Tableaux, Daikanyama: The dining institution treats itself to a makeover

Food & Drink - September 19th, 2013

Whether you’re trying to impress friends from out of town, wine and dine that client, or score a few extra points on a first date, Tableaux is a good option.

Located at the heart of the trendy and chic scene in Daikanyama, Tableaux offers guests a complete experience – from pre-dinner cocktails through to post-dinner nightcaps.

The word “Tableaux,” defined as a picturesque grouping of persons or objects, inspired the concept of creating a different scene at every angle of the restaurant. There is no risk of being underwhelmed when gazing upon the decor of the cocktail bar’s ceiling, imprinted with a moon and star and lined with crystals imported from France, or the row of chandeliers draped over the mosaic of mirrors in the main dining room.

After a cocktail from the full bar at the entrance, guests are led into the main dining room and handed a menu that chefs refresh every two months in harmony with the seasons.


Tableaux’s 55-day-aged steak coupled with an assortment of seasonal vegetables

Both the decor and food are European-inspired, so Italian and French touches are obvious; but of course, being in Tokyo, chefs have the advantage of being able to source the highest quality organic vegetables, fish and meats from the regions of Japan. Fish makes it to the Tableaux kitchen about 18 hours after being caught in Kochi prefecture, making it some of the freshest in Tokyo.

The chef also incorporates Japanese elements into original dishes, for instance topping a classic American crab cake with marinated salted seaweed or preparing 55-day aged beef with a Japanese yuzu pepper sauce and a touch of Spanish black salt. After your meal is finished and you think you’ve seen it all, Tableaux has more to offer guests not quite ready to call it a night.

The lounge, located next to an outdoor terrace, hosts a well-stocked liquor and cigar bar, as well as a wine list with hundreds of wines from around the world. A New York speakeasy vibe greets you, with lights dimming as the evening goes on.

As a soundtrack for a night out, Tableaux serves up a collection of jazz artists from around the world. Tableaux’s management has gathered an impressive list of players, from solo performers to small groups, and the music alone is an incentive to visit.

The lounge and restaurant feel like two entirely different experiences, each one with its own unique atmosphere.

Those extra points that you hoped for when picking the restaurant could be multiplied when you and your guests exit down Tableaux’s red carpet – literally – at the end of the night.

Oysters are a snip at ¥490, mains start from around ¥2,000 and there are both a prix fixe menu and a seasonal ¥10,000 Chef’s Selection, eight-course menu.


Stepping up to the bar in Tableaux’s lounge made us feel like we had walked onto the set of “The Great Gatsby”


It was solo piano on the night we came, but the jazz varies from night to night

For more information about Tableaux, Daikanyama please visit their official website.

Address: B1F, Sunroser Daikanyama, 11-6, Sarugaku-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

Tel: 03-5489-2201 (Lounge: 03-5489-2202)

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