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Chi-Fu

Chi-Fu is housed in an ex-noodle factory, an odd modernist-style building a short walk from Kitashinchi Station. The motif for the interior seems to be heavy curtains. Other than that, it’s extremely plain — white walls match the white tablecloths — with none of the usual trappings of a Chinese restaurant. I had a private room to myself, curtained off from the compact main dining room. What might have been a rather lonely lunch was improved by the company of Tashiro and his wait staff. The fixed menu at Chi-Fu is poetic and oblique. Lunch opened with a dish named Roselle, which was succeeded by Tea and Wild Grasses before moving on to Lion Head. Each dish in this six-course lunch comes with an explanation so exhaustive it can sometimes seem more substantial than what’s on the plate.