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The motto of Patisserie Hidemi Sugino states that "You won't find our pastries anywhere else;" a brave promise in light of the hundreds of high-class, highly inventive patisseries scattered around Tokyo. It is, however, a statement the store lives up to, for it has garnered such a reputation that there is a queue before the store even opens. The patisserie specializes in mousse cakes, in a variety of flavors that are usually seasonal and the deceptively simple appearance of the pastries melt away to reveal layers of flavor within. This is a must-stop for any dessert lover; just be prepared to wait for your turn to try the unique confections.
L'Effervescence is a wonderful restaurant by chef Shinobu Namae. Inspired by his mentors Michel Bras and Heston Blumenthal, Namae takes diners through a delightful gastronomic journey. The twist is not only a blend of Japanese ingredients with French techniques but also the dramatic presentation of every dish. This establishment has a feel of exclusivity in not only its location which is a bit difficult to find, but even in its publicity. It is just the word-of-mouth praise of its patrons that has created a stir in the culinary map of Tokyo. Truly a memorable dining experience that will remain etched in your mind for a long time.
Le Bretagne is a popular chain of coffee and crepe houses; the one near Omotesando Station, known as the Breizh Cafe, is bright and modern and cheery, a perfect atmosphere in which to enjoy a coffee and a crepe filled with salt butter caramel. The crepes are either made from wheat flour or the traditional Brittany buckwheat; the latter having a chewier texture, familiar to the Japanese through soba noodles. The chef often invites crepe masters to Tokyo, such is his dedication to the craft. A tasty, unpretentious slice of countryside France in the middle of Tokyo.
Cha-Cha No Ma is a beautifully simple Japanese tea-house, with an expert at the helm. Yoshi Watada, after experiencing the benefits of drinking lots of green tea, dedicated his life to tea studies and Cha-Cha No Ma is the result of his life's obsession. There is an impressive range of tea available - around forty varieties. And there is an imaginative, health-centered menu in the tearoom, where you can try the ten-vegetable miso soup, or maybe a refreshing scoop of matcha ice-cream.
Taiyaki Hiiragi is the place to be for a bite of the traditional Japanese dessert. This cozy little food-stand, doesn't disappoint with its delectable varieties of the distinct fish-shaped cake. Tickle your taste-buds and bring out your inner child with these little sweet treats. Freshly made on-site, the sweetened azuki beans and redbean filled cakes never fail to leave a lasting impression.
Located on the 52nd floor of the Park Hyatt, the New York Grill offers a spectacular American dining experience. With its floor-to-ceiling windows affords spectacular views of downtown Tokyo. Massive Italian paintings, vaulted ceilings and leather cushioned chairs add to the "wow-factor." Not to be outdone, the kitchen serves a spectacular continental menu with such dishes as steak tartar, grilled veal scallopini and plenty of seafood options as well. The wine list features only California vintages. Whether it is prix fixe or a la carte, the New York Grill serves American grilled delights to Tokyo with a side of elegance.
An array of continental and oriental fare adorns the buffet in this popular Shinjuku gathering place. Recently, a dessert buffet has been added. Decorated with enormous Japanese vases, the cozy clusters of tables and banquettes make the large room inviting. The many dishes include smoked salmon, duck terrine, shrimps and mini scallops, fish medallions with lemon and capers, and for dessert an ice cream station with fruit cocktail.
This cafe, housed in a beautiful traditional wood-paneled building, is a wonderful place to escape to and enjoy some matcha. Sit on tatami mats and look out at the Japanese garden - particularly beautiful in the fall when the maples tree leaves change color. Or try some of their interesting desserts; anmitsu is a local favorite, a bowl of jelly, fruit and red bean paste, best enjoyed on warm days. Koso-an also functions as a gallery as the tea-house's founder is a traditional doll-maker. You can see his dolls, made from crepe or vintage fabrics, displayed around the cafe.
Jiyugaoka is home to many of Tokyo's most prominent patisseries and even in this competitive neighborhood, Paris S'Eveille stands out. A must-try is the gateau Saint-Honore, a puff-pastry base upon which sit four choux pastries, glazed with caramel and topped with a hazelnut flavored caramel cream. Nearly all the confections in Paris S'Eveille are as decadent and moreish, and its continuing popularity with discerning locals merely lends credence to its impressive credentials.