Take three French-trained Japanese chefs, add a pinch of Cordon Bleu and a liberal measure of hotel experience, mix with organic ingredients and whip into a restaurant. When we heard this recipe and that owner and head chef Takusuke Tada, previously of the Park Hyatt Tokyo, had teamed up with his wife Akiko and pastry chef Hidesuke Hoshino to create Yuris, we were keen to pay them a visit. With a patisserie, delicatessen and confectioner’s out front, and a dining room in the back, Yuris offer plenty of opportunity to sample authentic French treats, and we opted for dinner.
Entering through the patisserie, we took our table in the brightly lit white dining room. While we waited for the menus, we snuck a peak into the kitchen through the window that faces the tables. Things were quiet on the Sunday evening we visited, and the staff were obviously feeling as laid back as the locals dining out. Once the menu had been explained and the wine list brought, we got down to ordering the ¥6,800 dinner course (a ¥4,800 course and a la carte selection are also available), choosing from the selection of appetizers, soup or vegetable dish and meat entrees—the fish course was the daily special. Naturally the wine list focused on the French, with a smaller selection of New World wines tacked on. We opted for a bottle of Laurent Pellier Champagne, but were happy to be upgraded to the Veuve Faorny (¥8,500) when we found it was out of stock.
Our meal kicked of with an amuse of shellfish and firefly squid sautéed with white wine and mushrooms. An equally oceanic plate of the home cured smoke salmon followed, dressed with dill, capers and pink peppercorns. The thick slices of fish had a good smoky flavor and went well with the sour cream and melba toast provided on the side—the accompanying baby greens had spent a little too much time in the sea though and were over salted. The creamy, yet delicate, chilled pumpkin soup that came next helped cleanse our palate, although when we snuck a taste of our companion’s wonderful mixed rice and vegetable risotto we wanted to switch.
The rock fish that followed came dressed with a medley of colorful vegetable ribbons and splashes of bouillabaisse-style and basil sauces. The fish was firm and flavorful, as were the organic vegetables. Our entree of roast Guinea fowl arrived next, accompanied by mixed mushrooms and sugar snaps tossed in a light vinaigrette. Crispy skinned, yet still succulent, the meat was cooked to perfection and our companion’s quail looked (and tasted) equally good. We rounded things out with the dessert plate—white sesame bavarois topped with fruit, homemade vanilla ice cream and a glazed apricot sponge. The bavarois was airy light but very creamy and the whole apricot in the center of the mini-sponge was deliciously tangy.