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Quintessence dining roomBest French Restaurants

in Tokyo





Recommended reviews and articles about this restaurant:   Andy Hayler  /  David Kinch  /  picot-picot (Japanese)  /  SunnyPages  / (Japanese)






6:30 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.
(last order 9:00 p.m.)


12 noon - 3:00 p.m.

(last order 1:30 p.m.)




Closed Wednesdays



Restaurant Quintessence
Barbizon 25 Building
5-4-7 Shirokanedai, Minato-Ku
Tokyo Japan





  +00 81 3 5791 3715


  +00 81 3 5791 3716


Chef:   Shuzo Kishida

Official Site:

Yes Click here

Review of Restaurant Quintessence by David Kinch

From the Tokyo Journal article by Chef David Kinch that originally appeared on  © 2009 Used by permission.  All rights reserved.

Shuzo Kishida was the opening second under Pascal Barbot at L'Astrance in Paris where he remained for almost 4 years. He is an unabashed disciple of Chef Barbot, praising him above and beyond on his website and even patterning his menu format as the same as his mentor. So what is one going to get when you dine at his newly minted ***star in the Shirokane district?

Was it going to be a copy or an original cuisine brought on by the vagaries of ingredients and sensibilities of being halfway around the world within the framework of his mentor?

There are a lot of Japanese branches here of famous foreign chefs, and frankly amongst the locals in the know they don't speak highly of the franchises. Is Koshida his own man, paying his respects and acknowledging his mentor or is he the strangest sort of outpost, the one that doesn't even have a legitimate connection with the originator?

The restaurant is tucked away like a boutique on a beautiful little residential street. It has about 25 seats and a one menu only format based on the market.

We had a very good and interesting meal here; contemporary, filled with original ideas yet solidly based on simplicity and product.

There were some stunning dishes of the highest quality and of a memorable nature that speak of Kishida’s talent.

A bavarois of goat cheese from Kyoto, macadamia nuts with olive oil was a stunner that took my breath away. A light, ethereal cloud, so delicate that it fell apart almost if you blew on it, was flavored with a mild goat cheese fabricated in Kyoto, seasoned with fleur du sel and had small petals of blanched spring onion and thin pieces of shaved raw macadamia nut. It was barely moistened was a fragrant, just pressed olive oil from the south of France. So simple and beautiful, this was a noble dish with humble ingredients.

Two desserts stood out and have remained reference points for this meal.

Coconut custard was topped with virgin pistachio oil with a float of strong espresso. This was so satisfying, just outstanding sensibilities, balance and seasoning, bitterness playing a pleasing role, a theme that was played out often on this trip.

The finale, a dish of merengue brûlée ice cream was superb, finally, a refined dessert with a truly adult taste of marshmallow.

Other dishes of interest just below the heights of those include:

~A small tomato, peeled and then fried in the form of a beignet. Perched precariously on top were thin slices of marinated sardines, some shavings of raw fennel, and just a touch of fennel granite.

The tomato was raw, yet warmed through by the frying process. It burst its tomato water and seeds, which mingled with granite to become the sauce.

~Fat white asparagus from Japan of outstanding quality, gently warmed with pieces of bay scallop and very juicy clams. All sauced with a powerful seaweed butter.

~Ako fish from Kyushu. A member of the sea bream family, the filet was cooked whole at a very low temperature and then sliced into individual pieces as the skin then takes on a beautiful mother of pearl glow, like an abalone shell. Fiddle head ferns, flowering coriander and a delicate sauce made from salted cherry blossom leaves add a fleeting floral element. The fish was of an extremely excellent quality, an unsurprising theme that remained constant during the entire journey.

~French pintade, slowly roasted whole, impressed with a superb, gamey flavor. It was all framed with a condiment of a type of red treviso, roasted with raspberry vinegar and carrots.

Cheese consisted of a three year old Comté from the affineur Laurent Dubois.

Kishida talked about the one menu market concept, which was not well taken to in Tokyo and they struggled at first as people demanded choice. But he has stuck to his vision, and appears to be succeeding. He is a very talented young man and appears to be handling the high expectations and the ensuing pressure in good humor and stride. The heights of the bavarois, the quality of the game bird and the coconut with espresso are world class. He is his own cook without overt references to his master, all very admirable.

The restaurant is young like its chef and his team and he has the pressure of the stars but I think with a couple of tweaks with service and a bit more time under his belt it is going to be really scary how good he is going to be.

His potential is enormous.

1958 Meursault Tastevinage from the Chevalier du Tastevin.

1961 Ch. Brane Cantenac

restaurant Quintessence

(Highly recommended)

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