After working for Joël Robuchon for 16 years in Paris, New York and other cities, Yosuke Suga came back to pursue his career in Japan. He has participated in Iron Chef Japan and now runs a restaurant, open only on those days he decides to open. Apart of the difficult reservation (you have to be introduced by someone who has dined there), Sugalabo is also not easy to find. Its entrance is hidden behind a wall of a coffee shop called “Orange Coffee”, in an office building like thousands others in the central Tokyo, so if you don’t know, you would never guess there is a restaurant behind it.
Yosuke-san cooks contemporary French cuisine, but while many of the techniques are French, Japanese ingredients and artisanship are celebrated throughout his cooking. One “amuse bouche” that impressed me most was Japanese made prosciutto on focaccia bread. It was obviously not from Parma, but was some of the best “Parma” hams I’ve ever had. Yosuke-san told a story that in order to work with its producer Tada Masatoyo, he had to wait few months to prove he is worth the collaboration.
Yosuke-san belongs to the new generation of Japanese chefs who have worked outside of Japan and came back to his home country to share his knowledge and forward thinking. Exactly what Japanese gastronomy, that can be too orthodox sometimes, needs nowadays.
Below are the dishes I had that night in October 2016: