Food without memory is just digestion

Thursday, 20 March 2008

A ta guele - please don't shut your mouth

I've written before, Gentle Reader, about my cohorts in the Tokyo Darkside - a fine assembly of ladies and gentlemen who enjoy gathering once a month for the company and good food. We started this little club because we came to the realization that we rarely took the time for friends, living this expat networking life on the gin-and-tonic front lines of Tokyo.

This time, it was with a touch of regret that we gathered at A ta guele [Map] to farewell brave Sir Roderick, off to the Antipodes on a year's academic adventure as part of something called sabbatical. Funny - no mention of the same in my contract...

What a lovely little gem! This restaurant, which seats only 15, leads one on an adventure through french cuisine with a particular focus on rich and lucious meat dishes. The extravagant menu is redolent with dishes more reminiscent of a chateau than in Tokyo. Game is a speciality, a fact obvious when one sees the partridge and pigeon hanging by the entrance.

Chef George Somura started his career at the Hotel Okura, and after a term at the Japanese Embassy in Brussels, went on to star on the Bangkok-Kuala Lumpur Orient Express and then Raffles in Singapore (your Humble Correspondent's favorite hotel in all the world). Some of you may know him from Stellato, but I for one believe the food and the imperative genius exhibited at A ta guele goes far beyond what I have experienced there.

Chef and his (by now exhausted) waiter did a great job in looking after the 14 of us, and while I probably shan't take a large group there again, we were all well-looked after. The wine list is reasonably priced, and has all the usual suspects.

Enjoy A ta guele with friends or lovers, rather than business colleagues (unless you're celebrating!).

Rating: Food: 7/10; Wine: 7/10; Ambiance: 8/10; Service: 7/10; Price ($$): 7/10. Total: 36/50
A ta guele [Map]: 1-23-15 Ebisu; (03-3449-8757); Closed on Mondays.

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