Food without memory is just digestion

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Potager Vegetable Sushi

It has been some time, Gentle Reader, since Your Humble Corespondent last forced his unwelcome presence on your attention. For reasons completely beyond a reasonable person's ken, he has been lashed to the wheel of the fair ship Neways to steer a path to calmer waters. A little reminiscent of lunatics taking over the asylum, but still ...

Nonetheless, one has to dine. If possible, dine well. Hopefully, dine extravagantly.

In this spirit of exuberance, we recently ventured to Potager in Roppongi at the invitation of the Texas Ranger. Heaven only knows what one might expect from the Chuck Norris of all things telephonic, but on this occasion he outdid himself.

Potager is a true temple to gastronomy, a beacon of hope in the dreary luncheon landscape of Tokyo. One hopes you are seated, Gentle Reader, as you read this - but Potager is a vegetable sushi establishment that excels at its trade and its craft.

After choosing an organic French white wine as our soporific of preference, we opted the luncheon course which features a variety of dishes that, after some flirtation with brilliant imo amuses and a simple plate of perfect asparagus, build to a crescendo with six delightful morsels of vegetable nigiri-zushi and then powers all the way onto a vegetable chirashi-zushi that stuns both the eye and mouth. A wonderfully rich soup rounds out a fairly substantial set that comes at quite a refreshingly reasonable price. The dessert course was delightful, following through on the vegetable theme with panache and flavor.

Having just last week enjoyed Sushi Mizutani with a magnanimous and discerning visitor (more to follow), Your Humble Correspondent was fully prepared to be disappointed by the notion of sushi rice topped with plant matter. Oh fickle fussy one! How, I hear you asking, could EOIT doubt the art of Potager?

Be not afraid. This is not your mother's vegetables, boiled into submission or mashed into pap in order to somehow fool the taste buds of the unsuspecting young. Each example is lovingly fussed over, its smallest details given attention to, each curve and bud plumped to its fantastic best.

Truth be told, Potager is an example of chefs being creative and playful with food. It's this sort of experience that drives one to new venues rather than some vain hope of finding the perfect blancmange. Cooking is less about personality than it is about playfulness - bravo Potager for having the courage to stay curious.

Visit Potager with your curious and sadly juvenile friends, and make sure you don't ruin the atmosphere by talking about business! And don't mind the lurking stranger... I've got to make friends somehow.

Potager : Roppongi Keyakizaki Dori, Roppongi Hills, 6-9-1-1F, Roppongi, Minato-ku. t: 03-3497-8822
Rating: Food: 8/10; Wine: 7/10; Service: 7/10; Ambiance: 8/10; Price-Performance: 7/10. Total: 37/50 (3 Forks)

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