Tokyo Table Trip

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別誤會我。我從未搭乘日航頭等艙飛行過。即使我能付得起頭等艙的高昂票價,也不會搭乘。就算是商務艙,對我而言也太奢侈。一個人究竟需要多少空間或奢侈呢?事實上,一趟沒有多餘矯飾的精打細算航班,對於我的旅程已經過於足夠。
但是你有沒有好奇過,像頭等艙乘客一般用餐會是什麼樣子?特別是在日航飛機上呢?這會是一切精緻用餐體驗的縮影嗎?像是對少數位居高層特權人士那樣嗎?日航頭等艙上菜單的亮點,是在他們航程中備餐時,有兩種懷石風格,以及一種西式風格美食。我想評論一下在日航頭等艙乘客航程中,有他們菜單的三家餐廳。

神樂坂的兩家懷石料理餐廳

神樂坂的兩家懷石料理餐廳
石川和琥珀兩家餐廳都位於神樂坂,距離飯田橋車站只需走一小段路,而且彼此相距不遠。這是一個日落之後充滿活力的地區。神樂坂石川是群組中第一家餐廳。石川主廚原籍是新潟人。琥珀的主廚過去曾在石川受教,琥珀的主廚後來成為在日本博得米其林三星的最年輕主廚。在這個群組包括蓮在內,共有三家餐廳。

比起在日本的其他懷石料理餐廳,石川和琥珀兩家都有相對較大的營運。石川有 7 個櫃台座位和 18 個雅室座位,琥珀則有 6 個櫃台座位和 18 個雅室座位。這種容量讓我想到龍吟,它在距離廚房較遠處設有用餐餐桌。這和在西方與亞洲其他國家的餐廳佈局相同,然而與在烹調區主廚的互動則被降到最低。

這兩家都是米其林三星的懷石料理餐廳,所以用餐客能確實期待,從精美餐具、裝潢、繪畫到藝品的米其林三星款待。這兩家餐廳受到許多知名國際美食部落客的喜愛,並且為餐廳發出無盡讚頌。餐廳有會說英語的員工,讓顧客的日子比較好過。在過去,石川甚至有說英語的員工來處理預約詢問。然而,他們已將海外顧客的所有預約移交給委托人,所以現在也能在線上預約。

◆石川(石かわ)

第一道開胃菜是鱧配高湯凍。我發現高湯凍比其他懷石料理餐廳要甘甜。隨後跟著的是油炸大翅鮶鮋。就開胃菜而言,是黃帶擬鰺配烤茄子。我吃了比目魚和兩種海膽。海膽頗為甘甜。當我在稍早的秋季光顧時,我有機會試吃香氣濃郁的油炸松茸。接著,我們邁向烤鰻菜餚和紅燒鴨。在東京通常不吃鴨子。除了京都外,我在日本主食中很少看見任何鴨類菜餚。石川也供應毛蟹火鍋,適合秋季的涼夜。在米食菜餚上,我吃了赤鯥飯。這頓晚餐以各種精選葡萄和杏仁凍做結尾。

◆琥珀

我的用餐從蓴菜凍開始,味道頗為爽口。下一道菜餚是油炸香魚沾鮮奶油、這道菜餚顯示小泉先生對使用西式食材並不排斥。就碗食而言,我吃了高湯蝦球,接著是紅燒切片黑唇鮑魚。有提供烤劍魚(帶魚),因為在那個月份正當時令。有趣的一道菜餚是甜玉米配飯,而且教我們要用海苔包裹著吃。下一道菜餚是上面覆有海膽的葛餅。這是我首次吃到鹹味菜式的葛餅,我相信葛餅麵條不容易準備的好。在我的用餐體驗中,曾經只有一種輕盈如空氣的完美葛餅,但是如今我再也找不到合乎這種體驗的葛餅。

我觀察到琥珀有一位極為年輕的副廚,他年僅 21 歲。這位年輕老弟靈巧的準備著多道菜餚,而且難以置信的專注。我的預測是他如果繼續像這樣工作,有朝一日會成為絕佳主廚。

