Benoit Tokyo is an outpost of the Paris restaurant, with another location is New York. I heard the restaurant was just barely making it, until Alain Ducasse took over the restaurant. It is now a one star Michelin restaurant.
The restaurant sits in the La Porte Aoyama high rise building with no real obvious sign. It is easy to walk right past the building, which I did. The immediate surrounding area has a distinct European feel. In fact, there is a Pierre Herme location on the first floor so if you see the famous macaron/patisserie shop you are in the right spot.
The interior of the restaurant is reminiscent of a French country home. It is warmly decorated but nothing over the top bling.
The meal started out with some light as air cheese puffs. The puffs had a surprisingly strong cheese flavor. Things were off to a great start.
Next, some sturdy wheat bread was brought out. The crust was very crunchy, while the interior had a nice chew to it.
The Salade Benoit was a nice mix of greens with perfectly cooked foie gras, pork belly and a terrine. The mushrooms added another layer of earthiness. The salad was not overdressed. Is it heresy to say there may have been too much meat to pair with such a tiny salad?
Next the Coquillettes was like a very upscale version of mac and cheese. Cavatappi, or corkscrew, pasta was mixed with a rich cream sauce. Bits of ham, flecks of black truffle and tiny cubes of cheese joined the party. The pasta was light, yet super rich at the same time. The pasta was a perfect al dente with a nice chew to it.
The Pan Seared Scallops were nicely seared giving the already sweet mollusk, a candy coating. The scallops were only seared on one side however, and was served medium rare. The asparagus added a nice crunch and slight bitterness to the dish.
The Benoit Chocolat/Caramel finished off the dish. The rich, dark chocolate “cigar” was paired with salted caramel, and milk ice cream. The Benoit was like a very soft “Rolo” on a cookie base. The ice cream had a bold milk flavor.
The cappuccino was served with a couple of madeleines which was a perfect way to end the meal.
For a Michelin starred restaurant, Benoit is rather budget friendly. If going at lunch, you have the option of ordering from a prix fixe menu of sorts, or you can order a la carte.
The service was very professional and friendly. The quality of food is top notch with excellent cooking.