A break from Japanese cuisine is never a bad idea on my business trips to Tokyo. This time I chose to dine at the fine-dining French establishment, Les Saisons, housed at Imperial Hotel Tokyo. Helmed by Thierry Voisin, who moved from the multi-Michelin-starred Les Crayeres in Reims, France, my dining experience at this restaurant was nothing short of exquisite.

Adorned in warm shades of beige alongside delicate glassware and gold-lined cutlery, the ambience of Les Saisons is tasteful and refined. I chose to indulge in ‘Le Menu De Thierry’ that is a curated menu designed by Voisin himself.

An elaborate menu spanning seven courses features a mix of dishes that effortlessly blend contemporary techniques with classic elements.

I started my meal with a glass of a French medium-bodied red wine that suited my palate with its fruitiness. The first course on the menu was fried hamo (sea) eel with girolle (golden chanterelles) mushrooms and buckwheat scented Bavarian cream. It was delicately crunchy and beautifully textured. I enjoyed the second course that was artichoke with foie grass and fragrant black truffle. Next on the menu was roasted sole with ginger butter and carrot condiment. The relish of the ginger added a subtle but delicious flavour to the otherwise bland sole. I chose to miss the next course that was roasted lobster and wild mushrooms.

Roasted pigeon with butternut squash and salmi (a preparation from classic French cooking) sauce was placed on my table next — my first time tasting this bird. The sweet but nutty tang of the squash and tenderness of the dish helped me savour this unconventional dish.

After hearty conversations with my fellow diners, a beautifully plated dessert was presented next — red berries with champagne jelly and sherbet of elderflower. While it was not excessively sweet, it subtly satiated my tastebuds just to my liking. Coffee and rich chocolates are a must to end any French dinner and this was no different.

Verdict: A decadent choice for connoisseurs of French cuisine in the heart of the Japanese capital.

Hours:Breakfast – 0700 to 1000
Lunch – 1130 to 1430
Dinner – 1730 to 2200

Price: Le Menu De Thierry is priced upwards of ¥21,000/₹ 13,734

Contact: Les Saisons, Imperial Hotel, Tokyo, 1 Chome-1-1 Uchisaiwaichō, Chiyoda City, Tokyo 100-8558, Japan Tel: +81 3-3504-1111


Ravi Lalwani