If there’s one thing Tokyo does best, it’s eccentricity – kooky, quirky, left field, eclectic… and Yoyogi’s Fort Greene generously dishes up all these adjectives, and then some. A curious (and impressive, considering the diminutive size of the premises) melange of restaurant, bar, cafe and vintage shop, owner and chef Makoto Asamoto’s tucked-away world of French food and bric-a-brac is as charming and popular as the food is good. Having honed his cooking and sommelier skills in France, it was actually Asamoto’s year spent living in Brooklyn’s neighbourhood Fort Greene that most influenced the look and feel of the place, with a tumble of pre-loved decorative items and jazz soundtrack forming the backdrop to the bistro-style fare.
With only a single communal table of 10 covers and a simple 4-burner stove, diners are treated to a diverse, Gallic-influenced menu that manages to also encompass classic American comfort faves like clam chowder and baked meatballs and even Moroccan slow-braised lamb shoulder. Asamoto’s sommelier skills have resulted in an impressive French-centric list of 80s and 90s vintages, and despite not opening for breakfast his ready packaged, handmade organic granola is already the stuff of legend. Eccentric, maybe, but heartfelt too.