Saturday, 5 December 2009

Brasserie Manoir - Calm Sophistication

It can be tedious, Gentle Reader, to visit restaurants that have already been blogged by the nibbling crowds ... it can be so difficult to find something new to say, or a new way to say something. At the same time, there is such enormous variety and variation that I suppose one must struggle manfully through despite the mundane cacophony of varying opinions.

Your Humble Correspondent had wandered off the Brasserie Manoir in Ebisu with The Once and Future Blonde looking for a brief moment of culinary respite. Frankly, one gets the distinct feeling that many establishments are cutting costs a little too deeply and while we are not likely to return to the days of Chicken Kiev and Veal Cordon Bleu, many menus in Tokyo recently seem to trend to a vague beige jumble of low-cost, high-return winter-ish dishes. I swear I shall go a violent shade of purple if I am offered even one more haricot bean or ragout.

Manoir, happily, fell into none of these gastronomic cliches. I started with an excellent plate of seasonal vegetables which is somewhat of a speciality of the house, with good reason. Well presented, each of the offerings was delightfully tooth-ish and flavorsome. The Blonde was in raptures over a fois gras with a fig garnish, and our Sancerre Domaine du Nozay 2007 was a subtle partner for the flavors of both dishes.

Those of you who know your Humble Correspondent are aware of his predilection for all things porcine - so you can imagine how tickled I was to be offered a charcuturie of hand-made meats representing almost the entire anatomy of the noble swine. House-prepared ham, bacon, and sausage: all splendidly piggish. For Madame, a Beef Bourgogne that showed excellent balance between the meat and the accompaniments which is too often lacking when prepared by less experienced chefs.

Brasserie Manoir is an elegant and sophisticated venue, where attention to detail is obvious and the service is both professional and friendly. Toddle along there, Gentle Reader, when you're looking for culinary relief from the pressing hordes. And should you spy a strange creature in the corner strangely resembling a pig-man, toss a crust!

Brasserie Manoir [Map]: Hiroo 1-10-6; t: 03-3446-8288
Rating: Food 7/10; Wine: 7/10; Service: 8/10; Ambiance: 7/10; Value: 7/10. Total: 36/50