米飯菜餚是鍋燒米飯配野生鰻魚。小泉主廚堅持使用最佳食材。雖然琥珀是一家大餐廳,但是小泉主廚會定時問候他所有的客人。他是最有魅力、英語又好的日本主廚之一。

我會推薦這兩家餐廳給:
1. 想征討美食紅皮書上的米其林三星,或是 Tabelog 金 / 銀獎的有抱負國際級饕客。
2. 屬於大團體的用餐客。
3. 想坐在餐桌上從事私人談話而不想坐櫃台的用餐客。兩家餐廳都有餐桌座位可選。

不難想像日航的頭等艙為什麼會挑選石川和琥珀,因為他們的菜單能適應較大的運作,而且能以大批量事先準備。

那麼在石川或琥珀之間要如何抉擇。主要差異在於你是否喜歡一些傳統風味還是一些現代氣息。總而言之,石川比較傳統而琥珀不排斥使用西式食材。如果你不介意看見鮮奶油、乳製品衍生物或是西式食材,或者是個喜歡現代風味的用餐客,琥珀會是更佳選擇。個人而言,我喜歡比較傳統一些的,但是我的個人抉擇會是琥珀,我發現他們更有意思。

我不會把這兩家推薦給:
1. 想要小家庭經營餐廳的魅力與好客作風的用餐客。
2. 不在乎勾消 Tabelog 或是米其林讚譽清單的用餐客。

Maison,由超級年輕才氣主廚新開設的餐廳

為日航創造出頭等艙航程中菜單的主廚之一,是渥美宗田主廚。對我而言,渥美主廚是一位閃亮的超級明星主廚。他人在巴黎時,在小丑吧 (Clown Bar) 的菜單撼動了巴黎的用餐場景。他的皮蒂維耶派更是寧死也要吃。我相信他是巴黎第一位將羔羊腦入菜上桌的,菜餚看來就像腦子。當我在 2017 年聽說渥美主廚失控時,我興奮的無以名狀。後來他開設了自己的新餐廳,Maison。

在日本國外有許多新人日本主廚。沖山勝明是 Robuchon 的一員,跟他全為日籍的 Abri 組員,以他的特調 Katsu 三明治令巴黎喜悅。[[[AUTHOR: Please check "Maison, the newly opened restaurant by super young talented chef." It appears to be a sentence fragment. Thank you!]]] 還有久田哲也僅用他的品嚐菜單,便打入雪梨精緻餐飲。Béni 的山中賢治主廚,曾經在多家米其林星級餐廳工作,並且迅速在新加坡獲得粉絲。香港 Ta vie 的主廚佐藤秀明,得到該地區認可,並且一度讓天空龍吟躍居亞洲 50 家最佳餐廳名單中。匠的森大新是 Robuchon 的另一成員,他得到首顆米其林星級,並以他的高級食材而聞名。這些只是因為我最近光顧而在腦海中想到的,還不包括頂尖壽司主廚如荒木主廚,他在遷往香港的 House 1881 新店之前,曾在倫敦嬴得用餐者的心。

但是並非所有在西方的日籍主廚都真的很棒。例如,儘管受到美食評論家喜愛,紅孩兒市場的生田昌秀,只能哄騙在巴黎的外國觀光客。但是我不會向任何友人推薦這家餐廳。儘管網路行銷良好,然而我知道有許多人會藉由炫耀他們在米其林星級餐廳的體驗,而使他們為餐廳背書。使讚譽變成隨手可得。它的料理沒有太多值得我向任何人推薦的。我發現多數美食觀光客才會去那裡。
回到 Maison,渥美主廚在 2019 年 9 月開設他的新餐廳。我在開張的三個月後,亦即所有新餐廳都需要彌平問題的時段之後才預約光顧。很湊巧,我的預約是在法國數十年以來最大罷工的週末當天,所以除了大眾交通受到干擾外,還有許多催淚彈和逮捕行動,使得整個國家陷於癱瘓。然而我不會讓任何事情,不論是颱風或是國內動亂,阻擋在我和用餐計劃之間。

