Curry-rice, menchi-katsu cutlet, kani (crab) cream croquette, and kaki (oyster) fry... Dinner at Toyoken reads like a roll call of retro comfort food from a long-passed era — but with one big difference.

This is not the bill of fare at an old-school company canteen or some fusty provincial hotel. You're in a grand new dining room in the heart of Tokyo, and this menu has been put together by one of Japan's best and most innovative chefs, Yoshihiro Narisawa. His mission: to restore to its former glory the genre of Japanese cuisine known as yōshoku.

Literally, the term translates as "Western food." But what it really means is European dishes as interpreted and assimilated by Japanese chefs over a century ago, at the time when foreign foods — and chief among them meat dishes — were being discovered for the first time.