ECN Hospitality, the group behind the luxury restaurants Two Rooms and Ruby Jack’s Steakhouse, has opened a French brasserie in the new Takashimaya Nihonbashi location. Septième, located on the department store’s top floor, is shuttered away, but this closed off exterior forms a barrier between the mall’s overstimulating lighting and the warm ambience of the dining space.
The centerpiece of the dining room and standing bar is a massive industrial fan seven meters wide. Salvaged from an industrial factory in the US, the fan was shipped to Japan for this restaurant. But the size and weight of it required the fan to be built into the new department store’s foundation. It is complemented by a warm, golden tile ceiling, custom-made and shipped in from Australia. The mind changes tempo at once entering the space, a respite from the busy streets of Nihonbashi.
The bar leads you to the private dining room and an incredible outdoor terrace. The spacious balcony holds over 40 seats, framed by delicate but rich rooftop landscaping. Most importantly, there is no street-noise this high up and you can enjoy a night spent in the cool evening air overlooking the cityscape.
There is a playfulness to the new brasserie’s menu—perhaps a tip of the hat to the fact that the owners are not French, but rather Australian, Kiwi and Ghanaian. It offers a lunch set as well as a “L’Express” menu for busy salarymen on the run. “L’Afternoon Tea” is also offered, with a children’s menu, catering to stay-at-home partners who’ve brought their children along for an afternoon of shopping. Keep an eye out for the baked-to-order madeleine, a fantastically delicious deal at 6 pieces for ¥750. The dinner menu offers both a set meal and a la carte options. Dishes include classic French brasserie fare with a twist.
When asked why the hospitality group decided to open a French restaurant (a first for the group), owner Matt Crabbe noted that “the area needed a good French brasserie.” He and his partners have indeed managed to address that need, bringing with them a stamp of quality – and price – they’ve cultivated at each of their restaurants. If you are in the area, perhaps even shopping in Takashimaya, Septième is a welcome respite you didn’t know you needed.