Motif, the new restaurant at Four Seasons Marunouchi, offers guests a menu of luxurious classic French dishes with a Japanese twist. The cuisine is a collaboration between head chef Hiroyuki Asano and culinary advisor chef Hiroshi Nakamichi.
There are three dining spaces to suit casual and formal occasions, at any time of day. The entire venue was designed by renowned architect Andre Fu, and features more than 200 pieces of custom made furniture, lighting and screens. I enjoyed dinner in ‘The Social Salon’; a comfortable but sophisticated room to spend the evening. Guests can choose from a range of decadent tasting menus or opt for the seasonal a la carte specialities.
To start we chose a couple of the lighter dishes. The recommended Seasonal Vegetables with Truffles was a fresh and simple appetiser cooked in a buttery sauce and topped with just-shaved black truffles. It was soft and subtle on the palate, as is the case with a lot of food in Japan. I chose the green salad with soy dressing, which was refreshing with a hint of bitterness.
After a healthy start we decided on rather more indulgent main courses. I couldn’t refuse the meat dish of the day, wild boar from nearby city Nara. The tender meat was cooked to perfection, sitting in a puddle of rich shiny red wine reduction jus (a display of immaculate French cooking skill). The meat was paired with unique Asian flavours, blackened radish and Japanese mushroom. Our waiter also insisted on us ordering the chef’s signature; Skate wing fillet Meuniere in a Grenoble style, which arrived at the table in a pan, still sizzling in a burnt butter sauce. The fish fillet fell off the soft bone easily, and was absolutely delicious with the creamy nutty sauce.
Dessert was the ultimate marriage of French style and Japanese flavour. The chocolate fondant was as good as any I have tried in Europe, a blissfully gooey centre encased in a soft dense cake. This was paired with green tea ice cream and soy sauce flavoured rice crackers. Though I like drinking green tea I found the ice-cream, powder and foam too intense, overpowering the chocolate a little too much. For a lighter pudding go for the Pear gelee with sherbert and rhubarb jam, a palate cleansing jelly.
After sampling so much Japanese food in Tokyo I was pleased to dine at Motif and I relished the rich French recipes. The produce in Japan is so superior to many other countries and this was particularly evident in the meat and fish we enjoyed at the Four Seasons Tokyo.
More information and book a table at Motif here.