Esperia - Nishi Azabu - Italian

Esperia - Nishi Azabu

February 2008

4-11-25 Nishi Azabu
Minato-ku Tokyo
Tel. 03-5485-1771
Open Mon-Sat for lunch 11:30 - 15:00
Dinner 18:00 - 23:00
Open Sunday for lunch 12:00 - 15:00
Dinner 18:00 - 22:00

This place does not get 5 stars for the interior or for the service, both of which were well below 5 star standards. I gave this restaurant 5 stars for the gastronomic experience alone. The dishes were amongst the most creative I have come across on a long time. Who would have thought to stuff a baked apple with escargot? See the picture above.
The uni spaghetti was not the usual Japanese flavour which chefs here love to use. It was a rich Italian tomato sauce with the uni gently rolled in at the end. The pasta was cooked to perfection.
We ate the Chef's course which was made up of 3 appetizers, one pasta, one main, one risotto, one main, cheese or dessert (I would recommend the cheese) and coffee.

Best Dish - Baked apple stuffed with escargot.
Cost - The Chef's course was 7,000 yen per person or the 5 course is 5,000 yen per person. Appetizers start at 1,000 and main go up to 2,800 yen each. Lunch menus from1,300 yen.
English Friendly - Yes.
Seats - 22 seats + counter. There is also a room upstairs which seats 20 and can be booked for functions.
Atmosphere - Sophisticated.
Food - complex.
Service - Could be better.
Wine list - Around 40 all from Italy and 8 by the glass. Price starts from 4,000.
Private Functions - There is also a room upstairs which seats 20 and can be booked for functions.
Non smoking areas - All non smoking.
Vegetarian Options - No.
Family Friendly -No.

1 comment:

Lowly said...

I felt exactly the same way about Esperia. Excellent food but slow service & terrible lighting/atmosphere. Such a shame. I'll go back when I'm 70, when I will be more attuned to the pace. Definitely an (old)er generation type hangout. I actually think the slow service & lack of initiative was a ruse to get us young ones out.