Oleh Vicky Amin
In a quiet, unassuming neighbourhood away from the hustle and bustle of Akasaka, Maison de YU LONG defies its inconspicuous location, being the pioneer of the nouvelle cuisine style of Chinese cooking in Japan and revered across Tokyo and beyond.
'Nouvelle chinois' was a term originally coined to described a new wave of Chinese cooking – combining Western ingredients, the elegance of French cuisine (think 'nouvelle cuisine' – one of the influences) and Chinese cooking techniques.
Abe-san, Head Chef at Maison de Yu Long, has been here since the beginning in 1995. Born in Tokyo in 1964, learning Chinese cooking at Shanghai Kinkouhanten and refining his trade at Aoyama's Orse Bonure, he's well-known for his stir fry cooking and proud to share the best Nouvelle Chinois has to offer
Nouvelle chinois started around 1980 in Hong Kong, seeking to serve consumers a healthy alternative and using less oil, butter and spices so as to emphasise the original flavours of the ingredients.
Nouvelle chinois au Japon
The movement spread to Japan in the 1990s, with Maison de Yu Long the leader of the pack, opening its current location in 1995. The team at Yu Long work strenuously to deliver the best taste experience, carefully selecting the highest quality seasonal ingredients.
Naturally, their hard work hasn't gone unnoticed, with plaudits from food critics quickly following – including a Michelin Star for 2 consecutive years between 2010 and 2011 (Michelin Guide Tokyo 2010 & Michelin Guide Tokyo, Yokohama, Kamakura 2011).
Yu Long aims to deliver a unique taste experience you won't find anywhere else in the capital. Numerous course menus are available at both lunch and dinner, with several à la carte options available. The most popular dishes here are the stir-fried dishes (itamemono) and tantanmen (Sichuan-style Chinese ramen) but Yu Long is well-known for several signature dishes including fukahire sugatani (sharkfin) or tebasaki.
A solid wine selection is available, including Batič from Slovenia, La Querce/Toscana from Italy, Mazoyères-Chambertin Grand Cru from Burgandy, and many more, with the red wines making for great combinations with the soy sauce based dishes, such as tebasaki fukahire.
Maison de Yu Long is located about 10 minutes by foot from Akasaka station. Take Exit 3a and head north-west for about 10 minutes.
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