When Paris’s best-known butcher decided to expand his restaurant chain beyond France, he knew exactly where to head. Judging by the long waiting lists for reservations after the 2015 opening, Ebisu was the perfect location for Hugo Desnoyer’s temple for meat worship. Although the restaurant hit a few snags and was forced to close temporarily in May 2017, there simply was no keeping good chef Hugo down: now backed by many of Tokyo’s well-heeled carnivores, his joint is back in business as of October 2017.
Befitting a man renowned for his obsession with rearing, selecting, slicing and cooking beef, this smart, informal eatery worships cattle (and, to a lesser extent, pork) at every opportunity – the downstairs counter is topped with huge slabs of raw beef on wooden boards, a chart on a blackboard by the entrance shows every cut of meat in a cow, and the chairs and stools throughout the restaurant are covered in cowhide.
The steak tartare, a glistening patty of raw Japanese beef seasoned with salt, pepper, Italian olive oil and lemon juice, might just be the city’s finest. The steaks, meanwhile, prepared under the watchful eye of the chef, are glorious – the French rib-eye has a perfectly charred crust, a blush of pinkness at its centre, the optimum amount of fat for full flavour, and is graced with a simple sprinkling of rock salt. It’s served with crisp-on-the-outside, fluffy-on-the-inside Hokkaido roast potatoes. Unsurprisingly, such magnificent hunks of pure beefy pleasure come at a seriously hefty price – expect to pay upwards of ¥15,000 per person for a meal with drinks.
|Venue name:||Hugo Desnoyer|
3-4-16 Ebisu-Minami, Shibuya-ku
|Opening hours:||11am-3pm (last orders 2pm), 5pm-11pm (10pm)|
|Transport:||Ebisu Station (Yamanote, Saikyo, Shonan-Shinjuku, Hibiya lines), west exit; Daikanyama Station (Tokyu Toyoko line)|