The bubbly season is upon us. The illuminations and Christmas music have been with us for weeks already, but now we're into December, it's high time to think about where to uncork a quiet commemorative bottle or two. Somewhere special and secluded, with plush service and, most crucially, fabulous food to go with it: Time to book a table at L'Effervescence.

If you've not heard of it, you're not the only one. L'Effervescence has got to be one of Tokyo's best-kept secrets. Open for just over a year now, it's only a minute's walk from the heart of Nishi-Azabu, but hidden among low-rise residential housing, its entrance set back so far from the street you hardly notice it's there.

Like its predecessor at this same location, the busy, buzzy Citabria, there is a sense of exclusivity, of being a place for those in the know. What is different — and the reason we will not miss Citabria — is the cooking. There is no attempt now to woo the hip crowd: At L'Effervescence, the wow factor is all on the menu.