Maison,在法文的意思是「家」,是位於巴黎第 11 區的一家有 40 個座位的餐廳,距離我最喜愛的頂尖韓國主廚皮耶尚以及拉雪茲神父公墓不遠,這墓園是吉姆莫里森和許多歷史人物的最終長眠之地。

渥美先生是他這一代的頂尖主廚。他的作法極具啟發性而且大膽,呈現出日式情懷又有無可置疑的法國風味。我的用餐始於以不同食材調製的迷你水果塔。他把洋蔥焦糖化,而且我喜愛這種梅納效應。麵包是用來自義大利摩德納的開放式烤爐自行烘焙的。紅鯔菜餚很好。儘管如此,但我已被日本最佳海鮮寵壞了。歐洲沒有很多魚販具有類似活締處理的技術,這有助於將他們的魚類保持最佳狀態。鴿肉主菜搭配 salsifi(英語名為婆羅門參),還有配上貝類湯汁的鴿配肝醬麵條,簡直超乎這個世界。鴿子烹調成半熟的完美境界。肝醬的深沉口味令人難忘,使滋味縈繞於口齒之間。婆羅門參是與蒲公英同科的根莖類蔬菜,儘管你若不仔細看,其外觀與牛蒡類似,但是口味不同,而且似乎有更多纖維。婆羅門參是季節性的:從 10 月到元月。多數米其林星級餐廳會向大市場採購,然而渥美先生有向當地較小市場採買的經驗,這樣可以提供當日最佳貨源。這跟在日本採買原料食材類似。

甜點是塔廷蘋果塔,一道經典法國甜點,也許是由塔廷女士們(塔廷旅館的塔廷姊妹)意外創造的,現在流行到全世界。這可不是任何尋常的塔廷蘋果塔。我前一天在伯努瓦也吃過塔廷蘋果塔,但是渥美先生的塔廷蘋果塔,毫無疑問是最棒的塔廷蘋果塔。選擇烹調後不會變成蘋果醬而仍能保持外形的蘋果至關重要。渥美先生為每一份都使用整顆蘋果。這一點又是簡單的像是騙人,然而美味卻超乎言詞。

渥美先生的料理是頂級的,然而菜餚既不是,也不假裝是經典的米其林三星料理,所以你看不到大量泡沫、花俏繪畫和超奢華食材。他的午餐和晚餐大多有標價,範圍大約從 55 歐元到 90 歐元,相較於某些巴黎餐廳則為 1,000 歐元。

服務非常好,而且我接受他國際化組員的服務感覺很放鬆。他們不像在美國的餐廳,沒有為每張餐桌指派特定侍應員工,以便不同員工能端上不同菜餚。在我左側上菜的法國人用法文解說,而在另一側,有另一位友善的日本女士用日文解說。還有一位侍者跟我說英語。如果你通曉多種語言,會喜愛這種體驗。

結論
如果我要搭乘日航頭等艙,根據我在他們餐廳的經驗,以及對於不當場準備懷石料理的質疑,我會選擇 Maison 的菜單,因為我相信懷石料理只該當場準備。一旦美食離開主廚的手,最佳品味時刻便會迅速消逝。如果你正好人在巴黎,請不要錯過光顧 Maison 的機會。

Writer:Localtaste

「Local taste 」早在社群媒體出現之前,就開啟了尋找美食的漫長旅程,從一個城市漫遊至另一個城市,從遠東地區到西方,走過四大洲 160 個以上的城市,在過去 37 年,跋涉超過 400,000 英里的距離。
他在數千個不同的餐廳用過餐,從亞洲的一處牆洞內,一直到巴黎所有獲得米其林3星榮譽的十家餐廳,還花了幾十年的時間在追尋完美的小籠包。
由於他並非從事餐飲相關行業,也不是美食作家,因此您在別處看不到他的文章,tokyotabletrip.com 是唯一獨家刊登 Leo Saito 文章的媒體,以藉此感謝他在幫助各國旅客發掘日本料理之美所做出的無私貢獻。

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localtaste

Pen magazine just published a very nice article about Sota Atsumi in his own words. I hope TTT readers might like it. https://pen-online.com/food/sota-atsumi-a-natural-chef/?scrolled=2

8 个月 ago

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Shi

Thank you so much for the review @localtaste - We'll be flying back home from our trip in Japan in JAL First so this is especially relevant for us and as such sincerely appreciated! Grateful for your analysis and recommendations.

