March 18, 2013

Restaurant Review: Valentine's Dinner at Yotsuya Fuku

Japanese cuisine is a scrumptious labyrinth of traditions, seasonal ingredients, regional specialities and outright bizarre combinations, all of which make its dining scene a delicious triumph. Yotsuya Fuku, is one of a vanguard of cosy, often secret restau bars, helmed by genius chefs that push the envelope of Japanese cuisine to its limits. Exclusive, yet homely; esoteric, yet friendly, Yotsuya Fuku fits the bill as a paragon of Contemporary Japanese cuisine in an intimate setting.

Tucked-away in Shinjuku, Yotsuya Fuku is a place for locals in the know. With no sign, just a gorgeous wooden door to identify it, the restaurant was revealed to us by our friends Phil and Kiyoko, avid foodies who generously booked us in.
From the start, we knew this place was special. Tomonori and Miho Fukuda, the genius husband and wife team, greeted us at the door and led us to the chic bar. Dark woods, slate blue tiles and a gold palette lent an understatedly elegant touch. As per Phil’s instructions, we let Tomonori work his magic. Indeed he is a master, serving up modern twists on traditional flavours. For Tomonori and Miho, it starts with the highest quality organic ingredients, sourced from prefectures across Japan, giving us a geographic tour of Japan on our palettes. Japanese staples and even common vegetables are elevated to thrilling star-status, employing a full suite of flawless traditional and modern culinary techniques. Miho is a superb sommelier. Her expertise spans the full spectrum of wine and sake, able to serve up the perfect cup based on a few simple questions and a test taste. She keeps an impressive, yet lovingly chosen selection of sake and wine, including rare whites and reds from the northern prefectures.
Kiyoko kindly joined us for dinner, allowing us to spend an unforgettable evening with her and the Fukudas over degustation and Japanese wine. Like Tokyo, contemporary Japanese cuisine is a curious mix of the deeply traditional and experimentally avantgarde. The degustation menu was emblematic of this trend - clever, bold and courageous.

>Grapefruit and surf clam marinated with vinegar sauce

>Quintet of fried arrowhead and pond smelt, squid with broccoli and cauliflower hybrid, jellied blowfish skin and simmered oyster
>Savoy spinach and fried tofu skin - elegant in its simplicity
>Kansai white miso soup
Miho, describing our dish before we devoured it.
>Tuna toro and Blowfish sashimi
>Soft roe, Toro, rapaseed blossoms and konnyaku

>Boiled Bonito, boiled Japanese chives, gurnard, simmered

Chef's notes of our degustation menu.
>Tomonori’s signature pork shoulder
>Kumquat Creme Brulee, with white miso - a cheeky twist on creme bruleƩ, giving off a delightful Japanese flavour
With Kiyoko and the owners: Miho and Tomohino


Tomohino offered scrumptious home made soba. The spirit was willing, but the body was weak, so Kiyoko ordered a bowl for us to gander and drool at.

The Fukudas’ skill in the kitchen is only matched by their jovial spirit. Tomohino and Miho are splendid hosts - genius and congenial, explaining every dish to us, and even pulling out the word list when needed!
Despite the elegance, exclusivity and esoteric menu, Yotsuya Fuku isn’t a stiff place. With all the executives and locals crowded around over sake, it seems perfect for a nightcap, an afterwork meal or even to down some good sake with friends in the know.

What: Yotsuya Fuku Restaurant
Where: 4-28-8 Yonchome, Shinjuku
Website: http://yotsuya-fuku.com/
E-mail: info@yotsuya-fuku.com
Tel & Fax: 03-3356-1948
Capacity: exclusively intimate
Operating Hours: 5PM-12AM
Cuisine: Contemporary Japanese
Wine: Yes
Average dining cost: ¥10,000, $100 or ₱4-5,000 per person. Bring extra cash.


Our course included:
-Savoy spinach and fried tofu skin - elegant in its simplicity
-Grapefruit and surf clam marinated with vinegar sauce
-Quintet of fried arrowhead and pond smelt, squid with broccoli and cauliflower hybrid, jellied blowfish skin and simmered oyster
-Tuna toro and Blowfish sashimi
-Soft roe, Toro, rapaseed blossoms and konnyaku
-Boiled Bonito, boiled Japanese chives, gurnard, simmered
-Kansai white miso soup
-Tomonori’s signature pork shoulder
-Kumquat Creme Brulee, with white miso 

Pros:
- Genius, yet friendly husband and wife team will knock your socks off in the  kitchen
- Degustation to die for: gutsy flavour combos and organic ingredients sourced straight from their prefectures
- Looking for the perfect sake? Miho has you covered. She can also introduce - - Japanese wines which are surprisingly very good
- Entertaining and intimate setting - you’ll definitely feel special
- Superb service and hosting

Cons:
- You must know someone who knows this to find it - typically infallible taxi drivers even get into a fluster. It is a bit of secret treasure, after all
- It’s small, so bookings are a must
- If you came here looking for a ¥200 mug of Asahi, you’re in the wrong place, so start counting those pennies!


Hope this review helped. 
x
 Mark and Millie

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2 comments:

  1. How much did the tasting menu with matching wine pairing cost, please? Thanks

    ReplyDelete

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