Over the years Anne has been a splendid dinner companion with whom I’ve enjoyed numerous restaurants in the Vancouver area. There’s never been a dud among the numerous options she’s suggested.
She was taking her first trip to Japan in the final weeks of November, and we happened to be in Tokyo at the same time. She wondered whether we might visit Lature, a Michelin starred restaurant specializing in Japanese game with a young Chef Takuto Murota at the helm.
His accolades are numerous, including third place in the 2019 French Division for Tokyo restaurants. However, Murota is quick to share the credit for his accomplishments. He lauds the producers, foragers and hunters who send him great ingredients, vendors who hear him ask the impossible and deliver, repeat customers who offer advice, and his staff whose hard work and long hours make awards and Michelin stars possible.
On arrival we were shown to the best table in the house, offered complimentary glass of Antech Blanquette de Limoux Brut Nature, and the feast (a set menu for which any allergies had been taken into account when we made the reservation) began.
One of the more intriguing aspects of Lature is that Murota hunts his own game in Hokkaido and prepares the game dishes for Lature in the French tradition. The menu varies with the seasons and is presented with charming, distinctive touches.
Deer blood macaron with black pudding filling served on deer hide.
Savoury Madeline-like biscuit with deer salami filling served on a pine cone.
House made roll and Hokkaido butter with a carved bird butter knife.
Smoked salmon, micro greens and flowers.
At this point of the meal we ordered a glass of Domaine de la Juvinière 2015 Savigny-Les-Beaune AOC Grand Vin de Bourgogne and proceeded with the next courses.
Pate en croute made with deer, boar, badger and bear; deer consume gelee and prune compote.
Deer loin with juniper, black pepper and currant sauce; celariac on the side; mushrooms, carrots Japanese white turnips, and micro greens. For the main course we selected a glass of Maxime Graillot 2016 Domaine des Lises Equis Crozes-Hermitage.
Two dessert courses followed. Confit apple with creme fraiche.
Caramel, pine nuts, walnuts and cocoa nibs.
Fortunately, we had scheduled a good deal of walking after the sumptuous meal–a memorable interlude and matchless food experience.
Apologies for all the accents omitted from the French text. And deepest thanks to Anne who kept better notes than I of the food and wine details.