It was recently my birthday and as a treat, my lovely Squidward treated me to some very very delicious meals. First, an oldie but a goodie, Il Mulino. Il Mulino in Tokyo (there's one in NY too) is a great place to go if you're hungry and like Italian food. Like, real Italian food, not Spaghetti made with ketchup. Before you sit down at your table, there's already 4 plates of antipasti waiting for you. That's my kind of restaurant. A word to the wise, the specials never change. Another word to the wise, get the specials.
Now on to the main event. On Sunday night, Squids and I headed to Joel Robuchon, which is housed in this random chateau in the middle of Ebisu Garden Place next to the Yebisu Beer Museum. Classy! A quick run down: Joel Robuchon has the most Michelin stars in the world, this one has 3 and he was named "Chef of the Century" by some people. Oh, and he's cool enough to appear on Top Chef! Last year, I had my birthday lunch at L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon in Roppongi. It was a takeout chicken sandwich with brie and a side of Perrier. Oh how I'm moving up in the world!
I really liked the waitstaff. Fine dining can be really annoying and people take themselves way too seriously. But the staff at Joel Robuchon were fun, funny and kept a close but not too close eye on us. We started making Sweet and Low castles and counting all the dessert spoons on the table and our waiters thought it was very funny and joked around with us. It really put me at ease.
Did you know that petit fours does not mean that you get to choose 4 small little dessert treats from the petit fours cart? Yeah, me neither. (It means "small oven" and you can have as many as you want! Even better!)
No Joel Robuchon, thank YOU! Get ready for a bold, but factual statement: This is the best meal and best restaurant I've ever had. Yes, even better than Ko. First of all, this meal had about 17 dishes and every single one was interesting and delicious. If you ever have the chance to check it out, please do it! It is fantastic.
By the way, what kind of people eat at Joel Robuchon? Former heads of state, that's who! On this particular night, we were surprised to see that our neighbor was none other than former Prime Minister Taro Aso! Well, we didn't notice until he got up to leave and only because Squids was mocking his amazing leather briefcase/clutch type thing. Taro Aso, by the way, is pretty cool. He's only my 2nd favorite Japanese politician (first place goes to Junichiro Koizumi because he looks like my dad and has AWESOME hair) but he's a pretty cool guy to see at a fancy dinner. According to his wikipedia entry, he loves fine dining! And now I can vouch for that.
Why hello there birthday present! Happy birthday to me!