Once described by 18th century epicurean Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin as “the diamond of the kitchen,” truffles are the world’s most expensive fungi. In 2014 a 4.16-pound white truffle was sold for $61,250 at a Sotheby’s auction. This was considered a bargain as million-dollar offers were made for the item before it went under the hammer.
Put simply truffles are extremely pricey, which makes it difficult to find a restaurant that serves reasonably priced truffle-based dishes. Fortunately one has just opened on the first floor of Tokyo Midtown in Roppongi.
A luxurious restaurant with a stylish terrace, Artisan de la Truffe Paris was created with the aim of presenting truffles in a distinctive, but more straightforward way. Pasta, salad, egg and a range of other dishes are served together with the most prized ingredient in the culinary world from the Provence region in the south of France to create a menu that is both refined and original. At ¥4,800 and ¥6,000 respectively, the course menus are not what you would call cheap; however, compared to most other truffle establishments it certainly feels affordable.
Our meal began with a scrumptious boiled egg followed by the appetizer – seasonal truffle shavings with truffle butter and salad mix, Caesar salad with truffle mix, and salmon marinade with truffle. It all looked exquisite and simply tasted divine. It was hard to imagine things getting any better, but then the two mains came out: a delightfully creamy truffle risotto with seasonal truffle shavings and a delicate sole fillet with truffle. The two dishes complemented each other superbly. The dessert – a mixture of fruits, flan au fromage, chocolate, coffee and of course truffles – was a wonderful way to finish things off.
As well as the course option you can choose from the a la carte menu with prices ranging from ¥1,500 to ¥2,400, while the desserts are all around the ¥1,500 mark. Washing down your food with a glass or two of wine is also recommended. There’s a whole host of wines available, mostly from France, that can be enjoyed at prices that aren’t too extortionate as well as a truffle martini, truffle mousse and a truffle Bloody Mary.
While at the restaurant you have the opportunity to purchase some of Artisan de la Truffe Paris products including extra virgin oil (with both black and white truffle), balsamic with truffle juice, acacia honey, butter cream and tomato sauce, all unsurprisingly with truffle.
Address: Tokyo Midtown D-0018, 9-7-4 Akasaka, Minato-ku
Opening hours: Monday-Saturday 11am-3:30pm (last orders 2:30pm), 5:30pm-11pm (10pm); Sunday & holidays 11am-11pm (10pm)