It did take time after all to finally be able to enjoy dinner with friends at Tetsuya Sugimoto’s new restaurant, Les Cinqs, but it certainly was worth all the waiting!
My friends being wine-lovers, we skipped the great Shizuoka Sake on their special list and explored the extensive wine menu. After some hesitation whether we would go for some Champagne, we chose a Cremant de Bourgogne, which is always yen for yen (or euro for euro) far better value than their overpriced cousins. The only difference being the locale, we were not disappoined and started the dinner on a great note.
The great menu could be described as a course three times repeated as almost came in three varieties.
The first amuse was Gougeres au Pate de Porc. My American friend could not help comment he was eating a mini French hamburger! He genially pointed out it was certainly better value than some famous/notorious brands.
The second amuse was Mousse de Fromage blanc. Light, almost ethereal, it was accented with a touch of Argan oil from Morocco.
The third amuse was a Salade de Calamar: raw cuttle-fish cut in thin strips and decorated with delicately chopped vegetables and a few extra-mini tomatoes. The cuttle fish was counterbalanced with a mixed fish tartare.
The first hors d’oeuvre/starter came in the shape of “Goma-Dango”/ deep-fried sesame ball with Japanese anko/sweetmeat and foie gras inside served with aloe jelly and a small glass of Sweet white Jurancon.
The second hors d’oeuvre was a salad of smoked salmon trout from Fujinomiya City (it takes them three years to reach maturity and your plate!) topped with a salad of fine vegetables and edible flowers grown locally, and topped with an emulsion.
The Cremant had disappeard by then, and it was grand time to start some serious drinking. We chose a nectar from my (French) sister in law’s village, Gevrey-Chambertin. This is a celebrated wine and does not really need another compliment. Just let me tell you that it was full with red fruits and drnk so smoothly in spite of his young age!
And then it was back to the third hors d’oeuvre: Potage froid de Potiron. The simple explanation does not pay justice to the sublime taste of Ebisu Kabotcha/Ebisu Pumpkin grown in Hamamatsu City!
At long last the first main course: Poelee de Rouget aux Champignons sauvages/skillet red sanpper (amadai in Japanese) from Ogawa Bay and wild mushrooms freshly picked at the foot of Mount Fuji!
The second main course was a discovery: Roti de Pigeonneau/Roasted young Pigeon. This was the first I saw and tasted it under such a concept. Can you see the half head with its brains (cooked). I ate the whole lot, brains, skull and beak! Yes, you read it, and it was a beautiful experience (stop shooting, will ya?)!
The day’s Granite to help us along to the dessert was another discovery: Granite de sureau/Elder Tree Flowers Granite! I might ask fiends in North America for some explanations!
The first dessert was a Gelee de Raisin/ Fresh Kyohou seedless grapes groen in Hamamatsu City in the own jelly. A continuation of the Granite!
The second dessert was a Gateau au Chocolat. Sorry, I did not listen to the explanation lost as I was in the next sight!
Mr. Sugimoto had brought a present from a friend on the table: Port wine! What with the chocolate cake, the mignardises and coffee, it just made for the perfect final combination!
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Shichiken-cho, 17-14, Amble Court 1F (along north side of Aoba Park beyond Aoba Park Police Box)
Reservations recommended (obligatory for the counter and private rooms!)