An artful modern French that vows to the highest aesthetics. From the extravagant decor to the 1,000-bottle wine collection, Chef Junichi Nakamine is committed to curate the finest gastronomic experience to every detail. The signature spring rolls are like flower-decorated gems, while the majestic and colorful finger food platter is a work of art. With the luxurious private room set in the back, this provides the perfect setting for a special evening.
La Kanro offers a flavor of elegance the moment you step through the door from the street in Minamimorimachi. Take the elevator up to the 5th floor to enter a space that feels like an exclusive private club. The first thing you may notice are the deep blue walls, a feature designed by craftsman Naoki Kusumi. This has become a brand for the restaurant with many guests calling it the “La Kanro” blue.
Here at La Kanro, Osaka-born Junichi Nakamine is ready to show off his culinary craft that he mastered at France’s top restaurants, Astrance and Jean-Georges. After returning to Japan, he worked at Kamoshiya Kusumoto before opening a small restaurant in Nishitemma in 2013. It quickly became a favorite among gourmands.
At the start of the Covid pandemic in 2020, he moved the restaurant to the current location, with the biggest appeal being the addition of a new private room. He was committed to creating a luxurious atmosphere while making sure all the furnishings and tableware were all top of the line.
"It's not enough to just serve delicious food,” he says. “It's important to make our guests happy with everything from service to decor.”
For the guests to enjoy the entire 10-course meal, he keeps his flavors light by using as little butter and cream as possible and incorporating a lot of vegetables. As you can tell from the simple menu that just lists French words like “Gargouille” or “Poisson” next to the main ingredients, he places great emphasis on the ingredient itself.
Another feature of his cuisine is the sheer beauty of the colors and design in his presentation. The finger food platter is made up of nine different dishes on a large rectangular plate, making it look like a hassun in traditional kaiseki cuisine. His signature spring rolls mimic delicate hand-painted art pieces, covered with bright-colored flowers.
An artful modern French
The artistic meal at La Kanro is made up of 10 stunning courses. It typically begins with consomme, followed by amuse bouche, finger foods, vegetable dish, 2 seasonal appetizers, risotto, fish and meat. To wrap up the evening, he puts together an assortment of desserts.
“I haven’t raised the number of courses over the years, but how much work I put into each course has definitely increased,” the chef says, adding to the excitement for the meal to follow.
The finger food platter is one of the most memorable dishes for the guests at La Kanro. Plated beautifully around with colorful flowers are onion gratin soup guimauve, mushroom meringue, Japanese corned beef sandwich, caprese, celery root chips and white fish tartare, sea lettuce and rice chips on sea urchin, marinated horse mackerel and couscous salad, sakura shrimp quiche, and squid tartar soup.
The day’s amuse is egg yolk confit topped with caviar and smoked cashew nut sauce. The seasonal vegetable dish brings together 15 different kinds of ingredients such as zucchini, asparagus sauvage, brussels sprouts and mini okra.
The grilled tilefish is an adaptation of uroko-yaki, a traditional Japanese fish-grilling method where the fish is cooked with the scales intact. Between the crispy skin and flavorful meat are layers of shirasu whitebait and Japanese ginger mousse. Served with aromatic shiso sauce, every bite is just divine.
The meat dish elevates Chateaubriand to a new level. The tender meat is melded together with foie gras and draped with a striped layer of red paprika and green chive sauces.
The evening ends with an assortment of sweets. The passion fruit mousse is light and refreshing, followed by chocolate, fruit and 8 tiny sweets.
For Nakamine, the quality of the ingredients is top priority. He only purchases produce that are in season from vendors he knows and trusts. He also looks for new ingredients from different regions and cultures.
“It’s important for guests to enjoy different flavors, aromas and textures,” he explains. “We incorporate many kinds of vegetables and herbs to create a dish that surprises them from the first bite to the last.” The flower spring rolls is one of the dishes that made Nakamine famous. Seasonal vegetables such as paprika and champignons are mixed into potato puree and wrapped in flower-decorated skins. This recipe was inspired by what he learned at Astrance in Paris, which he evolved using Japanese ingredients and techniques.
He curates a superb wine pairing menu from his ample collection of more than 1,000 bottles. Many are of French vintages, with a particular focus on Burgundy. All of the wines are from cool regions, with a refreshing taste and low alcohol content.
WINE & GLASWARE
La Kanro has a magnificent wine cellar and glassware collection. The wine cellar stocks more than 1,000 bottles of French Burgundy wines. There are more than 22 types of glasses to choose from, such as those made by the Austrian glass maker Rob Meyer and Salz, a handmade glass brand. Pairing is also done very carefully based not only on the day’s menu but on the drinking pace and preference of each guest.
- The price includes our booking fee of ￥8,000
- The price includes our booking fee of ￥8,000