As introduced in my Japan Times column this week, La Bonne Table is the star of the new Coredo Muromachi buildings, in Nihonbashi. It's the "second restaurant" of L'Effervescence – meaning it's modern French too, but simpler in style – and it's very good.
Here are few more images from visits last month (and also earlier this month) at dinner and lunch. Starting with the very first dish that is served each time: a salad comprising of vegetables from (primarily) the pioneering Eco-Farm Asada, in Chiba.
At dinner, this will be followed by another "snack": deep-fried potatoes of a variety called Inca no Mezame (it's a cross-strain with spuds from the Andes). Very good, but dangerously filling at the start of the meal…
Which gets under way with some serious hors d'oeuvres. Such as this creamy soup made with new-season onions: Adorned with morsels of home-smoked bacon, charcoal-grilled new-potato gnocchi, oven-roasted beets and tender spinach leaf, a signature dish if ever there was one.
And this: a salad of charcoal-grilled sawara (Spanish mackerel) and burdock, also from Eco-Farm Asano, in a vinaigrette of dekopon citrus.
The bread is also excellent: it's a sourdough shipped up from Sucre Coeur in Osaka – one of the finest bakers in Japan.
And another little 'tween-dish palate cleanser: a thick, satisfying vegetable juice, made by blending up whatever is leftover and can't be served on the plate. Very refreshing.
As a main course, this one was excellent: Roast guinea fowl (horohoro-cho), served in a jus prepared with the bird's innards and semi-dried black olives, with green asparagus, shiitake and whole spelt (wheat)…
But for me this was the highlight: a single-serving pie stuffed with red-wine-simmered beef tail, potato, lotus root and garland chrysanthemum, accompanied by a vivid orange sauce of flavorful Aroma Red carrots.
So good it deserves the long, lingering close-up treatment…
As dessert, the Tochiotome strawberry soup was good. But the standout was this one: Pumpkin puree with vanilla, Earl Grey chiffon cake and Fourme d'Ambert blue-cheese ice cream with a thick, rich plum jam and a scattering of caramelised walnut. Well alright.
Finally, to close, and to go with our coffee, some little mignardises. They look like takoyaki balls, complete with daubings of "mayonnaise", and are served in just the same kind of "boat" made from a thin shaving of wood. But in fact they are chocolate...
Here's the team: Chef Nakamura in his kitchen; and at the door with the front-of-house staff.
And although the menu will have changed by now, this was how dinner (left) looked in April, and lunch in early May. Quite a lot of similarity there. Not that I was complaining: I went back and had pretty much the same meal again — and loved it!