The place recently got a Michelin star, and that’s very good, but the curiosity is all about him, Yoji Tokuyoshi, the chef owning the restaurant that brings his name: Tokuyoshi. Nine years in Massimo Bottura’s staff of which three spent as his sous-chef aren’t exactly nothing. And that’s why expectations, upon entering, are quite high. Now, chef Tokuyoshi opened his Japanese restaurant, a place where the Far East meets Italy.
The restaurant is very atmospheric, with a big and long counter right in the middle of it. Tables are few but well placed, elegant to the smallest detail. But let’s cut to the chase and talk about the menu and the audacious couplings it proposes. Before we start, we have some black olives, perfectly bitter and salty, served as entrées coupled with bread made with culture yeast and nutty butter.
Each serving, even this initial taste, is accompanied by a small glass of broth, made with meat, vegetables or spices following the Japanese tradition that expects a hot beverage to follow every meal. Among the starters, the best is the bread with seasoned anchovies and nutty butter, a white soft cloud, mixed with seawater. In second position we have the Sicilian cannolo filled with creamy cod followed by venisone tartare on a bruschetta and the Kyoto Wagyu lard.
The first courses presents us with really original choices. The dish called Tribute to Noto consists in spaghetti with almond milk, clams and pistachios. The risotto with oysters and Wagyu is a gastronomical apotheosis and, on the same note of melange of Italiana and Japanese cuisines, we have the plin ravioli on tonkotsu broth, just perfect.
For the second courses a good bet is the pigeon with chanterelle and porcini mushrooms whose fermented sauce is simple but intense, both delicate and tasty. Also incredible are the Barbaresco-braised veal cheek, the sole with mussels foam or the red mullet Livornese-style. All complex, articulate dishes that will fill you with astonishment.
As for the dessert, the absolute best is the baba immersed in Sauternes Chateau d’Yquem, an incredible variation on a popular and traditional dish that lets you really understand all the freshness chef Tokuyoshi puts in every single preparation of his. An unforgettable experience.