Paris is beautiful: the fashion! The tree lined avenues! And, oh, the food!
But if you’re in Tokyo instead of Paris, head to Viron for a little slice of the city of lights.
At the invitation of a friend who claims it’s the restaurant she has visited the most in Tokyo, I head to Tokyo Station, and exit on the Marunouchi side.
I recognize the restaurant--on the ground floor of the Tokyo Building--immediately, because of the truly Parisien chairs and tables arranged along the pavement; a rare sight in Japan.
Inside it is busy; apparently it’s a perennially popular spot and reservations are essential. We are shown to our table with its heavy, white tablecloths and napkins, and silver cutlery—quite a departure from my usual wet-wipes and wooden chopsticks.
The whole place, in fact, is just so so French; from the terribly trendy art on the walls, to the deep red and gold colour scheme they have. The menu is actually even written in French, which shows real commitment to the theme, considering how few people can actually read it.
We both order from the specials board—white fish in a red wine sauce with steamed vegetables, though the pork in a tomato based sauce is a close second.
Then the bread arrives at the table; hot, fresh, chewy baguette, cut into big chunks like you’d find in France, and accompanied by real, salty French butter. I’m in Francophile heaven.
When the food arrives, the lightness of the flaky, white fish goes beautifully with the thick sauce. I had heard rumours of the portion sizes at Viron being unmanageable, but if you don't order from the set menus they are a good size.
We take our time eating, enjoying the atmosphere and the excellent food. At our request they even bring more bread, which makes me a very happy lady.
When the food is finished and the plates cleared, I have a coffee; just a long black, but better than most I’ve had so far in Tokyo. My friend opts for tea that comes in a seemingly bottomless ceramic teapot.
When we are finally finished, and we stumble back out into Japan, my friend hands me a little bag from the bakery inside the restaurant. Three fresh, flaky croissants and a little pat of butter, to keep my French cravings at bay for a little longer.
Viron is a little pricey, but if you want to get out of Tokyo, why not head to Paris for lunch?