Food & Drink | TOKYO FOOD FILE

Lature: Wildfowl and game meat worthy of a Michelin star

by Robbie Swinnerton

Contributing Writer

As you head to your table at Lature, don’t be surprised if you spot your dinner curled up on the counter by the kitchen. It might be a mandarin duck, a mallard or a pheasant from Okinawa, resplendent in its plumage. At this time of year especially, gibiers (game birds and animals) play a central role in chef Takuto Murota’s refined cuisine.

He came up through the ranks under celebrated French chef Tateru Yoshino, and then built a reputation at the late (and still lamented) Deco in Shibuya. After moving to his current location in 2016, a discreet basement opposite Aoyama Gakuin, it took Murota only a year to win a Michelin star of his own.

At both lunch and dinner, wild food remains front and center on the menu. His signature starter is a delicate savory macaron made with the blood of the same Yezo sika deer he serves as a main course. In summer he prepares a superb dish of ayu (sweetfish) layered inside a delicate pie case.

But it is in late autumn, when the game birds arrive — some shot by Murata himself — that his cooking finds its fullest expression. Order a few good bottles, or take advantage of Lature’s BYOB wine policy, and feast.

Lunch menu from ¥4,800; dinner from ¥10,000; Japanese menu; English spoken