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French Perfection

April 11, 2016
Around the world, we’re all lapping up on-trend Japanese izakayas, but in Tokyo they’re going crazy for French. Prepare to be blown away by culinary marvels like goat’s milk bavarois with lily bulb, sea salt and olive oil; crisp pan-fried amadai (tilefish); and chestnut crème brûlée at Shinagawa restaurant Quintessence. With a moniker that riffs on essential perfection, this très chic destination aims to please. Sugoi!

One of the most talented French chefs in Japan, Shuzo Kishida’s impeccable modern French restaurant has just won the San Pellegrino Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants’ ‘Highest Climber Award 2016’. His multi-course tasting menus, superlative technique and premium seasonal ingredients are what make this place tick, taking inspiration from renowned eatery L’Astrance in Paris where Kishida spent five years. Precision and passion also bagged him the no. 20 spot on the prestigious list.

Fresh, seasonal produce is respected, so menus aren’t fixed but vary according to what’s best on the day. Kishida also swears by ‘cuisson’, the art of fire, with special slow-roasting methods to amp up meaty flavours.

Quintessence is a sophisticated, softly-lit joint and the dress code is ‘elegant casual’ so ditch the shorts and sandals and don that spiffy suit jacket. Remember to step away from the smartphone too; since the get-go Kishida has banned all photography inside the main dining area (sneaky tip: it is permitted inside the private room). Sups without snaps, aaaah…

1/F / Garden City Shinagawa Gotenyama / 6-7-29 Kita Shinagawa / Shinagawa-ku / +81 3 6277 0485 / lunch & dinner Mon-Sat /