Maison Première — Tokyo, Japan
In a city that’s already well documented for its love of French cuisine, the arrival of Maison Première comes as a genuine surprise. Not least for the thoughtful interior design conceived by Charlotte Biltgen, who has injected the restaurant with a shot of typically French art de vivre amongst Japanese simplicity.
The result is a relaxed, ultra-feminine series of rooms that eschews the stuffy formality of fine dining with cylindrical poufs and rectangular sofas casting crisp silhouettes against a contrasting palette of gentle pastels.
Though authentically French, chef Armand Arnal’s menu incorporates local flavours; steak tatare created with Japanese beef, for example, or eel that sits comfortably alongside foie gras. And if the aforementioned fails to separate Maison Première from its local contemporaries, the restaurant’s very own first floor chapel is, by any measure, an unbeatable trump card.