DINING OWL AWARDS: 2nd – best ambience; 4th – best décor
When I visited: May 2016
Location: Tokyo (within Roppongi Hills; museum restaurant)
Team: Gregor Streun (Executive Sous Chef), Masataka Ikari (Head Sommelier)
Rating in the Michelin Guide: Not rated in the Guide
What to wear: Men – jeans or nice trousers and a shirt; women – jeans and a smart top or a smart dress
Ambience: Stunning, quite sparse
Course of the meal: House Special: sake to toast the moon, pot of tiny tempura shrimps, shrimp sashimi wrapped in leaf and prawn biscuit
If I could change one thing: Give out printed menus
When wandering around the very LA-like Roppongi Hills, you could get overwhelmed by the sheer variety and number of possible restaurants to visit. However, if you make your way to the museum and all the way up to the restaurant, you will find a shining example of Japanese/European food fusion and stunning views of Tokyo.
Upon entering the restaurant my partner Owl and I were greeted with a huge projection of the moon on the wall and custom-made Japanese wooden tables and chairs, in a sparse arrangement that provides the best possible views of the city at dusk. We selected one of the set dinner menus and the first few courses were served on stunt plates with lovely lightweight long thin cutlery.
We selected a glass of Sauvignon Blanc Cloudy Bay white wine each from New Zealand, a good complement to the lightness of the courses on the menu, which got off to a great start with the amuse bouche: caramelised tomato and mascarpone broccoli and curry spices within layers of very thin pastry. The starters were white asparagus with pieces of seasonal white fish, crab and sauce, and pea foam with scallops.
The first main course, named the ‘House Special’, was the standout of the meal – a tiny glass of sake to ‘toast the moon’ (adorable!) with a pot of tiny tempura shrimps, shrimp sashimi wrapped in a leaf and a prawn biscuit. The next main was slightly bigger – succulent but thin slices of pork with a thick soy sauce.
The dessert continued the Japanese trend of loving all things strawberry – strawberry soup with strawberry pieces, meringue drops, mint and a quenelle of cheesecake-flavoured ice cream. Afterwards, we sipped smoky roasted Japanese tea with petits fours of dark chocolate truffle pebbles, served in a flowerpot with a tiny shovel – which allowed our waiter to joke that some were stones.
The outstanding food was complemented by the impeccable service; the manager was pleased to hear we were from London and recommended The Moon’s London sister restaurant Engawa.
If you want a high-end meal in Tokyo, definitely book The Moon and you will have an unforgettable and very picturesque experience.