Having had two successful nights out at “Little Okinawa”:http://www.silvertraveladvisor.com/review/restaurant/163131-review-little-okinawa and “Wainosuke”:http://www.silvertraveladvisor.com/review/restaurant/163188-review-wainosuke, we decided for our third dinner in Toyko to try the same area. Unfortunately we inadvertently strayed into the red light district where scantily clad ladies tried to tempt us in. All the restaurants were small and absolutely packed as we’d gone later than normal.
We spotted a sign for a bistro on the second floor, which we thought at the time was called Auberge, and assumed it was French. We rather hesitantly pushed open the door not really knowing what to expect – but at least with four of us, we felt there was safety in numbers. We found a fairly full, small restaurant/bar but we were warmly welcomed and invited to sit up at the counter which, like Little Okinawa was next to the kitchen.
This time there was an English menu which was easy to understand and consisted of cold and hot appetizers, meat dishes and simple snacks. The menu was varied and Nigel insisted it was an Italian bar because of the wines on offer: we insisted it was French because the flag on the menu was blue, white and red.
Three of us decided to share a variety of appetisers whilst Nigel chose the most expensive dish on the menu, Wagyu beef sirloin steak at ¥2480 (£16). We all wanted a little taste and whilst it was delicious, it was very rich and I wouldn’t have been able to eat the whole steak. Instead we three feasted on a gratin of mushrooms with gorgonzola, fish carpaccio, crudités with an anchovy sauce, spicy chorizo, prosciutto, bread and a cheese platter.
This place was run by a young waitress and a charming man in the kitchen. We were amazed at the diversity of dishes he produced on a couple of rings which ranged from pan fried mussels to roasted Hungarian duck in red wine sauce.
Towards the end of our meal he started cooking spaghetti bolognaise (which we thought interesting for a French restaurant) and added milk to the sauce which we then had a huge debate about. We must have looking longingly at the dish he was preparing as he took out a portion for us to share at no cost.
On looking at my photographs to accompany this review, I realised the place was called Asperge and not Auberge. The restaurants “Facebook”:https://www.facebook.com/pages/Asperge/198105640328773 page says it’s an Italian restaurant despite the flag looking remarkably French but the flag on my photo looks Italian. I am therefore unsure as to whether this was a French or Italian place, but regardless it was good!