyster, Caviar and homemade ‘Menma’ pickles (サーロインと牡蠣 自家製メンマと山蕨)

Sirloin with oyster and caviar sounds interesting, but i cannot even believe when i heard 'Menma'  was also used in this dish. Menma is a kind of cheap, Chinese pickles made of dried bamboot shoots, my grandma used to homemade this pickle and eat with breakfast rice congee. The entire dish was outstanding as my imagination, the fatty sirloin goes really well with the oceanic flavors, with pickles to bring more refreshness.

7. Ise-ebi (lobster), Kabu (turnip), white miso sauce (伊勢海老とカブ 白味噌)
7. Ise-ebi (lobster), Kabu (turnip), white miso sauce (伊勢海老とカブ 白味噌)
8. Cold capellini, Tako ragu, seared Ma-dai (seabream)
8. Cold capellini, Tako ragu, seared Ma-dai (seabream)
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I had two marvellous pasta dishes at Kagero, never expected to have any pasta dishes here but surpringly, a cold pasta dish was served before the main course to arrived. The pasta was so smooth and refreshing, cooked al dante and topped with tako (squid) ragu with tomato puree, the rarely touched ma-dai (seabream) added a deliciously taste to the entire dish. Memorable.

9. French squab, red wine & innards sauce

9. French squab, red wine & innards sauce

At the very beginning of the meal, we were asked to pick a main course from French squab, Japanese duck, lamb and beef. My partner picked squab and i went for duck because i favored Japanese ingredients. We actually shared the dish with each other and we loved them. Both dishes were well-done, succulent meat with a crispy skin, very simple cooking and pairing but wonderful tastes.

10. Chestnut Fondant, rum raisin  ice cream (フォンダンマロン ラムレーズンアイス)
10. Chestnut Fondant, rum raisin  ice cream (フォンダンマロン ラムレーズンアイス)
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There were another four options for desserts, and we respectively chose the chestnut fondant with rum ice cream and chestnut. My partner had baked apple tart with black tea ice cream. Sounds heavy but tastes really light. Satisfying sweet ending.

10. Apple tart, black tea ice cream (焼きリンゴのタルト 紅茶のアイス)
10. Apple tart, black tea ice cream (焼きリンゴのタルト 紅茶のアイス)
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Yet another amazing experience with this little hidden gem in Moto-azabu, Tokyo. I am so surprised by chef's philosophy by using only Japanese ingredients to create the dishes so French-y. It is hard to find a second restaurant in Tokyo serving this outstanding quality of French food. Cannot wait for next visit!

Wine Pairing
Wine Pairing

L'equateur (エクアトゥール)

Add:東京都港区元麻布3-6-34 カーム元麻布 2F

Tel: Private

Reservation: Almost impossible without a regular guest