by Deborah Im
One of the most amazing dining experiences in Tokyo is a meal at Tapas Molecular Bar. Dining at Tapas Molecular Bar is not just about eating meticulously prepared, creative dishes. It’s a show; a sensory experience that surprises and delights all of the senses, not only the taste buds. It’s Cirque du Soleil meets culinary perfection. Every dish evokes oohs and aahs, and the occasional gasp of surprise. One dish even caused all the guests to erupt in laughter. During two entertaining hours, the chefs prepare and serve a parade of 20 courses, explaining each dish as they do so—because often it’s not what it looks like, or contains unexpected elements—in both English and Japanese. The menu included ‘xialongbao,’ which we expected to be Chinese-style soup dumplings. But ‘xialongbao’ literally means ‘small steaming basket’ and Tapas’ interpretation was to take a baby lamb chop and somehow insert a delicious broth in the middle so that when you bite into the meat, it squirts out a delicious, savory broth—an unexpected yet delightful play on words. From nitrous sweet potato meringues to foie gras donuts, Tapas serves up a whimsical, delicious and entertaining dinner that will leave you raving about it for days.
Located on the 38th floor of the Mandarin Oriental in Nihonbashi, Tapas Molecular Bar has just eight seats with two seatings per night, which means only 16 lucky people get to experience this gastronomic magic show each evening. Dinner starts promptly at the appointed time, so it is imperative that you aren’t late because part of the experience is watching the chefs prepare the dishes and having them explain each dish to you. It’s best to arrive a bit early and relax with an aperitif in the bar and lounge area, which boasts gorgeous views of the Nihonbashi area. This is one show you won’t want to miss
Open daily (6–10pm)
2-1-1 Nihonbashi Muromachi, Chuo-ku
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