Friday, 8 August 2014

Trois Quart: An Elegant Algorithm

There's a lot to be said, Gentle Reader, for dining in the suburbs. While Your Humble Correspondent is certainly a creature of both habit and convenience, there is a certain happy tension created when a meal requires a journey to become reality. Venues far from the glittering lights need to perform on a daily basis, and they need to be focused on "jo-ren" regular customers who can make or break the business. So while places listed in Michelin and other guides can rely on third-party publicity, those that are more "location-challenged" have to rely on word-of-mouth from their existing customers. In fact, while it's likely a little extreme, the Kyoto dialect of Japanese even goes to considerable lengths to distinguish between various classes of customers based on their value to the operation.
At Bistro Trois Quarts, this "jo-ren" philosophy has been woven into the very fabric of the business. You see, Gentle Reader, a reliable rule of thumb for aspiring restauranteurs is good food + good wine + good service + good customers = success! Algorithmically, a culinary 4G...
Here, the algorithm ripples even as far
as the restaurant's name, which is French(ish) for "three quarters". The assumption is that they provide the first three and you and I, Gentle Reader, are responsible for the fourth.
We (yours truly and The Once and Future Blonde) recently wound our way to Bistro Trois Quarts in Wakabayashi where one of Tokyo's two tramlines feverishly clatters its way through the Shouin-jinja-mae (a shrine named for the Edo Period educator Yoshida Shouin) Station. A station admittedly without ticket wickets, but still a station.
The restaurant is located immediately on the western end of the platform, on the second floor up a left-handed double flight of stairs. If you perhaps find yourself staring into an admittedly inviting boulangerie, you're on the wrong side of the tracks (... and we all know what that means).
Chef Kinoshita and his lovely wife run this happy little nook like a well-oiled machine, and there is a warm and generous bonhomie at play here that turns a crass commercial arrangement into a thoroughly enjoyable dinner with friends.
The menu is simple but diverse, and there are more than enough bistro favourites to satisfy even the most demanding customer. Actually, one imagine it is probably hard to be demanding in the face of such an accommodating and genuinely friendly mine-host team! The wine list is wonderfully interesting, and (this is becoming a habit!) very politely priced. We enjoyed a very more-ish Limoux white that grew more complex in the glass and was the perfect foil to deftly prepared food for which one would pay much more closer to the frenetic heart of the city. 
Bistro Trois Quarts certainly lives up to its part of the algorithmic bargain, and you should certainly plan to visit with friends and lovers. If you live in Setagaya, this should become a go-to for a pleasant meal-a-deux or mange-a-trois.
And that portly chap staring up from the platform? Well, don't mind me ... I'll likely join you for a pipe of port!
 
Pip! Pip!
Bistro Trois Quarts: 4-21-4 Wakabayashi, Setagaya-ku Tel/Fax: 03-5787-6362
Rating: Food: 7/10; Algorithm: 8/10; Service: 8/10; Ambiance: 7/10; Price-Performance: 8/10. Total: 38/50 (3 Forks)

2 comments:

guren said...

I noticed that the last 3 restaurants that you reviewed (Adenia, Au Coin du Feu, Bistro Trois Quarts) are all included in EATPIA's portfolio. Would I be correct in assuming this is not just a coincidence?

guren said...

I noticed that the last 3 restaurants that you reviewed (Adenia, Au Coin du Feu, Bistro Trois Quarts) are all included in EATPIA's portfolio. Would I be correct in assuming this is not just a coincidence?