An absolute favourite restaurant of mine in Tokyo is La Dame Aux Camelias. It’s a tiny, hidden shop in a little side street. Inside, it’s an adorable looking shop that seats about 7-8 people on a counter. This charming little restaurant is owned by a very friendly chef named Masa.
The first time we went, there were no English menus. Masa doesn’t speak a lot of English, but can surprisingly speak German! This was no good for me but great for my boyfriend who grew up in Germany. We found out he used to work in Dusseldorf, where he self taught himself German. He’s also very affable and always with a shy smile on his face, which makes the whole feel of the place even more endearing.
However, there are English menus now, so don’t worry! One day, we booked the restaurant because we wanted to bring our Malaysian friends over. When we got there, we saw Masa scribbing furiously on some paper. To our surprise, he had made all of us English menus! This is something that really touched me and amazed me. I’m not sure if this is a Japanese thing, or a Masa thing, or both, but it’s this degree of thoughtfulness that blows me away! So if you ever head there, please think of me when you see those English menus! And, you’re welcome!
Let’s get to the food. My boyfriend (who’s Dutch) and I both LOVE the food at Masa’s. Everything is incredibly flavorful. We’ve tried out almost everything on the menu, and nothing has disappointed so far. If you’re going there, I would definitely recommend the fried chicken –it is the juiciest, most tender chicken in the crispiest skin. Topped with zesty lemon and accompanied by a fresh salad with a yummy dressing, you should not give this dish a miss. The pate here is also amazing! I usually don’t like pate at all, but the pate at Masa’s is delicious and never overpowering. Another favourite of ours are the ‘Pomme Frites’ – Belgian fries. I don’t know how Masa does it – but the way he cooks food just elevates the most normal dishes, like fries! His fries are perfectly cooked, piping hot and crispy, never too oily, served the Belgian way with ketchup, mayonnaise and freshly chopped onions.
I’m not much of a beer drinker, but my boyfriend is always raving about the selection of Belgian beers here. There are very niche beers tucked away here. My boyfriend always wobbles home very happily after a dinner at Masa’s, having glugged down his favourite beers.
The ambience here is very charming. There is something about having music playing in the background, a chef pottering around busily in front of you and delicious food on your plate that makes it ripe for the best conversations you’ll have. It’s also a nice place to come alone. Masa always tries to strike up a conversation with you (though language could be a barrier) and generally, the people who come here are very friendly themselves.
I have brought so many people to this restaurant – my boyfriend’s parents, my friends, my colleagues, and so far everyone really likes it too! If you’re ever in the Shibuya Honmachi area, you should definitely give this a go.
PS. I was just told that the link doesn’t work! I’m so sorry about this. I’ve updated it, but in case you still can’t see it, here’s the address :
4-13-11 Honmachi Shibuya Tokyo
To call for reservations: 03-3376-8225 (+81-3-3376-8225)