Beige is the love child of fashion headliner Chanel and celebrity chef Alain Ducasse, and the menu is decadence defined: locally raised beef, fresh-from-the-sea lobster, hand-selected vegetables and expertly blended marinades. This is complemented by a wine list of encyclopaedic proportions and swish, East-meets-West decor to round out the perfect top-end Tokyo experience. The Jardin de Tweed nesting on the building's rooftop, offers something a bit more affordable to those with luxe aspirations.
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Waits of over one hour are commonplace at Tsukiji's most famous sushi bar, but it's all worth it once you're past the noren (curtains) and your first piece of sushi hits the counter. Unless you're comfortable ordering in Japanese, the standard set (seven nigiri, plus maki and miso soup) is a good bet; there's a picture menu. Though the staff may be too polite to say so, you're expected to eat and run so others can partake in this quintessential Tsukiji experience.
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The 30th floor of the Hotel Grand Pacific Le Meridien affords broad views of the cranes, lifts and skyscrapers on the opposite shore. How charming then at such a soaring height that this little spot, with its tiny counter and virtuosic sushi chefs, makes you feel like a bird in a very warm nest. If you're travelling with a loved one, dining on sushi of this quality at such lofty heights is a romantic and altogether memorable experience, especially if the weather is cooperating.
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In Tokyo, French restaurants are at the top of the culinary
ladder, which is why it's no small feat that local gourmets consider L'Osier to be
the best around. But if you wish to analyse the foie gras yourself, you'll need to
book as far as possible in advance since a table at L'Osier is a highly coveted
commodity. However, once the wine hits your head and the food hits your lips, you'll
key into the Art Deco-inspired surroundings and realise that Paris isn't that far
away after all.
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When summer evenings in the capital hang heavy with humidity,
you may long for a cold glass of white wine and a light meal by the riverside.
Sadly, Tokyo has a regrettable dearth of alfresco restaurants with breathing room,
though rare canal-side spots like this Iidabashi institution do exist. The
speciality here is wood-fired thin crust pizzas and Italian pastas such as scallop
and shrimp in a light cream sauce, though the real reason you're here is to savour a
cocktail while soaking up the European atmosphere.
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If the Japanese have elevated the deep-fried to an art form,
then the chefs at Rakutei create masterpieces nightly. The freshest seafood and the
lightest tempura batter are prepared to order, resulting in tender prawn and sweet
potato that actually does melt in your mouth. Although there isn't an English menu,
you can easily choose a set meal depending on how much yen you're willing to part
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