French-born and New-York-based famous chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten currently has 30 restaurants under his formidable name, spread over 8 countries. Jean Georges Tokyo is his lastest French fining dining venue named after himself. Opened in March 2014, JG Tokyo was found along Chef Keyakizaka-dori at the trendy landmark Roppongi Hills. Apart from JG’s classcial dishes, Keyakizaka-dori also brings his own creations combines with the freshnest seasonal produce on the island to impress his guests.
Visited: Sep.13.105 (Lunch)
Address: Roppongi Keyakizaka-dori, 6-12-4 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0032, Japan
Hours: 11am-2pm, 5:30-10pm, daily
To be honest, i refused to visit JG Tokyo for my past Tokyo food trips although several ‘experts’ sincerely recommended it. Simply because 3* JG NYC didn’t impressed me a lot, plus the shame JG Shanghai branch, i believed there are tones of better restaurants to try out in this food capital. I didn’t make any plan for this visit neither, i was around Roppongi Hills and craving for something quality to treat myself, that’s why i was there.
JG Tokyo just reopened after a week of refurnishment, i don’t know how it was like days ago but it is certainly upscale and elegant. There are 15 counter seats on the first floor, facing the open hot-kitchen where you can enjoy the chefs work. Besides that, there are several table seating upstairs.
JG serves affordable set lunch daily, 4 courses priced at JPY 4800, with complimentery petit fours and tea/coffee. I didn’t want to take the risk as my previous experiences at JG NYC and Shanghai werr unpleasant, thus i decided to go with the basic instead of tasting menu. Besides that, a la carte menu is also available during lunch. JG serves a 3-course Prix Fixe menu priced at JPY 9800, the ‘J-G’s menu’ and ‘Seasonal Tasting menu’ are both priced at 19,800.
The menu keeps several JG’s signature dishes, and the tuna tartare is no doubt one of the signatures. I had this in NYC and Shanghai before, same ingredients, same presentation, while JG Tokyo unexpectedly made the best (in my opinion). The quality of tuna is not doubt higher in the seafood capital, very fresh and juicy, the creamy avocado nicely brings more texture to the dish. The sour and spicy sauce balanced very well.
Then i was served a freshly baked scone, this was my first time having scone for the bread part at a fine dining restaurant, interesting. The scone has a lovely crisp crust, inside was fluffy and light. Served with some creamy salted-butter, very pleasant to accopany with the meal.
Followed by another beautifully presented dish. The prawns were indeed ‘gently cooked’ – bouncy and tender; the uni was large in size and darker in color, very creamy and delicious. Both the prawn and uni were very umami and have a sweet aftertaste. I loved the spciy sauce which well-enhanced the flavor but didn’t cover the orgins of ingredients. A sour hint was added to the dish for balancing.
For the main, i picked the seasonal corn ravioli. It is a vegetarian-friendly dish but i enjoyed it a lot. The ravioli was al dante, with corn filling and i also found there was a bit ginger inside. The Japanese sweet corn was incredible juicy and sweet, it paried well with and creamy basil dressing. While i found the lemon zest was a bit too strong on the bottom (only) although i am a big fan of sour stuff. But in general, this was a more refreshing and lighter dish if you are not in the mood for heavier meat dishes.
I had the seasonal basil panna cotta instead of JG’s famous chocolate fondant. The panna cotta was very creamy and silky, a bit sticky but not heavy at all. The berry powder on the top added some sour flavors to enhance the balance.
I rarely impressed by petit fours but JG Tokyo did a really good job. The lemon jelly was moderate sour and not heavy in sweetness. Noughat was mostly made of nuts and dried berries, very few sugar contents, crunchy and perfect for my liking. Rice crpsy with white chocolate was neither too sweet, and ended with a lovely fragrance. And miso caramel candy brought a sweet ending to the meal.
Jean Georges Tokyo is unexpectly good, no wonder why i personally enjoyed it even more than its 3* NYC restaurant. Maybe credits to the fresher ingredients and how meticulous Japanese deal with the food. I don’t mind to come back next time for another quick lunch or tasting if i have time. Keep it up!