Dinner at CYCLE(スィークル)

Dinner at CYCLE(スィークル)

at CYCLE(スィークル) on 24 March 2024
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Cycle, a restaurant by the Michelin-starred chef Mauro Colagreco, is a notable addition to Tokyo's dining scene, located in the Otemachi district. This establishment marks Colagreco's first venture in Japan, embodying a philosophy deeply rooted in the cyclical nature of life and the natural world, as well as sustainability. The restaurant's concept, from its name to its practices, highlights a commitment to cycles of nature and dining with a conscience, drawing on principles of permaculture.

The restaurant's menu is deeply influenced by the seasonal and cyclical processes of nature, with a significant emphasis on locally sourced ingredients—90% of which come from Japan. This commitment extends to the cultivation of vegetables, flowers, and herbs, which Cycle either grows on-site or sources from local organic farms, particularly emphasizing biodynamic and organic methods. The menu showcases a range of set options, from more modest three-course lunches to extravagant six-course dinners, with both vegetarian adjustments and drink pairings available.

Colagreco's team, including head chef Yuhei Miyamoto, focuses on creating dishes that honor the natural lifecycle of ingredients, aiming to present them at their peak. The restaurant's approach to cuisine aligns with Colagreco's broader culinary philosophy, as seen in his other ventures, like the three-Michelin-starred Mirazur in France. Cycle's offerings are not just about the food but also about the broader message of environmental sustainability and the beauty of nature's provisions.

The interior of Cycle complements its culinary philosophy, presenting a clean and refined ethos that mirrors the thoughtful and nature-centric approach of the menu. This new establishment not only adds a high-quality dining option in Tokyo but also brings a unique perspective on the relationship between food, nature, and sustainability.

The evening's menu, thoughtfully crafted around the theme "Tapas of Nature's Cycle," showcases a harmonious blend of the elements—root, leaf, flower, and fruit—each represented in four meticulously calibrated snacks, with the Fukinoto snack standing out for its unique flavors.

The dining experience further unfolds with a series of creatively composed dishes, starting with a sharing bread paired with radish, lime, and seafood. The Torigai with radish offers a delightful contrast between the soft clam and the crunch of radish, setting the stage for a culinary adventure that blends texture and taste with finesse.

A standout dish, "Beets Caviar," encapsulates Colagreco's signature culinary approach, where simplicity meets sophistication. The dish, a sublime combination of beets, caviar, and cream, exemplifies how three ingredients can converge to create a taste sensation that's both luxurious and deeply satisfying.

The exploration of flavors continues with "Green Onion Buckwheat/Oyster" and "Green Peas Pistachio Squid," each presenting an inventive mix of ingredients that speak to Colagreco's knack for bringing together the unexpected. The seasonal hotaruika, paired with peas in a pistachio sauce, is particularly noteworthy for its innovative use of flavors and textures.

"Seaweed/Chrysanthemum/Today's Fish" features Suzuki (sea bass) in a preparation that highlights the chef's respect for the ingredient's integrity, enhanced by the umami of seaweed. The journey through the menu culminates in a striking dish, "Strawberry/Rive Venison," where the sweetness of strawberries complements the savory depth of venison from Hokkaido, a testament to Colagreco's inventive pairing of savory foods with fruits.

The meal concludes on a refreshing note with "Rocket/Mint/ Amanatsu," a dessert that embodies the Japanese aesthetic of subtlety in sweetness, perfectly rounding off an exceptional dining experience.

Overall, the meal at Cycle is a vivid demonstration of Colagreco's masterful blend of culinary innovation, respect for nature, and the art of flavor combinations. It's a meal that not only delights the senses but also tells a story of nature's cycles and the chef's deep-rooted philosophy in sustainability and creativity in cuisine. With its outstanding dishes and the promise of an ever-evolving menu that pays homage to the earth's bounty, Cycle is poised to become a beacon of culinary excellence in Tokyo, likely securing its place among the city's most celebrated dining establishments.

French Japanese
9 / 10