8 个月 ago

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localtaste

Thank u for your kind words. I’m pleased to hear it’s useful. Timing in Kaiseki / Kappo is everything. Even seconds fidgeting with one’s camera will be enough to make topkaiseki chef cringe. Beyond 20,000 feet above the ground, air pressure & lack of humidity level will also impact your sense of taste and smell. That’s why airplane food is salty.

I’d love to hear your feedback after your inflight dining experience.

8 个月 ago
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Shi

We'll definitely report back with thoughts on the experience! Thank you again @localtaste

8 个月 ago
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guest

i have flown JAL first class north america route for over dozen time or more, dating back to the days where the washoku option used to be created by Ryugin instead of Kohaku/Ishikawa combo, and the western option created by Edition Koji instead of Sugalabo. I had dined on all the restaurant meal both on the ground and up in the air. JAL first class meal is still my top 3 of all the first class meal among the airlines i have tried ( singapore, air france, ana, emirates, swiss,cathay pacific, asiana, qatar, lufthansa, garuda, ...etc) but there is still a considerable gap from what you get when you dined at the restaurant in the ground, mainly because food are served a la minute especially the hot meal

8 个月 ago
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Shi

Upon your advice both my wife and myself opted for the Western set, it was quite tasty however as we expected it was not quite at the level of restaurants on the ground. Despite this disparity it was still a very enjoyable experience and I was happy just to have the opportunity to try it!

I found the seasoning of the food to be just about right considering the atmospheric conditions which was a relief as the outbound business class meal on JAL tasted quite salty to me. I did wonder if that was due to the higher humidity from flying on a 787 and not having the food adjusted for that.

Given the opportunity I would be curious to try the kaiseki options as well just for the sake of comparison but wanted to reiterate I was quite happy with the entire experience.

7 个月 ago
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localtaste

@Shi glad to hear that u enjoyed the experience and traveled back home safely. If u picked up the difference from having the western option at 35,000ft, Kaiseki would be unacceptable. If chefs got upset to see their food quality drops even after 5 mins, this is much worst to precooked and serve much higher above the ground.

Dreamliner is much better when it comes to raising up the humidity level, comparing to older planes. It’s an engineering challenge to raise humidity to our desired level at such height.

I hope you both stay safe. Too much going on around. Please take care.

4 个月 ago
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Shi

@localtaste Thank you so much for your well wishes. We are hoping for the best for you and yours as well!

4 个月 ago

Menchikatsu

Wonderfully refreshing article, localtaste and Saito-san. It's something new, not often spoken about, and fits exactly the tone of your travelers experience site.

I touched on the topic in ChuToroZuke's page, about JAL's recent BEDD menu, and their decision to bring on some high profile chefs.

I've had the good fortune of traveling a couple times recently on Japan Airlines' business class, and sampled their food menu. The Japanese movie selection and big individual tv is probably the biggest plus. I've sat just about everywhere on a JAL plane, from the very back, and once in my life in first class, when I was much younger. Something particularly funny as a memory for me, was why I noted their service was much better than all other airlines. Not only was I seated right in the center, in a leather reclining sofa. But they would bring me any kind of alcohol I wanted. I was... not 'of age' at the time. Nobody around me knew, because they were all asleep, thanks to the comfy chair, haha.

I've only tried the business class level for the new menu. But I asked to see what first class was eating, and it read on the Ishikawa/Koizumi offering, a course including sukiyaki/shabu.
From what I remember of my meal at Kohaku, the dashi gelee was really quite good. Rather than unagi, the rice pot for the night was turtle. We were seated at a table, and my assumption was that counter seats are much more enjoyable and exciting, as it's a somewhat boring room without the direct interaction. I do remember the one time he greeted us on our way out, and his excellent English. "My name is Koji," he said.
I've not been to Ishikawa, but my friend said he drank with them as the last guest seating, and it was a blast. I once watched a documentary, where it shows their prep process, and how the whole team is made to taste every ingredient early that day.
I have an appointment to eat at their apprentice's restaurant in America, Hayato.

