Ristorante Fèffe リストランテ エッフェ
You probably haven't hear about this new Italian restaurant yet, but insiders must know that 'Wizard Chef' Koji Kobayashi (小林 幸司) is back. His one-table Fogliolina della Porta Fortuna in Karuizawa (軽井沢) was the No.1 Italian restaurant in Japan on Tabelog before its temporary/forever closure. I was quite keen to visit Fogliolina della Porta Fortuna but it was almost impossible to get the only table, good new is that he opens a new and larger restaurant in Ginza. I am not surprised that Ristorante Fèffe becomes the top Italian restaurant in Tokyo very soon.
The restaurant is divided into 3 sections; two areas by the window, each with 3-4 tables; another area of 4 tables near the entance. Two menu are served during lunch time, priced at 6,000yen for 4 courses (appetizer, pasta, main, dessert) and 1,3000 for 5 courses with an additional soup course. Only the 13,000 yen menu is available during dinner, and the dishes are the same as lunch. I chose the 13,000.
The restaurant is quite sausual but elegant, while it somehow gives me a non-professional feeling. The server came and explain the menu first. Maybe the servers are not very skilled, not very good in English and even cannot explain the ingredients properly in Japanese. I ordered a glass of white wine and you see how much did he give me.
Appetizer was a small pastry pie made of Laricino, a wild mushroom that is very rare. Chef stewed the mushrrom with kelp and dashi to give it more umami flavors, the pastry pie crust was flaky and have a mild butter flavor, which balance well with the mushroom filling. The sauce on the bottom was made of Karasumi (mullet roe), black pepper and soup stock, very delicious pairing.
I was served a small gnocchi bread before starting the meal. Very chewy texture with a crispy skinThe manager told me that all the breads and pasta are made in house everyday for the best flavor and texture.
The soup was creamy and simply delicious, with a mild cheese flavor. The mousse in the center was airy and have a sweet twist of the fava bean itself, while the fired trumpet mushroom on the top has was very fragrant and chewy - an indeed awesome combination.
The pasta on the day i visited was Orecchiette, which is wrapped with cabbage. The Orecchiette was perfectly cooked, al dente and nicely flavored with homemade parmesan and mushroom sauce. The porcini mushroom was also bouncy and matches well with the texture of pasta as well as the flavor of mushroom sauce, The wrapped cabbage was slightly burnt and was a bit sweet.
Compare with the second olive bread, i much prefer the anchovy bread which has a sweet and oceanic flavor. The breads at Fèffe are much chewier than the bread you usually have, as a hard bread lover, i enjoyed having them very much,
The main course was a really weird combination - pigeon and turkey? I visited Fèffe on Nov.28 and it was Thanksgiving few days ago, which inevitably reminds me of....
The pigeon was very succulent while the turkey was dry and too fat (see the picture above). The texture of risotto was between rice and al-dente-cooked risotto, not my kind of risotto but the black truffle drag back some points. Not too bad but probably the dish i liked the least of the meal.
Dessert is always the most enjoyable part but it was a bit over. The hot chocolate cake was moist but too sweet, and the fig soup base was too strong in sherry flavors. Too sweet and bitter.
All in all, very idiomatic Italian flavor, possibly amore traditional Italian fine restaurants in Tokyo. Although the dessert was not my kind of food, that's how it supposed to be. But the main course really drag down some points, at least from my point of view. The appetizers, soup and especailly the pasta were nice. Overall the meal didn't meet my expectations.