The National Art Center is one of the key museums in Tokyo for those curious about modern art in a contemporary setting. Featured in the top 20 most visited museums in the world, with a proud space of just under 50,000m2 the museum in fact has an unusual structure. It doesn't have a collection or permanent display, thus the National Art Center exhibitions are organized and brought to Japanese audience by various international museums. If you are planning a visit to the National Art Center be prepared that most likely you will have to join enormous queues of art enthusiasts, impatient to see celebrated works of art lent by Kunsthaus Zurich, the Hermitage Museum, Louvre, Musée d'Orsay, and others.
The French influence also spreads to other visitors' facilities including the dining options the National Art Center has to offer. Along with masterpieces presented by the most renowned French museums, the audience can enhance their cultural experience through tasting culinary delights of one of the most highly acclaimed chefs in the world, Paul Bocuse.
Tokyo became the first international outpost for Monsieur Bocuse and his Brasserie was opened in the newly built National Art Center in 2007.
The name of Paul Bocuse has been associated with the so-called nouvelle French cusine, a term coined in the late 60s. Since then Bocuse has received numerous Michelin stars, 'Chef of the Century' award, created his own culinary institute and the famous truffle soup for the President Giscard d'Estaing. Tokyo became the first international outpost for Monsieur Bocuse and his Brasserie was opened in the newly built National Art Center in 2007. Brasserie boasts an exceptional location in the museum. It floats on top of a unique inverted cone shaped architectural construction, designed by one of the leading Japanese architects Kisho Kurakawa. This itself adds to the experience as Brasserie's visitors can enjoy panoramic views over the museum's smoothly shaped interiors or observe a stretch of green landscape of the nearby Roppongi district. Brasserie Le Musée stays true to Paul Bocuse's mission: introduce the best of the French cuisine to people in Japan and to make it available at affordable prices.
Lunches at the Brasserie have been very popular with the museum visitors, especially elegant female crowd. Dinners are more formal and tend to be popular for dates and romantic outings. Both lunches and dinners offer set menus with a variety of choices. Museeum visited the Brasserie on various occasions and highly praises it for the atmosphere and a very warm welcome. We loved the baguette, which indeed reminded of something you can get at the French boulangerie. Paul Bocuse special crème brûlée deserves another mention as it is generally difficult to find an authentic caramel crust on this side of the world. So if you moderate your expectations from a Michelin star restaurant to a friendly brasserie, Le Musée has high chances to satisfy your hunger craving after a you've fed your visual appetite with a few Rembrandts, Monets and, perhaps, Magrittes.