Esperance Tokyo @ Nishiazabu

Walk into Esperance wine bar in Tokyo (B1) and you’ll find out that you should make a reservation. Owner Narita san a top professional, he greets you with some hesitation unless you have an introduction and for a good reason. His wine bar has a very high standard and is not for everyone and foreigners are welcome but they must observe the very quiet atmosphere. Narita san does not doubt to focus on both quality and customer satisfaction – he has his own ways.

I feel like I am stepping back in time, a small room with a wooden counter and a few tables with a private room. The atmosphere is Japanese classical from the 1990’s, some quiet music playing in the background, and a few customers watching their wines carefully as they sip them. His counter is set up with the leg of Jamon Iberico from Joselito and it is warn down to the bone. Some winter fruits and behind him is part of his music collection and turn table.

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We ask for some food but the owner politely explains that in order not to waste ingredients, it is by reservation only. But before we can blink a toasted truffle buttered-spread with shaved Alba truffles is served with a glorious Meursault from Lafon 2011.

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I guessed when he served us the next course it was his dinner and his wife’s who is behind the kitchen door. She can definitely chef and has an excellent hand in preparing a few extraordinary dishes. The fish was and the venison cooked perfectly served with chestnuts and a truffle butter – amazing!

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