The backstreets of Ebisu do not lack for great French cuisine. So how can a tiny new restaurant put itself on the map in such a popular dining district? One approach is to adopt a short, catchy name written in lowercase letters. But at ici (French for “here”), the real strategy is offering brilliant value for money.

At just ¥5,800 for five courses — plus a dainty appetizer with your aperitif and a small patisserie alongside your coffee at the end — ici’s menu is priced at bistro levels. But owner-chef Shuichiro Iwata’s cooking reflects the two years he spent working in Paris restaurants, including the renowned Michelin-starred Senderens. More impressive yet, he works entirely solo in his kitchen but still manages to offer plenty of choices for both appetizers and main dishes.

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