Food without memory is just digestion

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Alladin - Always a delight! [Redux]

Classic restaurants - like classic art, Gentle Reader - seem to get better with each visit. A recipe polished here and there; a deeper relationship 'twixt host and guest; an ever-so-slightly warmer welcome burnished by knowledge of both preferences and peccadilloes. It is both a joy and relief to slide easily into the comfortable, and a knowing smile replaces surprise and affectation.
Thus Alladin in Ebisu. Chef Kawasaki has refined his art over the years, as if charged with the pursuit of a culinary perfection that is both elusive and Elysian. Simple, classic food with a laser focus on quality produce and technique sharpened by repetition and refining. Food fashions come and go, fortunately. But chefs like M. Kawasaki always take you back to the roots of your love affair with food, and challenge your interpretation of technique with hints and whispers that delight the senses and ease the mind.
Mind you, you need to know your stuff to appreciate what's going on at Alladin. With only the slightest tinge of irony, Your Humble Correspondent recommends other venues if you seek steak frites or a quick Greek Salad. Chef Kawasaki is not your man. But if, like this blithe spirit, you feel up to the challenge Gentle Reader - then tally ho and damn the torpedoes.
Your Humble Correspondent visited Alladin again after a hiatus of some years, rekindling a relationship with a well-known foreign advertising identity. For the occasion, we revisited the meal we had at Alladin all those years ago (blogged here in 2006): fresh asparagus in a delightful butter sauce; chicken delivered that morning all the way from Brest; a Tarte Tatin that is the best in Tokyo, if not the entire world.
Exquisite and competent service, in a quiet and helpful way. Not needing to detail every ingredient, and lacking inappropriate theatre and unnecessary pomp. 
A coupe de champagne to toast and a demi of white to highlight the delicate flavors of the main course. Life at its best, lunch at its finest ...
Please visit Alladin soon, with friends and lovers rather than colleagues. Time at Alladin should be spent engrossed in companionship, not measured in minutes and billed in quarter-hours.
Pip! Pip!

Alladin: 1GFL, 2-22-10 Ebisu, Hiroo Riverside, Shibuya-Ku, Tokyo t:03-5420-0038
Rating: Food: 9/10; Magic: 8/10; Service: 8/10; Ambiance: 9/10; Price-Performance: 8/10. Total: 42/50 (4 Forks)

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