Tokyo has very high food standards. Whether you visit a street stall or a Michelin starred restaurant, it’s hard to get a poor meal in the Electric Town. Standing out is not easy and being recognized as one of the city’s best restaurants, but also one of the best on earth deserves credit.
Florilège means anthology in French. And it reflects the passion and dedication of the kitchen staff to show the best ingredients at their best.
In the words of Hiroyasu Kawate, Florilège’s chef and owner, each dish in the multi-course menu has eleven thoughts, different ingredients responsibly sourced, put together with immaculate techniques in a beautiful demonstration of skill.
Being one of the best restaurants in Tokyo is difficult, especially when you’re cooking French-inspired food.
Chef Hiroyasu Kawate comes from a restauranteur family. He grew up in bustling kitchens and feels the heat of the stoves as if it was the warmth of home. As a young student, Chef Kawate specialized in French cuisine and studied a few years in Paris.
Back in Tokyo, the chef worked at some of the most prestigious restaurants, including Chef Shuzo Kishida’s Quintessence, the restaurant that brought the spirit of L’Astrance from Paris to Japan.
Florilège opened its doors in 2009 and relocated to its current venue in Shibuya in 2015.
The whole experience takes please around the chef’s open kitchen, lighting is dim and decoration slick. A large rectangular bar accommodates guests around the action, so there are no bad seats.
From the outside, Florilège might pass unnoticed. Besides the led-lit restaurant logo, that mirrors a pink chrysanthemum, there are no clues outside the building about the wizardry that goes on inside.
Service is close and personal. There’s a passion for service and strict Japanese discipline. Everything is choreographed.
Besides the gorgeous see-through wine cellar and a beautiful display of stemware and wine decanters, there are no distractions here; the spotlight goes into the kitchen and the inspiring creations that come out of it.
For around 150 US dollars, you can enjoy the chef’s exquisite dinner tasting menu, which changes every two months. All the ingredients are sourced from Japan, and the chef has developed strong bonds with artisan producers and growers.
Tiger prawns, scallops, Miyasaki beef, abalone, duck, salmon, Pacific saury and beautiful seasonal vegetables are cooked to perfection and gracefully served. Thirteen courses in crescendo take you on a trip around the best produce the island has to offer, cooked with the most up-to-date techniques and challenging the status quo of food plating.
If over three hours of dinner are too much for you, enjoy a shorter, six-course menu for lunch, it’s a great way to take a peek at the chef’s innovative cuisine.
The wine list offers a wide variety of French wine, but the heavily French-oriented program has space for Japanese wine and very good non-alcoholic options like herbal cocktails and infusions.
Chef Kawate’s dishes become more complex and better integrated each season with every menu. Today, you can’t talk about the best modern French food restaurants in the world without mentioning Florilège.
Michelin Guide: 2 Stars
Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants Ranking: No.3
The World’s 50 Best Restaurants Ranking: No.63
Seizan Gaienmae B1F, 2-5-4 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan
|Our Rating||★ ★ ★ ★ ★|
|Food||★ ★ ★ ★ ★|
|Deco||★ ★ ★ ★|
|Service||★ ★ ★ ★ ★|
|Price||$ $ $ $|