Food without memory is just digestion

Thursday, 26 January 2006

Monna Lisa - A Masterpiece

26 Jan 2006

At short notice the other day, I reserved a table for 3 at Monna Lisa (sic!) in Ebisu for dinner. Strange how these things turn out, but I enjoyed one of the most memorable food experiences I’ve had for some time!

The first thing that strikes you at Monna Lisa is the sensible layout - space for you to enjoy the company of companions, get attentive service, yet still sticky-beak at what the other diners are enjoying. The wine list is overwhelmingly French, and has obvioulsy been chosen with care and grace.

The food is - simply - exquisite. We chose the set menus (you select the main course). My guest and I both settled on the Y6,800 option, while my young colleague went up-market to the Y10,000 course. Chef Kawano knows how to delight his guests and the delicacy of each course serves to build anticipation while at the same time a sense of wonder at how each element complements the other.

Our menu was:
- Amuse Boche (a small slice of home-made pate de campagne served on a slice of fried lotus leaf)
- Croustillant de langoustines frit, sauce a la vanille Quick-fried coated prawns with vanilla sauce
- Saint-jacques poelees et soupe de “Komatsuna” Poached scallops in a komatsuna soup
- Cuisse de canardet poireau en croute, sauce vin rouge Peppered Duck Thighs in Pastry with a red wine sauce
- Patisseries

The wines we chose were the 2003 Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos (Vocoret) and the 1998 Chateau Lascombes (Margaux) which matched the meal perfectly. In summary, this is a fine dining choice to impress or to delight. For 3, Y68,000.

Rating: Food: 9/10; Wine 8/10; Ambience: 7/10; Service: 8/10; Price: 7/10. Total: 39/50 (4 Forks)

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