So whilst at the NACT yesterday, we had a late lunch at the Paul Bocuse French Brasserie. Talk about elevated dining – literally. The restaurant sits on the third floor of the Art Gallery atop of an inverted concrete cone. And it’s built as a circular restaurant for double awesomeness.
I’m all about novelty, so I was excited to eat there upon a couple of recommendations from some fellow foodies. There’s apparently always a line to get in. And yesterday was no exception. And they don’t take reservations for lunch. Here is everyone lining up taking a seat to get in:
Whilst waiting, I naturally snapped more photos. The line moved quickly enough. Only about a 20 minute wait or so. Enough time to check out the menu and decide what to get.
The restaurant is so cool. And very popular.
We were at last seated for a late 2pm lunch (Lunch is available 11am to 4pm). After seeing the exhibition and taking lots of photos, I had worked up an appetite. Me thinks being hungry is a hobby.
Now, you’d think to eat here would be expensive and fancy and all, but it’s totally not. It’s casual french dining and very accessible. There are two lunch courses on offer. The 2000yen set and the 3200yen. The one and only difference between the two is that the 3200yen course comes with soup. Hard to justify an extra 1200yen for soup, so I was content to order the 2000yen course, and spend a little extra for wine! The lunch course consisted of Rillette, main dish (fish or meat dish), choice of dessert, and tea/coffee/orange juice (choose one). So first up, the Rillette (which is like a pâté) served with bread, and also olive oil. Also a small glass of sparkling wine.
For the main lunch dish: choice of fish or beef. I went the beef. It came out looking like this:
Covered in a sheet of pasta.
But underneath it was some very tender beef.
Probably not the most flattering pictures of that dish. The beef was beautifully cooked. I love it when the meat just falls off. Tami ordered the fish (seabream). I thought this was well plated. There are tiny discs made of potatoes which have been arranged on top of the fish made to look the scales, but really they were potatoes!
For dessert, there was a choice from five offerings. Tami had come here just for the creme brulee. She raves about it. Apparently it’s one of their famous signature desserts. But it wasn’t on the menu. She asked the waiter whether the creme brulee was available and the waiter revealed that it was, even though it’s not offered on either lunch courses. I think the creme brulee is a bit of secret. I considered ordering a dessert off the menu – there were after all, five different options on offer. And for me, creme brulee would not be my favourite dessert. I mean they’re alright, they’re nice and all but meh, creme brulee. I mean it’s translated as ‘burnt cream’. Give me a chocolate gateau cake anytime. Anyway, I did order the creme brulee and oh my god, it was the best creme brulee EVER. It put all other creme brulees to shame. I didn’t know how good a creme brulee could taste until that moment. I was completely blown away. It’s just a creme brulee, right. But no, the creme brulee here is divine. First of all, it came out in a large shallow dish.
My first thought, was ugh, too much. Too much sugar. It’s just going to be sickly sweet. But no, deceptively it wasn’t overly sweet. It was sweet, but only delicately so. The custard underneath was divine. And again only a very shallow base of custard. It was so perfect and full of vanilla beans that you could see. Wow. It tasted so amazing, unlike any other creme brulee. In fact, you’ve not tasted creme brulee until you’ve eaten one of these.
Really, it was most surprising to ME that I would be converted to being such a fan. I was very skeptical that such a dessert could win me over. Wow. And then onto the cup of tea (or coffee or orange juice – your choice) to savour and linger over that creme brulee.
And then some more photos inside or rather ‘around’ the restaurant.
Such a striking atmosphere and wonderful place to eat. They call it an ‘Artistic Dining Experience’. They’re open for dinner as well. And surprisingly very reasonable and good food too. Restaurant details here.