Abysse in Aoyama is a French restaurant specialized in seafood dishes. Abysse stands for both to the ocean depths, and to things that are profound in French.
Although this new restaurant was only opened in 2015 March, it earned its first michelin star in 9 months. Abysse locates at the little but confortable dining room which was formerly occupied by Floriege beofre it moving to its new location. The Chef-owner Kotaro Meguro is still 29 years old, despite his young age, had been trained in Marseille, working at Le Petit Nice under Michelin three-starred chef Gerald Passedat. After coming back to Japan, he boosted his skills at 3*Quintessence, and then made his dream come true with Abysse.
Date: Jan.18.2016 (Dinner)
Address:〒107-0062 Tokyo, Minato 南青山４丁目９−９ TMIビル１F
Hours: 12:00~ ; 18:30~, Closed on Wednesdays
Cost: Lunch 6 dishes JPY 4500++, Dinner 10 dishes JPY 9000++
From the shopfront to the interior of ther restaurant and even the tablewares give a very strong oceanic breeze. Very simple-colored blue and white elements with a cute fish logo everywhere. The restaurant is quite small – with only 6 tables of 2 pax and a private room on the side. The menu at Abysse is really affordable, a six-course lunch is priced at only 4500 JPY and 9000 for dinner. I was there for dinner and the menu includes 1 amuse, 1 cold appetizer, 1 warm fish dish, 1 hot appetizer, 1 soup, 1 main dish, cheese, two desserts as well as a post-meal snack served with coffee/tea. Indeed a great deal for seafood lovers.
Amuse consists of two parts. On the top was a fish-shaped (logo of Abysse) cookie infused by seaweed. Buttery and umami. Once i removed the lid, a lovely smell of aromatic passionfruit spread over the table. Inside the glass was fresh Hirame seasoned with passionfruit and young scallions. Very clean and fresh, the sourness wonderfully awaken my taste buds.
The first dish was a pastry tart topped with sour cream, layers of Hokkaido scallops, mushroom and caviar. The pastry base was very crispy and flaky – very well done and the sour cream gives a creamy texture. Scallops were juicy and sweet and pired well with the txture of mushroom. There were also some Karasumu (dried mullet roe) on the top while the flavor was a bit weak. Overall a very decent dish that i really enjoyed.
Next dish was hot appetizer #1 – slow cooked monkfish with gravy sauce. Monkfish itself has a similar texture and flavor with lobster, most monkfish dishes i had was quite chewy in texture. This dish was surprisingly succulent and soft, you can even seen its juice came out then you slice into it. The chicken gravy sauce was flavorful and matches well with the umami flesh.
After i finished the monkfish dish, three guests came in but they only made a reservation for two pax. The manager took a careful consideration and decided to add on one table of two for them. There were only 3 servers in the dining room and the service became much slower since then. No one came to collect my empty plate and i waited for almost 15 minture for my next dish.
Hopefully i got something i love after a 15-minute-wait. This dish was basically a cauliflower cream soup with pan-seared foie gras and shirako, decorated with sliced cauliflower. Both the shirako and foie gras were cooked right to point, the combination of the land and ocean was too lovely. The creamy cauliflower soup was unexpectedly delicious as well. Enjoyable.
Followed by a soup made with lobster and seven kinds of fish, namely: Kasago (Scorpion Fish), Tai (snapper), Ako-tai, Amadai, Ishimochi (White Croaker), Managatuso (butterfish) and Shita-birame (Olive flounder). The soup was indeed deep and full of oceanic flavors. The spice nicely enhanced the umami flavor and the orange gives a refreshing touch. A slice of garlic toastes biscuit with cheese was served with the soup, nice pairing but a bit oily for my liking though.
The main dish definitely satisfied my seafood craving, and settled my keen in revsiting Quintessence for their fish dish (where i actaully revisit in a few days after this). I can even hear the sharp sound when guests from next table cutting into the fish. The fish skin and scale were incredibly crispy, while underneath was juicy and succulent – the texture was perfect for my liking. Paired with sauce made of lemon and white wine which nicely brings out the flavor of the fish. Love it.
I am not a big fan of cheese but glad that they serves the ligher one. Great cheese from Hokkaido that went well with the warm raisin cookies.
The first dessert was a beautiful glass of Blan Mange, or milk pudding. It has a deep milky flavor but not heavy at all, it was infused by rosemary to add more fragrance. I really loved its rubbery but silky texture.
In comaparison, the second dessert was a bit heavy that less impressive. On the bottom was a chocolate mousse with kumquat inside chocolate cookie, crispy cookie and creamy mousse. While the vanilla ice cream was not that ice any more, thus taste sweeter than usual. Good but a bit heavy.
As a seafood lover, i was quite surprised by the quality food served at Abysse.I really enjoyed every single dish which was well-done. I regret that i didn’t visit this restaurant earlier because i don’t have too much time left in Tokyo. For 9000JPY ++ for such enjoyable food is really a steal.