Molecular Tapas Bar

I know I talk about food a LOT here, but since Tokyo just surpassed Paris in having more Michelin-starred restaurants, you can kind of understand why!

Last night, Cute Husband and I were finally able to go out and celebrate for our fifteenth wedding anniversary.

{I know it’s a terrible picture, but it’s all we got!}

After my excitement from the Women’s Group luncheon I went to last month, we decided to try the Tapas Molecular Bar at the Mandarin Oriental.  I don’t think it’s an over statement to say it was the greatest, coolest meal of our lives, and a place we want to go again someday.  We literally sat at the bar with 3 other couples, and that’s it {there is one other seating available at the restaurant and then they close for the evening}.  It’s very interactive with the two chefs {one spoke English and one spoke Japanese}, and the couples were all very social, which made for a fun evening.

For our first {of many!} courses they present us with this beautiful “platter”

And then this was set immediately in front of it and the dry ice was set inside so that the aromas from the potpourri could enhance what we were eating!

Everything on the woodland tray was amazing, but our favorites were far and away that little cream-colored tube on the right we were asked to begin with ~ it was filled with manchego cheese ice cream!  We also loved the truffle.

Next came some real science!  Those syringes are filled with persimmon juice and as they dropped into the liquid they became a sort of caviar and were served on a spoon.

Skipping ahead to the meat courses, we were instructed to eat this entirely in one bite as the sauce was completely inside the meat and exploded in our mouths.  And then that tiny green peach was a perfect palate cleanser for the next dish.

We both felt this next course was the absolute most incredible piece of beef we’ve ever tasted.  Additionally, the chef made the wasabi ball fresh in front of us on a shark skin tool that made it taste absolutely amazing.  We’ll be looking for one of those on an expedition to the kitchen district soon!

More science!  I’m beginning to think if science in school had involved more food and less frog dissection I would have been a much stronger student.  So this looks like an egg and we were instructed to suck the whole thing down at once.  It was miso soup!  We tasted all the components ~ miso paste, nori and tofu!  Baffling.

OK, now don’t say I don’t fully embarrass myself ever for the sake of this blog as evidenced by this next photograph.  The first dessert course was a mini puff pastry dropped in dry ice to make it extra cold.  We were instructed to pop it in our mouth and not let it sit on our tongues as it would be too cold.  Instead, we needed to chew quickly.  The chefs demonstrated and we immediately saw that the smoke from the dry ice would come out our noses!

And there I am looking like Ferdinand the Bull! {but it was yummy!}

Then each couple received one of these cool tiered trays.  Unbelievable!

The top puff-ball was actually a sweetly encased foie gras.  I’ve never had any interest in foie gras, but every single thing I ate was so delicious I wasn’t going to chance missing out on a bite.  I continued to love it.  YUM.  The pink wafer was a frozen disk of raspberry sorbet that melted on your tongue.  If I had happened to sneak in the kitchen and found the container of them I would have eaten them by the bucketful!

So the very last thing brought out were slices of fruit.  Cute Husband and I later confessed to eat other that we were completely disappointed that this was going to be the finale to such an amazing meal.

And of course we were a bit premature in our judging.

We were instructed to suck a lemon and asked how it tasted.  Bitter.  And then a lime.  Also bitter.  We then were told to eat the tiny little cherry on the plate.  And to now suck the lemon.  But now it was sweet!  As was the lime.  And the orange was less sweet and more in between.  It was crazy cool!  The chefs explained it would affect our taste buds for up to two hours.

So I had to do what any self-respecting woman with an hour left with the babysitter would do…..I ordered a dirty martini just to see how it would taste 😉

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4 Responses to Molecular Tapas Bar

  1. Julie says:

    What a stunning meal!!! Happy anniversary!!! The little berry was called Miracle Fruit. I had read about it on another blog a few years ago. It actually grows in Florida, so I might try planting some…just for fun!

  2. msumissa says:

    I so enjoy hearing about your adventures!

  3. shelli says:

    That was quite a culinary experience, but my coronary arteries were closing as I was reading your blog. How is your Japanese coming— better than my Hebrew, I hope.

    hope that you received our card. Happy anniversary again.

    i just got my 1st I phone-the I 4S. I feel so with it, Now I have to learn how to use this thing.

    Shelli and Ira

  4. Happy anniversary. Your blog is very descriptive. It is like I am in Japan with you. Thank you for taking me on your journey. One day I hope to be there in person.

    Thanks again Armella.

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