Tucked inside the luxurious Hotel Metropole in Monte-Carlo, in a dim den of culinary genius, sits one of Monaco’s best restaurants, Joël Robuchon’s “Yoshi“. Yoshi is an explosion of Japanese flavor paired with French sophistication. Inside the quiet and elegant space designed by Didier Gomez, diners can sit and enjoy tasting menus that are both traditional and innovative, paying deep respect to the art of Japanese cuisine.
The first Japanese outpost of Mr. Robuchon, Yoshi is headed by Chef Takeo Yamazaki and delivers guests a casual yet serious food experience. The mood of the restaurant is light, despite its dark and moody atmosphere. Materials like ebony wood, silk and iron dress each corner of the room in a minimalist focus that puts you immediately at ease. You can sit at the beautiful sushi bar, in the main dining room or outside in the beautiful garden landscaped by Jacques Messin.
At a recent dinner at Yoshi, I was welcomed with a glass of delicious Veuve Clicquot and seated in a booth with views of the room. I opted for a tasting menu designed by Mr. Yamazaki, which, if you’re a fan of Japanese cuisine, will blow you away both aesthetically and in flavor. My meal included delicate and fresh sushi of tuna, eel and sea bass. I was also presented warm broth with a handmade shrimp dumpling, so flavorful, I didn’t want the bowl to end. Next was a lightly baked sea bass with miso glaze – so flaky it melted in my mouth. The entire meal was paired with champagne and a saki tasting. Dessert was simple with fresh seasonal sorbets, local fruit and green Gyokuro tea from Japan.
The staff at Yoshi are extraordinarily friendly, making your experience easy and enjoyable. They were very attentive and willing to explain each dish, the importance of the ingredients and the origin of the dish’s creation. I fully recommend a dinner at Yoshi for any fan of Japanese cuisine or for anyone who wants to try something new. It’s a breath of fresh air in the middle of Monaco’s heavily Mediterranean-influenced cuisine. Don’t miss it.