Toshi Yoroizuka, one of the more well-known patissieres of Japan, opened a new restaurant in the upscale Kyobashi district in Tokyo. I was surprised to find out about it while I was finding my way to Hidemi Sugino. I was in Tokyo just in time for the Grand Opening, so I took the chance and stood in line for a long. long. long. time.
And it wasn’t worth it.
The cafe space was quite crowded, with a long line, but I actually wanted to see the live demonstrations. I knew Yoroizuka’s Roppongi shop was known for creating their desserts in front of customers. I wanted to see this for myself.
Despite the significantly shorter line for the live demo, I still had to wait over two hours to get a spot in the small seating area. There are only two choices of courses, one including a savory dish, but priced a bit higher. Since I was already there, I chose the Grand Course.
This consisted of three courses – a salad, a risotto, and a dessert of your choice.
And we waited forever just for our first dish. My neighbor had to complain before they took it out.
As is typical of a high-end restaurant, the salad was sparse. I wouldn’t even call it a salad. Beautiful fruit and balsamic sauce strokes on a beautiful plate with a small piece of mint, a strawberry sliced in two, and a canelle of yogurt cream. What. Not even enough to whet my appetite. Tasted like balsamic and mascarpone.
The risotto came in a bigger, decent sized plate and was perhaps the most interesting dish there. It was a cheese and strawberry risotto, the first I’ve heard of a fruit risotto. It was extremely parmesan-y, with an astringent taste. Slightly bitter, with few pieces of tart strawberries in it. The sauce was very thick and the grey-pink color of the dish was wondrous. The only filling dish.
For dessert, I had chosen the La Gorgonzola Pistache, a savory dish featuring pistachios and gorgonzola cheese. The ice cream was gorgonzola based and the cake tasted like pistachio. Very dry. There was a beautifully placed thin cheese straw laid over the dish. But it was barely a dessert at all. I could detect only the faintest hint of sweetness, but it was all pretty salty.
There were also quite a few desserts you could pick, but I chose the one that interested me the most.
My neighbor offered me a bite of her mont blanc, a pretty dish with a matcha lake. The sauce was exquisite, but the dessert itself was meh.
Even though the food was sad, the msot disappointing thing was not the food. But that the live demo was really not a live demo at all! Yoroizuka and his team on worked in one corner of the long counter and worked BELOW eye level. They never approached our side of the table, so we never got to see any of the assembly or preparation. Which is unfortunate, considering we are paying for the experience and not only the food!
Because of this experience, I don’t plan on ever visiting Toshi Yoroizuka again. Just thinking about it makes me pretty upset. I might try to go to the Roppongi shop, which is cheaper and actually SHOWS you the procedure of making the dishes, but never to the overpriced Kyobashi shop again.
It might’ve been opening day, but you still should’ve provided a good experience to all of your guests.