Unless you have x-ray vision, you’ll need to ask someone working in Park Court for help to find this buried treasure; like Tutankhamun’s mask, it’s deep behind metres of masonry, in this case a condominium block. Having found your way through the underground car park, up the narrow passageway and dodging the Anubis en route, you eventually come to a glass-walled dining room which is as quiet and respectful as King Tut’s resting place. Chef Keisuke Matsushima earned his stripes working in Nice, France, where his restaurant still retains a Michelin star, which explains the French haute cuisine menu and southern French wine list of this Harajuku branch. The chef also takes a contemporary French approach to dishes here, but combines this style with Japanese ingredients in innovative and successful ways.
Heritage varieties of purple Japanese tubers are integrated into a warm salad of perfectly pert mizuna, pretty as a picture, the combination with deep, earthy and mustardy flavours. Pork is given a more conventional treatment, as a tidy cube of perfectly tender confit with a just-right jus, with a stuffed daikon as the vegetable interest. European flavours are evident in a dish containing roast lamb, or quail wrapped in kadaif (Mediterranean brittle noodles, like shredded wheat). Every dish surprises with its mix of East and West; a dessert of frozen mascarpone cheese was encased in a mochi sleeve, with cream piping so tiny a seamstress would be proud of it. Our only quibble is that for the added 10% service charge, we had hoped for service that was better-judged, and speedier. For example, the wine waiter tried to take our order before we’d even seen the food menu, and settling the bill took nearly half an hour from the time we first flagged down an inattentive waiter.
|Venue name:||Keisuke Matsushima|
1F Park Court Jingumae, 1-4-20 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku
|Opening hours:||Mon-Sat 11.30am−3pm (last orders 2pm), 6pm−11pm (9pm); Sun 11.30am-3pm, 5pm-10pm|
|Transport:||Harajuku Station (Yamanote line), Takeshita exit; Meiji-Jingumae Station (Chiyoda, Fukutoshin lines)|
|Price:||Lunch from ¥3,000, dinner from ¥9,000|