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This weekend, for my Hubcap’s 30th we had the great luck of dinner at Takazawa in Akasaka.

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I say luck as this tiny restaurant (seating about 10 tops) is typically booked out months in advance though after numerous failures to book elsewhere I thought I’d give it a shot anyway just a week before we planned to attend and they were able to fit us in.  Here’s the room:

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Takazawa actually has quite a reputation.  Listed on one list as the 31st best restaurant in the world, it’s not Michelin rated but is all the better for it (we think).  Run by a lovely husband and wife team, he cooks, and she explains what’s happening and  how to eat what’s in front of you – which we were grateful for on more than 1 occasion throughout the meal.

When you book you have the option of choosing how many courses you would like and they note any allergies or dietary restrictions.  We went with the chef’s choice 9 courses, which is actually more like 14 when you include the amuse bouche and palate cleansers. Here’s us all excited and ready to go:

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The menu was incredible.  The food was unique and playful and fun and of course delicious.  It was also a bit shocking and scary – for example we ate live fish, when they were still living…as in they were alive.

These minnow sized little fighters where in a soup stock and served in a clear glass box the size of a rubix cube or so and are only available about 2 weeks per year.  Any they jumped.  In the box.  Did I mention they were alive?! We both ate them, kicking off our dinner and we did pretty well minus the one that tried to escape my mouth and jump back into the box.

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The rest of the meal was decidedly more cooked.  Photos of everything below:

Oysters – another amuse bouche:

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Soup balls – these little things exploded in your mouth once you took a bite.  Pea, potato and beet soups!

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The Chef’s signature dish of ratatouille with each of the veggies prepared separately and you eat it all in one bite, it’s amazing, indescribable really in that you can taste each different vegetable at a different time.

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Next was the spring role, this gorgeous plate had a rice paper sheet which roles up over the prawn and flowers revealing the peanut dipping sauce beneath it.  Yum!

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Walnut bread and pork riette (sp?) – amazing. And look at the cute little jar!!!!!

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Candle holder – this was awesome.  Crème brulee’d fois gras with an edible candle made of mango marmalade and rosemary with little toasts.

Before:

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After:

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This course was called Breakfast at Takazawa’s.  It was a soft poached egg in some sort of amazing light cream sauce with fresh truffle grated over the top.  The dish to the side is potato flakes which look like corn flakes and you tip them into your egg dish and eat it all together.  Feels and looks like you’re eating cereal but tastes like scrambled eggs and hash browns – quite possibly my favorite.

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Mimosa – spring, sakura trout (named for the color) with a giant clam (that tasted like lobster) saffron mayonnaise and broccoli tips. They also put a tree on the table while we ate this.  A whole beautiful mini yellow tree.

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Souchie Beef.  Cows that eat only Japanese limes, tofu and okra.  No seriously.  It was amazing, didn’t even taste like beef. Sorry no photo, got too excited and ate it.

White – albino strawberries and coconut ice cream which had been blended into a powder thanks to a bit of nitro freezing.

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White chocolate, mascarpone and pistachios which looked like blue cheese plus a port wine granite.

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Petite fours – soy sauce flavored marshmallows, yuzu fairy floss, coffee cake and a cookie I can’t remember plus white chocolate and strawberry chocolates.

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Seriously if you’re in Tokyo and a bit of a foodie you should definitely try this place.

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