Situated in Ginza’s spanking new Velvia-kan complex, Iconic greets diners with a classy open bar area. Next door, the large main dining room is a celebration of comfort, with an impressive amount of breathing room between the tables and staff that prowl the room like they’ve been at it for years.
So much for the space; how’s the food? Unpretentious in preparation and presentation, and brimming with top-quality ingredients, the menu earns our rave. Lunch sets begin at a reasonable (for Ginza) ¥1,800, while dinner prix fixe menus start from ¥8,400. In the evening, an affordable “vegetarian course,” which includes salad, soup, risotto and vegetables, sells for ¥4,500.
The assortment of five appetizers that comes with the pasta lunch set (¥3,500) looked too good to pass up, so we plumped for the four-course meal. The prettily arranged starters included an intensely flavored asparagus puree, sprinkled with truffles; Atlantic salmon given a touch of extravagance by a dollop of herbed cream cheese; a half moon-shaped crostini topped with a cube of foie gras on one side and a compote of apple and raisin on the other; and a wedge of bacon-and-spinach quiche that was just as it should be—buttery and eggy.
The quiche and salad set, meanwhile, started with a robust minestrone that reminded us why the name translates as “big soup.” Its extreme hotness, though, led us to wonder if it had been nuked just prior to serving. We were a bit apprehensive about the main dishes—surely, the portions would be diminutive. But the “Greedy Salad” lived up to its name, with olives, radicchio, haricot vert, hard-boiled egg, and wedges of potato and tomato in a basil vinaigrette. The quiche, served warm, was actually larger than some pizzas we’ve had in Japan, and agreeably filling.