The Unexpected Culinary Delights of Roppongi’s Le Grand Soir
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After picking up my new lens in Roppongi earlier this month, I thought I'd better nourish up before walking around for some big-lens street photography, and had the good fortune to walk into Le Grand Soir. The style was modern urban sophisticated (the chef used to work in Paris), but without any pretense or ostentation.

I had a lightly seasoned breaded chicken leg, and it was without question, by far... utterly in a class by itself... the best piece of chicken I have ever had. Anywhere. (Sorry Mom.)

Really, with food this good, there's no way to calculate “value”, but the whole lunch was a shockingly low 1,000 yen (about US$13). Best. Value. On. The. Planet. I think it's because they just recently opened, and are trying to drum up some word of mouth. It's worked. If I'm anywhere within 100 miles again, I'll treat myself again. It's just that good.

Japanese and English spoken, and I presume French. Le Grand Soir is a minute or two west of Roppongi Station's Exit #2. The map on their site is utterly worthless, so use this one instead. It's in a basement level, so the only presence on the street is their unassuming door, and a menu signboard:

Look For This Signboard -- Minato Ward, Tokyo, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl,
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/1600 sec, f/2.5, ISO 220 — map & image datanearby photos
Look For This Signboard
Enter This Door and descend into culinary heaven -- Minato Ward, Tokyo, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl,
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/1600 sec, f/2.5, ISO 450 — map & image datanearby photos
Enter This Door
and descend into culinary heaven

While standing outside the restaurant to figure out how I'd carry the new big lens with all my other stuff, a business man came by and checked out the menu board. I proffered that I'd had the “A” lunch and that it was utterly spectacular, and he smiled and said he'd give it a try, and disappeared behind the door.

All 5 comments so far, oldest first...

Man, this was one of the driest lunch in recent memory! ;>

Jeffrey, I hope you would post food (images) at some point, yes? (As you had not event hinted on that possibility, seems to me you would need revisit the restaurant.)

“This” meaning the lunch you ate while reading the post, or the lunch you ate at one of the restaurants I mentioned? And yes, when I go back, I’ll bring the camera. —Jeffrey

— comment by parv on May 25th, 2011 at 1:32pm JST (6 years, 5 months ago) comment permalink

I see the simplicity in the French food I have had in Japan as a nod towards traditional Japanese cuisine, such as Kaiseki Ryori. Funny but while the portions in Kaiseki are so teeny weeny, I always came away feeling full.

— comment by Bob on May 25th, 2011 at 7:39pm JST (6 years, 5 months ago) comment permalink

Merci ! (just kidding)

Next time I’m in Kyoto, I’ll try them.


— comment by luc on May 25th, 2011 at 10:38pm JST (6 years, 5 months ago) comment permalink

Re: “This“ meaning the lunch …

We, or least I, have come to expect the photographs of food — or, things in general for that matter as much as practically possible — that you write about. In that regard, I meant this lunch (entry, here on the blog) was the driest due to lack of the images of interior and/or food.

I see. My deepest apologies … I will remedy this travesty soon, at least for CHEZ LUC (though as I said, the food is presented simply, so for all it packs in taste, it lacks in photogenicicity. We’ll see. —Jeffrey

— comment by parv on May 26th, 2011 at 12:14am JST (6 years, 5 months ago) comment permalink

Jeff, this is a response to Parv’s post: Parv, you do realize that when Jeff posts photos of that wonderful food in front of him, it makes readers around the world, and especially in Rootstown, Ohio, USA, start to drool all over their computers. This is not a good thing for electronic items, I’ve been told, and I have myself asked Jeff to show a little mercy here. I don’t always have a bib and a towel handy.
Now the poor boy will be torn between pleasing his mother or his other readers. Oh, well, since he didn’t mind blowing off the home-style cooking that enabled him to grow to six feet 4 inches, he may find himself searching out better chefs when he comes home in a few months.

— comment by Grandma Friedl in Ohio, USA on May 26th, 2011 at 6:45am JST (6 years, 5 months ago) comment permalink
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