CHIC peut-être is one-Michelin-starred French restaurant in Hatchobori – a residential neighbourhood of Nihonbashi. You may not even notice this little cosy restaurant when unintentionally pass by.
Stepping into the restaurant, i found it is much smaller than i had imagined. There were only 4 tables to fit a totally of 12 people when i visited. Although being defined as a fine dining restaurant, the ambiance is rather warm and homey which makes me feel very comfortable and relax.
The owner Kazuhito Hoshi not only plays a role as a host, but also as a server and sommelier. Behind the semi-open kitchen you may find Chef Yusuke Namai who is preparing dishes to showcases his unique creation of Modern French dishes with the best seasonal produce.
Lunch is really a great option here. The menu is quite light and reasonably priced at JPY2800/5000 during weekdays, and Saturday lunch at JPY 6000. I requested the JPY 12000 dinner menu but it is not available during lunch, thus my only (optimal) option was the 5000yen menu which includes a soup, appetizer, fish dish, meat dish and a dessert with coffee.
My meal started with Olives from South France. With an elegant aroma, the pickled olives have a lovely fruity and meaty tastes, its mild savory nicely awakened my tastes buds.
Ayu, or Japanese sweet fish, is only served in summer in Japan. The grilled entire fish is the most common way of cooking Ayu, served with Tade (water pepper 蓼) sauce. This is a very interesting way of the combination of Tade and Ayu – Tade macaron with Ayu Paste. The entire macaron was very light, in between the crispy macaron cookie was creamy Ayu paste which was pretty umami.
The Cold corn pottage with corn fritter was a love. Sommelier (owner) Kazuhito Hoshi told me the summer corn of this year is especially sweet, he was so true as the soup was indeed sweet and delicious. Another remarkable part was the corn fritter at the center, it was so crunchy that works really well with the creamy soup. Topped with some Cuminum powder to give a kick, each bite was so enjoyable.
Followed by a beautiful middle course of Marinated Iwashi (Sardine) and zucchini, it was as delicious and refreshing as it looks. The fish itself has moderate oil contents and high flavors, along side the cucumber sorbet, pickled zucchini and mint to balance the dish, muscat gives a sweet hint and more freshness to the dish.
Bread service includes baguette and butter
Fish dish was Salted cod with anchovy cream, lily bulb and potato croquette. The fish was wonderfully cooked, the fish meat underneath its golden crust was succulent and umami. Anchovy cream has a sweet twist, it works well with the cod. I also enjoyed the potato croquette which was crunchy on the outside and creamy in the center.
Next was the main course. Although the Slow-cooked chicken looks a bit dry and bland, but it was actually so tender and moist that the texture was even crunchy. The mayo sauce was light and tasty – nice pairing. Pasta was not worth-mentioning while the mushroom sauce underneath made it up.
As a truely pumpkin lover, i loved the Pumpkin (‘Kabocha’ in Japanese) dessert featured pumpkin in different ways: pumpkin sorbet, pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin crispy and pumpkin seeds. It was indeed textural and flavorful.
Coffee and petit four are included in the menu. I had a shot of espresso to pair the almond chips and marshmallow.
My experience was truly great – the food i had was so worth of value that i absolutely love to recommend it. Sommelier Kazuhito-san introduces each dish in both Japanese and English very detailedly, and he is very patient to answer my questions. His impeccable hospitality makes me feel like being hosted. I paid slightly over 7000 yen (US$ 70) include 10% service charge and a glass of Domaine Guy Allion Sauvignon 2014, isn’t that a steal? Due to limited space, reservation might be difficult especially for lunch.
Chic Peut-Êtreシック プッテートル
Address: 3-6-3 Hacchobori, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Hours: Mon-Friday 11:45-13:00, 18:00-21:00; Saturday 12:00-13:00,18:00-21:00; closed on Sundays