Tokyo Food Page
ššSense/
Mitsukoshimae:
Chinese
₯3270-8188
€Data
Though some may
think that good dim
sum is synonymous
with brightly lit,
noisy dining rooms
and plastic table-
cloths, we've found
that style and sub-
stance coexist har-
moniously at Sense.
The dim sum experi-
ence at this
Michelin-starred
Contemporary Canto-
nese restaurant is
impeccably refined,
yet far from staid
or sterile.

The sleek Nouvelle-
Chinoiserie interior
takes advantage of
the view and is
smartly appointed in
dark wood and richly
textured fabrics,
with jewel-toned
glass bottles clev-
erly encased in
slender pillars.
Toward the back of
the restaurant, rows
of black tassels
dangle from the
ceiling and elegant
Chinese vases line
the shelves.

The menu, like the
decor, brings ele-
ments of the tradi-
tional into a modern
context. Chef Keni-
chi Takase's crea-
tive adaptations of
classic Chinese
recipes are imbued
with nostalgically
authentic flavors
and accented with
surprising touches.
The first course, a
vibrant mix of thin-
ly sliced vegetables
and deep-fried tofu,
tossed with fresh
lime juice and
crunchy peanuts, was
a palate-stimulating
departure from the
cold chicken or
jellyfish salads
typically served at
dim sum.

Steamed dumplings
veered toward the
traditional; a chewy
crescent the color
of pale jade was
stuffed with chopped
mushrooms and bitter
greens, while the
har gow was simply
filled with fresh,
sweet shrimp. Fried
morsels, like the
ginger-infused crab
puff, and crispy
prawn wonton driz-
zled with mango
mayonnaise, were
unmistakably contem-
porary in feel and
execution. All of
the dishes were
delicately flavored
and seasoned to
perfection. Through-
out the meal, condi-
ments like soy sauce
and vinegar were
never offered - or
needed.

The fact that most
everything was deli-
cious became a chal-
lenge to our self-
control - it was
nearly impossible to
ignore the gentle
exhortation to se-
lect additional dim
sum dishes from the
main menu. Even
after a soul-sooth-
ing broth of ginko
nuts and Chinese
herbs, and a plate
of assorted shumai -
pork and shrimp
purses topped with
miniature shiitake
mushrooms, and ador-
able packages of
crab and scallop
garnished with
asparagus spears -
we couldn't resist
ordering more. The
wagyu beef soup-
filled dumplings,
braised tripe with
roasted garlic in
broth, and perfectly
greaseless pan-fried
turnip cakes were
too temping.

We should have
stopped at the clay
pot rice with Chi-
nese sausage and
fiery chilies but
weakness prevailed
once more, and we
found ourselves
sadly unable to
finish the silken
tofu in ginger syr-
up. Like an open
bar, all-you-can-eat
dim sum does little
to encourage re-
straint.

Dim sum brunch is
Y5000 per person,
available only on
weekends and holi-
days.
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Chuo-ku, Nihonba-
shi Muromachi 2-1-1,
Mandarin Oriental
Tokyo 38F.  Open
11:30am-2:30, 5:30-
10pm daily.
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