Edition Koji Shimomura (エディション・コウジ シモムラ)

Passing some time on the online Michelin guide, I randomly stumbled upon what sounded like an interesting, two-starred Michelin establishment.  Edition Koji Shimomura may at first appear to be another French restaurant run by a Japanese chef who trained in France, came back to Japan, and established his own restaurant here.  However, the restaurant clearly sets itself apart by stating its mission to create delicious French-influenced cuisine without relying on the standard, almost stereotypical hallmarks of French cuisine- heavy ingredients like butter, cream, oil, and fat.  Indeed, Midori and I have cut back on visiting French restaurants because while delicious, we always end up with upset stomach a few hours later.  Eww.

Anyways, the deal was sealed when I found that Edition was running a promotion.  For first time visitors, they had a special, limited edition menu for a mere 10,000 yen per person.  It only lasts until October 17th, so I snagged a reservation as quickly as possible.  Wine comes in at 1500-2500 a glass, with pairings starting at 5500 for 3 glasses (including champagne to start).  Quite reasonable.

Edition is located about a 10 minute walk from Roppongi station and the main crossing.  It’s on the main street, but far removed from all the hustle, bustle, and unpleasantness of Roppongi.  You can also access it directly from Roppongi Icchome station.  It’s located inside an office building on the first floor.  We visited on a Saturday and it was very quiet and peaceful in the area.  The restaurant itself is quite small with only two 4-tops and six 2-tops.  The staff is very attentive and friendly, especially the head server whose name unfortunately escapes me.  He would sometimes chime in on our conversation, but was never intrusive.  He explained to us the challenges of importing fois gras from France, the reason the forks were placed face-down (a nod to Renaissance-era French dining), and many other details of our meal.  It all made for a very pleasant evening.

Let’s eat Edition Koji Shimomura!

IMG_4432First, the amuse bouche- a chip made from a cassava potato, a potato that contains no gluten, coated with parmesan cheese and tomato.  Crisp and flavorful.  This was served in beans, which are not edible.

IMG_4430The course got started with a huge bang.  An oyster atop a milk-based mousse containing seaweed and more oyster.  The jelly is made of seawater and lemon, topped with roasted seaweed.  Served cold, this was a wonderfully crafted, tart, and refreshing dish that artfully blended a variety of textures and flavors.

IMG_4431The freshly baked bread.  Carbs for me, please.  I had three.

IMG_4428The next appetizer (portioned more like a main, but I’m not complaining).  Foie gras, eggplant, smoked slivers of duck, and girolles, a rare French mushroom.  Sage oil and duck sauce.  An explosion of autumn colors and flavors, the foie gras almost sweet with absolutely no lingering bitterness.  Yum.

IMG_4427One of Edition’s specialities- sea bream fish wrapped in kanafeh (a flaky pastry of Turkish origin) dusted with parmesan cheese.  This was served with an interestingly presented broccoli, broccoli sauce, and a lemon jam for acidity.  A meaty fish prepared yet again with great balance in textures.

IMG_4426The meat course was a special Iberian pork shoulder.  The server explained that one pig only has around 400 grams of shoulder meat, making it quite a delicacy.  Served rare, it was buttery and juicy.  The vegetables highlighted the season, including hime ninjin carrot, bitamin daikon, eggplant, radish, and seiryuusai.

IMG_4424The cheese course really impressed us with its simplicity.  The chef mashes sweet bananas, places those on top of chestnut bread, and tops it all with roquefort cheese.  It’s so simple but so utterly delicious.  I had never had bananas with cheese but the sweetness of the fruit works so well with the strong, moldy flavor of roquefort cheese.  So, so good.  We will try this at home.

IMG_4437The first dessert appears simple in its sheer whiteness, but was actually quite technical.  An espuma of lychee next to coconut ice cream served atop fresh dates.

IMG_4423Next was a dessert “teaser,” a chocolate water.  We were told to take a small sip before the first dessert.

IMG_4422Another complicated dessert featuring chocolate sherbet powder at the top with a chocolate ganache topped with French salt, Majorcan olive oil, and an olive.  We were instructed to again drink the cocoa water, which now tasted like regular water.  I didn’t really get the point of this cocoa water “trick,” but the dessert was delicious anyways.

IMG_4421The petit fours served with our coffee and tea included this, an espresso and milk pudding served in a very cool holder…

IMG_4420And candied nuts served in a foldable leather nest-type thing.  They were tasty but a little bit forgettable.  Still, an amazing meal at a Tokyo bargain price.