Aug 25, 2010

Beige Alain Ducasse, Ginza, Tokyo. A Leonine Birthday Dinner.

Birthdays are a mixed blessing once you've survived all the important ones - 16, 21, 30...  (I'm still in the running for the big four-oh...).  You're getting older, time seems to be speeding up, there's still so much to do with your life.  Sometimes it's best to forget this and concentrate on the undeniable good things about birthdays - they are a licence to spoil yourself rotten in whatever way you see fit.  Being in Tokyo for my birthday, this was not hard to comply with.  It was a day of fancy meals and prolific (window)shopping under the guidance of my chaperone, Mr SSG.

I'm going backwards and starting with dinner because I had blogged about our reservation at Beige before going away.

Necessary background information.

What Beige looks like at street level.

The rather unassuming, by Ginza standards, street level entry to Beige.  It's a door down from Chanel.
What we wore.  By the way, those cotton on ballet flats I wrote about here are magic.  I wore them with impunity on the sidewalks of Tokyo, leaving my feet happy to embrace those Hyper Prives at dinner.  Those flats saved my feet on many an occasion whilst I was away - and they're still looking as good as new.  Not bad for faux patent (fatent doesn't quite work as an neologism in the manner of fearl or pleather).

My dress survived the flight!  We're in the taxi rank lobby of the hotel.

Luckily, I had the address on my iPhone - in Japanese and with a link to Google maps.  The doorman and the taxi driver managed to  make sense of the address and we got there in good time.  We were met at the foyer and escorted up in the lift and to our table.

The suspense must bet getting to you.  So without further ado.. dinner at Beige, Tokyo - August 12, 2010.  It might be best to let the photographs of the delicious food speak for themselves.  I will find the link to Beige's website for you.  It features a PDF of the menu and if you're good at French or Japanese, you'll be able to find out the names of all the dishes we had.

If I remember correctly, Coco Chanel was fond of frog ornaments.  These adorned most of the tables in the dining room.
I had reserved a table with (more of) a view of the city and it was actually a little side room off the main dining area.  
Subliminal messages from the wall.

I forgot to take a photo of the tweed upholstered chairs.... It doesn't show up well in my photos but the table cloths had a beige houndstooth pattern to them.

I had a Bellini, the Chanel cocktail featured gin and sounded fiercely potent...

The amuse bouche featured colours Coco would have approved of.
Tomato royale with crudites

The lights of Ginza from the floor to ceiling windows of the private dining area.

Which were a glamorous backdrop for my assault on the bread rolls.  Which I felt was an entirely justified task given the activity of the day.

Carbs - if they're baked a shade of lion's mane golden, they're meant for Leos.
Matsuya Ginza - remember that name.  It's where Sydney Shop Girl became Tokyo Shop Girl.

The top floor gallery area features both art exhibitions and occasional clearance sales of things like  last  month's Ralph Lauren.  More details to follow.
Our meal featured an entree, a seafood course, a meat course and several dessert courses (the key to a decadent dinner, in my book, is for there to be as many dessert courses as there are savoury).  All were perfectly presented and delicious.  The service was attentive and we had a lovely evening.


Glazed vegetable cookpot

Foie gras with toast

Seafood course
Fish course with baby courgettes

Lobster with lentils

Meat course

Beef Tankakugyu with stuffed roasted vegetables


Deceptively simple fruit sorbet and a finely chopped fruit salad with sugared almonds.  Might try this at home.

Petit four

Petit fours - my favourite was the lemon tart with a small fleck of gold leaf on top.

Decisions, decisions.... which dessert?  The desserts were all inspired by various elements of the heritage of the house and also seasonal fashion trends.  It might sound a little waffly but they were the highlight of the meal for me.


The  most glamorous birthday dessert I've ever eaten.
Hazelnut and chocolate Coco Chanel dessert
Mr SSG, ever the gentleman graciously agreed to order something different to me for every course so that we could do the married persons plate swap mid way through each course.  Except with dessert, he handed his plate over early and let me keep mine.
Cherry dessert

Chocolates and tea

We had no room for these so we ended up with a doggy bag of Chanel chocolates.

The goody bag

This was better than a Demtel ad - there was more!  We took the lift down to the foyer and I was presented with a gift.

Usually, the gift bags are just for the female guests but Mr SSG made a good impression on our obliging host and he slipped us a second box.

We got back to the hotel and I had to open the gift - macarons!!!!!
Pistachio, vanilla and salted caramel macraons

As an aside, Japan is officially the world leader in wipes.  There are product loaded single use wipes for every possible personal situation a person could encounter.  Many brands such as Shiseido, DHC, Kose etc all have drug store ranges.  If only I could read Japanese, there would have been many happy hours of research in the numerous pharmacies and beauty stores.

Biore cleansing oil - they really do remove makeup and smell divine.

I slept soundly that night and woke up to a breakfast of macarons.

They were like no other macaron I've ever eaten.  As with all the Japanese baked goods I was fortunate to sample whilst away - they weren't overly sweet or rich yet had full flavours.  My favourite would have to be the salted caramel macaron.

Then it was time for some soothing green tea and a few moments to ponder the view and use it as a map to decide where to go explore that day.

I really need to do a non-food post soon.  I'm getting hungry just looking at my photos.


  1. ahh I'm salivating over all of the goodness gracious deliciousness in this post. Great pics!

  2. Oh goodness. Ok I'm SO going in December. I hope they're open over the Christmas period. I hope it's not difficult to get a reservation.

    Is it prohibitively expensive?

    All these questions!!

  3. Sarah: thanks for stopping by. I'm going to pop over to your blog later.

    She Wore It Well: it is pricy but worth it. Probably 20% more than Australian fine dining. We had no trouble with a week night booking. Good luck!

    SSG xxx

  4. Le sigh - I love seeing other people's dining experiences, especially when they are as beautiful as this one.

    And who can resist a goody bag to take home? I can only imagine how delicious those maracons were!

    I am loving your series on Japan. Keep the posts coming!

  5. Ok stuff it, I'm going to JP at the end of the year and I'm going to dine at Beige!! You've convinced me :P


  6. The food looks great. And your photos always look amazing. I hope you don't mind me asking, but... what camera do you use? :)

  7. Brasilian_Babe: thank you! I use a Nikon D5000. It is one of the lighter DSLRs and is a good size for me. The lens I use usually is an 18 - 200mm zoom or else a prime lens with a maximum F-stop of 1.8. I am hoping to discover the joys (or challenges) of Photoshop today. Heading off to buy it at the Apple store today.

    Must tell myself not to window shop elsewhere on the way...

    Hope this helps.

    SSG xxx

  8. Happy belated Birthday, SSG! What a great dining experience - and free macarons too!

  9. Thanks SSG, it does help. I have been researching/browsing for a DSLR for the last coupl of months now. There is so much choice out there i get confused. But i will definitely be looking into your model.
    Cheers :)


Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment. I'm having trouble importing comments from Blogger right now so using Disqus or sending a tweet would be your best bet. X


Related Posts with Thumbnails