Is Maison... related to the current tv show Le Grand Maison, starring Kimura Takuya? Hahaha. I caught one episode, and noticed they utilize real restaurants to do the food styling. Quite noticeable on this episode, were the unmistakable dishes at Quintessence.

I believe, at least until this recent addition of Atsumi, that Yosuke Suga looks over the first class western dining option.
On business, Jun Kurogi makes the Japanese menu.
Curiously... these two previous names were both the picks for the attempt at relaunching the Iron Chef tv show. I made note of that, the minute I saw their faces on the menu.
Shinobu Namae of L'Effervescence handles the business class western menu. If ChuToroZuke is reading, because I know you're a fan of this restaurant. JAL has quite a respectable sake menu too, I remember seeing Zaku and Toyobijin on the list. You used to get your own individual little bottle, but now they pour from a large format bottle.
For snacks, you can even order a Tsuta branded noodle.

8 个月 ago

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localtaste

Thank u for your thought. Maison by Sota Atsumi isn’t related to the Drama Grand Maison though. it should be a pure coincidence as Maison is a common word. The last good movie about food I watched was 飲食男女. https://youtu.be/1-2QBYKI8LU

I tried Jun Kurogi’s bento at Kuriyakashi Kurogi, Tokyo University. Not the most exciting bento I had. It’s better to leave this to eki bento specialist as they know which food still taste ok even time is passing by. Stuff like saba bozushi might last longer. Leo’s suggestion for Saba bozushi in his Kyoto restaurant article is pretty good.

It’s the feedback from other experienced readers like yourself that will help other readers with more opinions / real experience. I believe my preference might not represent the final verdict of any kind, except food for thought for people who are gathering info. After all, each trip is costly and nothing worse than a failed dinner.

8 个月 ago
Blackglasses1

Menchikatsu

Your feedback and insight is always appreciated localtaste, thank you again.

I guess it's a coincidence with Maison, hah. But I thought it was a funny one, and hard to overlook. The restaurant by Atsumi in Paris looks very good, and I like the implementation of Japanese methods like ikejime, and basing a menu off the best ingredients of the day. In California, there is a 'farm to table' culture of restaurants that only cook what's available from the market that morning. In the east, in contrast, there seems to be a growing interest in preserving in jars, to extend the life of ingredients that would otherwise go bad. An example is pickled ramps in NY, to go far beyond their 3 week window. It's as prized as hana sansho, but on the east coast US.

The link you've attached, 'Eat Drink Man Woman'. It's a classic of immigrant Chinese storytelling cinema. I often think of it alongside Joy Luck Club. Great movies.

I agree with you on bentos. A company that knows it in and out, understands how to maximize shelf life, by the minute. Test kitchens do extensive research for this. I sometimes think Family Mart, Lawson, or 7 Eleven would make superior airplane food. More fun too.

I'm not even remotely experienced in fine dining, in comparison. I'd like to at least try some of the Michelin *** restaurants in Paris, as you have. Alain Passard's Arpege has been on my list for far too long. I'd also like to try food by chef Yannick Alleno. It's difficult enough trying to cover Tokyo.

Your attention to detail (exhibited especially in your excellent unagi articles) is always well received.

8 个月 ago

guest

Thanks for the review. Given the tone, you don’t Think the kaiseki restaurants deserve their accolades?

8 个月 ago

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guest

@guest i think you miss the point. Localtaste is just saying that they are great places, but not worth the trouble if you are not chasing for names or prefer counter experience.
Maison is better food for a jal flight as kaiseki food should not be prepared in advance.

8 个月 ago
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localtaste

@guest (2) thank u for your help / clarifying. My writing at times can be very confusing.

8 个月 ago

Leo Saito

chief editor, TokyoTableTrip

This is the latest article written by localtaste. The part about Maison, the new restaurant that Sota Atsumi opened in Paris, is a must-read for foodies!

8 个月 ago

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