Japanese restaurant features $110 dirt tasting menu

Ne Quittez pas, a fashionable French restaurant in Tokyo, is serving up a seven-course dirt-themed meal.

When it comes to food from one Tokyo restaurant, the five-second rule seems like kind of a moot point, because the dirt? It's already in the food.

Dirt is the main ingredient in a $110 tasting menu from Ne Quittez pas, a French restaurant in the city's Gotanda district. (The name, for the curious, translates to Don't Leave.)  

According to RocketNews24, the seven-course menu features dirt in every dish, and taste testers found them surprisingly … delicious. The news agency sent a reviewer to sample the menu and she sang its praises.

"The first course: a potato starch and dirt soup. It arrived in a shot glass looking so dark brown, it was almost black. It definitely looked like it had dirt in it," RocketNews24 reviewer Jessica wrote. "A slice of black truffle was balanced on top, and the staff instructed us to take a bite of it and then try the soup. So we did… and it was divine! There wasn’t a dirty flavor at all. Instead, this simple soup went down smoothly with just a hint of potato flavor."

The second course features a salad, with vegetables including eggplant, tomato and turnips, with a dressing made of dirt and ground popcorn. That was followed by a dish called "minerals of the sea and minerals of the land" – an aspic made with clams and "the top layer of sediment," followed by a dirt risotto with sautéed sea bass and burdock root.

The meal was rounded out with desserts, but not mud pies. The final dishes included a dirt ice cream, a dirt gratin and a dirt mint tea. "It looked like muddy water (sorry, but it's true), but the minty taste was bracing," Jessica wrote. 

The dirt in question is created by a company called Protoleaf, which uses dirt from Sri Lanka and India, coffee grinds and palm fiber to create an "eco-friendly compost," Rocket News reported. It's not clear from the company's website if that compost is actually intended to be eaten.

The chef behind the dirty delight, Toshio Tanabe, learned his craft working at Michelin three-star French restaurants after a short-lived career as a professional boxer. He opened Ne Quittez pas in 1994.


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