Natsuko Shoji is only 33 years old. She started training as a pastry chef at Michelin-starred Le Jeu de l’Assiette in Daikanyama before working at the two-Michelin-starred Florilège for three years when she became its sous chef and decided to start her own business in 2014. Her mango cakes were an instant success and soon she opened her private table restaurant, initially catering up to four people before expanding to cater six by the end of 2019. I first met her in Hong Kong when I tasted her mango cake. She has mentioned in the press that many of her creative inspirations come from art and fashion brands, and she has indeed developed her own brand, or is at least a trendsetter, in the culinary scene.
Ensue pays respect to the local products but reveals openness and creativity thanks to the head chef Miles Pundsack-Poe.
‘Borderless’ is a confusing expression in that it makes you wonder what the restaurant’s real strengths are.
Wang Yong has the ability to reinterpret street food and turn it into fine dining. He is able to find a great balance between use of general and high-end ingredients, also able to find inspiration from Western cuisine and apply it to Chinese cuisine, deconstruct and apply it to his own Chinese dishes.