If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to dine at the home of a multiple-starred chef, then Dominique Bouchet Tokyo may just be the place to go.
It’s not actually where Dominique resides of course, however, it’s a very elegant French restaurant with a cozy atmosphere that’s been designed to reflect the Frenchman’s own apartment.
“Many large restaurants feel a little bland and impersonal, so I wanted to create something intimate where guests could relax and properly enjoy their meals,” says Dominique.
The dishes are all exquisitely prepared using seasonal ingredients from Japan and his home country, including some from the Charente Maritime Department in southwestern France where Dominique grew up.
A good sauce is the key to stellar cuisine, yet the esteemed chef says, “more and more young chefs, even those in France, aren’t prepared to put in the effort to make sauces.”
Bouchet’s reputation skyrocketed while working at renowned establishments such as La Tour d’Argent and Hôtel de Crillon. His signature dishes from that period, which have altered over time, feature in the heritage course menu, while Menu Generations focuses on new creations by Executive Chef Kota Tanaka that he developed alongside Bouchet. An a la carte menu is also available.
More and more young chefs, even those in France, aren’t prepared to put in the effort to make sauces
“I learned from the best,” says Bouchet. “Master chefs like the late Marcel Pouilly and Joël Robuchon, who were both very strict, passed on their knowledge and wisdom to me, now I’m doing the same with my team.”
“There’s a familial atmosphere with myself as the father-figure,” continues Bouchet. “Everybody listens intently and respects my philosophy. These wonderful Japanese chefs are then given the freedom to express themselves and create imaginative dishes.”
Bouchet fell in love with Japan when he first visited in the early ’80s. He launched the first Dominique Bouchet Tokyo in 2013 in the heart of Ginza, one of the most vibrant districts in the world.
After just four months the restaurant received two dining stars (Bouchet has 13 in total), but he still wasn’t satisfied with how the restaurant was presented, as he felt the underground location was too dark. Dominique Bouchet subsequently relaunched two years later in a different part of Ginza.
Bright with a French-style chic décor, it features delightful paintings by Bouchet’s friend Pierre Marie-Brisson, a stylish lounge, a private dining room where you can watch dishes being prepared, and a magnificent wine cave.
“When I proposed to have the cave, everyone, including the agent said it would be impossible,” recalls Bouchet. “Then, the designers proposed using bricks from Japan, but it had to be old Belgian vintage bricks to make it look authentic.”
“We don’t have any music, but for me the music comes from the vibrancy of the guests as they chat and enjoy themselves,” adds Bouchet.