La Cime, headed by Chef Yusuke Takada, is the latest entry into Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants. In fact, it won the “Highest New Entry Award” for 2018. Chef Takada began his culinary studies in Japan. Afterward, he spent years in France, sharpening his skills.
The menu is a modern representation of traditional Japanese kaiseki. His emphasis is using seasonal ingredients, allowing the freshness of each element to shine. As expected, his plating and presentation is clean and focused.
The flavors are a mix of delicate and bold. Some plates showcase the uniqueness of ingredients, which brought a level of surprise to our taste buds. Though, we did notice one reoccurring flavor throughout his menu, bitterness. He’s not shy about it either, roughly 60% of his courses have a bitter component to it.
While some dishes had our heads scratching, dessert, on the other hand, was brilliant. He cleverly incorporated savory components, such as crispy cauliflower, into his sweet finishes.
The wine menu was limited and pricy. Should you opt for wine, it is best you order by the bottle rather than by the glass. The pours were horribly miniscule. This was acceptable if we were tasting the wine. But to have it accompany our dinner was far from satisfactory. And the price, 2500 yen (23 USD) was for a 30ml pour. Yeah, you would be upset too.
Décor takes on a minimalist approach, though we felt an art piece here and there would help break up the monotony.
Chef Takada, a seemingly lighthearted person, is pioneering modern Japanese cuisine through his refined approach, while still embracing his traditions.
At the time of visit
Michelin: 2 Stars
World’s 50 Best Restaurants: Asia, 17th
Executive Chef: Yusuke Takada
Cuisine: French Japanese
Cost per head: 18,000 Yen (165 USD), dinner, 2500 Yen (23 USD) wine by the glass
3-2-15 1F Kawaramachi,Chuo-ku,Osaka 5410048