In Tokyo, one of my favorite things to do is happen upon a new restaurant. There are so many gems to discover in this city that it’s almost a shame to go to the same place twice. In this case, though, I hope to become a regular customer.
The Azabu Haus is located in Azabu Juban and has been open for six or seven years. (No official website listed, unfortunately) It’s off the main road on a street perpendicular to a second main shopping street parallel to the Shotengai. It’s owned and run by a man calling himself simply Jo and his English and mannerisms are simply exquisite. Every server in the restaurant treats customers like they were the most
important person in the place.
The design of the restaurant, done by Iwamoto and Associates architects, marries light wood and stone to create an ambiance of warmth. The ceiling is curved inward next to the window so it makes diners feel enclosed in the unique world of the water view and cozy table. There are two private rooms that can be closed off to the rest of the restaurant which would make a great spot for a business meeting or private function.
We found the restaurant because I have a friend who is an explorer. He likes to walk down the side streets – he says it is the only way to really see what’s going on. He noticed the large, flat-front building with lights directly set into the walls. There’s also a long man-made stream running alongside the building, with some greenery surrounding it. The affect is very soothing.
The food is Japanese-style French and Italian, with a wine list that is exclusively European. We chose the set menu for dinner and it was nearly more food than we could eat. Priced at about 7500 JPY, it’s pricey, but not unreasonable for Tokyo and the plentiful portions we received. The appetizer plate had four different types of dishes in one – a terrine, tomato-mozzarella, a vegetable combination and a bit of sashimi. The next course, pasta, we picked off the menu. I had a cream sauce, one friend had a fish sauce, another friend had a meat sauce, and my husband had a wine and mushroom sauce. Each tasted distinct, a neat trick with pasta sauces.
The fish course was a beautiful displayed, light, flaky piece of Sea Bream in basil sauce. Then the main course was a perfectly roasted pork. We shared desserts – hand-made gelatto, pear tart, fruit cup and tiramisu. The cappuccino really
finished off the set beautifully and didn’t even need sugar.
The atmosphere, food, and service all deserve a gold star for their excellence.
Azabu Juban [Map] 2-7-14, azabu275 Building, 1F; Tel: 03-5439-6671