Milieu - salad lunch with a glass of red win
Higashi-Azabu 2-23-12, Minato-ku, 106-0044 Tokyo
I am trying diet for a while. When I weighed nearly 85 kg a few years ago, I started my trial to reduce my weight so as to have a positive effect on my high blood pressure and backache. Nowadays I weigh some 78kg. So far, so good. But, I want to reduce the weight a few more kilogram and still continue to control my calorie intake. I changed my diet strategy a few times; cabbage diet, tomato diet and so on.
My everyday tokoroten bowl for breakfast - topped with ground sesame and shred myoga
Now, my diet strategy centers on "tokoroten" (jelly made of a sort of red algae "tengusa") and this works excellent as far as I eat at home.
However, I have to eat also in restaurants especially for lunch, because I do not like to prepare lunch box. Unfortunately, business lunch menus are usually too heavy for my diet purpose. Different from Western dishes Japanese dishes do not contain much meat and fat, but lots of carbon hydrate such as rice and noodle. I believe that this comes from our culinary tradition. The main part of our meal used to be rice and this tradition still remains intact today. Cooked rice is called "gohan" or "meshi" and both words mean at the same time meal. Rice is the "principal" food and other dishes including meat, fish, vegetable and soup are mere side dishes.
Therefore, in particular where competition among restaurants is severe, they tend to offer bigger portion of rice and use various tricks to satisfy the appetite of young and hungry businesspeople. However, those dishes are exactly what I want to avoid. What I need are low-calorie but tasty foods. Therefore, I have only three choices for my lunch: soba, sandwich and salad.
You might be surprised, but it is very difficult to find lunch menus comprising a salad bowl only. It is usual in Japan to serve a small toss salad to main food. The most preferred salad type is Russian potato salad, I believe, because its rich taste contributes to stilling hunger. But, salad cannot be the main plate of a meal.
Then, I finally found Milieu, a French restaurant. It offers a rich lunch menu comprising soup, salad, main course, dessert and coffee at a reasonable price of 1,200 yen. I asked the owner/chef to serve only salad from among the lunch menu but to include a glass of good red wine at the same price. He was friendly enough to accept my request without having second thoughts.
However, at the first few times, I found the portion of my salad really big, much bigger than the salads served to other guests. On my question, the chef explained me that I might otherwise feel hungry after lunch. No, no! I wanted to cut my calorie intake and did not need much to eat. So, nowadays, this is my lunch. I am particularly happy with wine. If it is served separately, 800 yen is demanded. Today's salad is made of Greek Feta, various sorts of beans, lettuce, tomato, carrot, onion. Home made baguette is always crispy and rich in taste. A small cup of cold corn potage and a cup of coffee are also included. All in all, my personal lunch menu costs the same as the ordinary one. No wonder that I frequent Milieu for lunch.
When the weather is mild and fine, I am happy to sit on the terrace. They have a small open air terrace and this is rather unusual because the restaurant space is rather limited in Tokyo. However, I really admire the people who sit out when the temperature is over 37 degree Celsius like today.