Food without memory is just digestion

Thursday, 29 January 2009

Le Remois ... Branding Rules!

Gentle Reader, I've been distracted of late with a four-letter word ("W**K") and not up to my usual habit of correspondence with you. Fey, I know, but a sad reflection of these troubled times. Fancy, my patron (employer) requiring some return on the meager allowance (salary) - a mere pittance! - that he provides. What is the world coming to?

Your Humble Correspondent did indeed dine with Jon recently, and a jolly repast it was too. As the poet says, "It is the faire acceptance, Sir, creates The entertainment perfect: not the cates." (c. 1616) For those not familar with Elizabethan English, what Jonson means is that the company is more important than the fare.

A fortuitious happenstance, as Le Remois is perhaps better suited to our less worthy brothers and sisters. The food is reasonable, the wine list unremarkable yet affordable, the service weak, and the decor bland. We both enjoyed the grilled asparagus as a starting dish - after all vegetables are an important part of the food chain although I must confess to preferring mine via some ruminant rather than a la mode.

His Lamb Navarin came interestingly packaged in a splendid cassoulet pan and was suitably bean-y. Navarin is a French ragout of lamb or mutton. I suspect the dish was actually navarin printanier given the added vegetables, but describing it as such would probably be wasted on most of this establishment's patrons. While some say the name "navarin" relates to the 1827 Battle of Navarino, I would fain suggest that because there is plenty of literary reference to the dish before said battle we agree with Larousse that it refers to the traditional turnips -- navet, in French.

My confit de canard was serviceable, although I'm sure connoisseurs would perhaps be a little disappointed. Not Jon - he thought it was quite good but you can never quite trust these foreign types, can you?

The problem with Le Remois is that it is all far too predictable, and entirely consistent with "chef as a brand" rather than creating good food for appreciative customers. Reminiscent of Gordon Ramsay with Plane Food at Heathrow rather than a superb restaurant like Hospital Road. Chef Isaki Yanagidate at Reims Yanagidate is a genius, but Le Remois is not worthy of him.

Le Remois [Map]: 5th Floor, Shinmarunouchi Bldg, 1-5-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-Ku. T: 03-5224-8771
Rating: Food: 6; Drinks: 7; Service: 4; Ambiance: 5; Price: 6 ($$). Total 28/50

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