Located only three minutes away from the East exit of Daikanyama station, Tableaux Lounge brings the eclectic vibe of the neighborhood, famous for its concentration of high-end hair salons and fashion-forward clothing stores, indoors. And though most restaurants in Tokyo are short-lived, this one has been standing tall since 1992, with over 20 years of experience and experimentation.
The venue spreads across a stocked bar, a lounge with live music, an indoor and outdoor dining space, and an additional private room if you need some extra intimacy. The interior can only be defined as a mix of the ’90s velvety curtains and atmosphere, and baroque architecture and decor. The playlist is just as diverse, switching from bubblegum pop to rock ‘n’ roll when you least expect it. Just like the restaurant’s interior designed took the best out of completely different eras, its new menu, designed by new chef Rachel Dow, is inspired by a variety of different cultures.
Dow brings New American cuisine to Japan. She brings “a breath of fresh air not only to Tableaux, but to Tokyo’s overall restaurant scene.” The menu incorporates everything from comfort food to more traditional fine-dining dishes and presentation, all incorporating regionally sourced Japanese ingredients where you least expect it, like in a cranberry and umeboshi sauce over roasted duck.
Coined back in the ’90s, at a time when the US population was going through a significant transformation, the term New American refers to meals drawing influences not only from French and Italian cuisine but from Asian and Latin American countries as well. In other words, it’s borderless. Dow didn’t shy away from including the most iconic dish of the country: the patty melt. Well, a luxurious version of it, but oh, so appreciated. However, the heart of the menu is a harmonious mix of flavors and textures inspired by other cultures.
Creating a delicate balance between European and Asian cuisines is no piece of cake. Finding the right amount of sourness and saltiness is key to avoid serving a confusing or underwhelming dish. French and British inspirations are found in the smooth chicken liver mousse spread over a buttermilk biscuit, in the smoked brisket accompanied with apple and cabbage, and also the dhal baked beans from India. You’re sure to find something that suits your palate among the many surprising combinations of flavors (we’re still thinking about that sweet potato purée and salivating).
Hungry? Check out our concierge listing for more information on Tableaux.