As a child of the 80’s, whenever my mother was going out to a fancy restaurant I would always ask her the same questions: “Are you excited? What will you eat?”
There was something so powerfully adult to me, about going out to a restaurant to dine. That seemingly endless list of possibilities. Her reply was always” “I don’t know darling.” But rather than calm me, this response only fired my imagination.
Now that eating has become my favourite pastime, I am less impressed by long menus. “Bibles” as we call them in Australia, are out of vogue. Give me a seasonal blackboard menu any day.
So when I heard about a new 11-seater place in Tokyo, serving just one dish, one champagne and one wine – I was instantly hooked.
The place called, Out Restaurant, in Shibuya Tokyo takes the magical pairing of Champagne Pol Roger and seasonal truffle egg pasta and puts it in the limelight. The menu’s brevity is further enhanced by the fact that they also only play one artist: Led Zeppelin on vinyal. Hello! Rock and roll is also for dinner.
Out Restaurant was started in May 2017 by a quirky brother-sister team from Adelaide, with the-not-so- silent partner Dave Mackintosh (of Movida, Pei Modern and Mayfair Melbourne fame) .
These cats take the provenance of each and every ingredient that comes into their restaurant VERY seriously.
The pasta is hand made. The truffles are painstakingly selected. And the staff love discussing with guests the ins-and outs of the fruit that goes into their one, yes just one, Nebbiolo.
If you are hungry then take your cash to the vending machine. This is subtle nod to the ramen bars of Tokyo and the machine like an old corner store juke box let’s you pick out what you want at the push of a button. The horseshoe shaped bar also puts you up close where you can watch the chef and chat to the hostess.
Proprietor Sarah Crago who has spent the last 2.5 years in Tokyo – has endured all the challenges of setting up a restaurant in a foreign city. And to her credit has fought hard to keep the experience and the interior simple.
OUT is classic like a designer bag that endures for decades precisely because it works with raw materials and does NOT guild the lily.
It offers a whole lot of buttery egg pasta with freshly shaved truffles right smack bang in the middle of eat streets of Tokyo.
It is a totally cult – bucket list kind of place you need to sniff out from all other manner of fishy, raw prawn, dashi craziness that is going up your nose in Japan.
Situated on a Shibuya back laneway with plenty of cool bars, Crago tells me they chose Pol Roger for its great purity of style.
To be sure this is not a place full of pomp and ceremony. If it sounds at all high brow or wanky, then I have done little to describe the laid-back vibe. That’s the Aussie part. The other aspect that so nice, is the theatre of having fresh truffles grated generously over your pasta by hand. It’s casual, yet intimate in a minimal setting.
The fact that you don’t have another choice to make at dinner makes everything so much easier. No food envy. No unpleasant distractions. It’d just food and wine done well.
〒150-0002 Tokyo-to, Shibuya-ku, Shibuya, 2 Chome−7−14
Tuesday – Sunday
18:00 – late