Le Petit Chou Chou, the Cute Bistro in Hiroo

Melissa Uchiyama

Quick. You’re walking in the Hiroo area, looking to score a highly-gratifying lunch, without spending so much. Le Petit Chou Cho is just the place to duck into for such a lunch. As soon as you walk through the accordian doors and view the long stretch of their bar, with diners enjoying bright plates and glasses full of wine, you know this was a wise move. Le Petit Chou Chou is inviting.

I was escorted to the second floor, where worn wooden planks set the stage, beams of espresso-colored wood stretch across the ceiling, and through the large window come streams of light. The 1,200 yen lunch provides the set choice of hamburger or daily-changing entree–today it was salmon. Lunch comes with the soup de jour, a hunk of bread, and the chosen entree. Dessert and a drink can be purchased for 300 yen more.

What can pass for onion soup these days…and yet, such richness here. A heaping cup of soulful onions and a bit of a spicy kick made my soup memorable.

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Next, Le Petit’s jewel-toned salad of Kamakura vegetables was tremendous.

One glimpse and I was sold…and then to taste? Sturdy root vegetables have become delicate even in their crunch. | Photo by Melissa Uchiyama

Skinny buttons of red-tinged radish and daikon filled my glass salad vase like a bouquet of flowers.

Clearly, Let Petit Chou Chou’s chef, Takashi Watanabe, believes vegetables can have presence in his meals. When my salmon arrived, fragrant, and steamy, it was the ice plant I noticed, draped like a scarf. The crystalline fibers on this succulent do make it look as if gleaming water droplets have been frozen on its stems.

Beyond this decorative and  fresh veg, carrot, broccoli, and radish brought even more color to this plate. The salmon, delectable, moist, and bearing crispy ends, sat over a bed of risotto and two sauces. Pink beets and a white wine-shiso sauce carried a sweetness which the ice plant cut through and refreshed. So much happening, but the entree still appeared edited and controlled.

Le Petit Chou Chou is relaxed and refined, with smiling, helpful servers, and bright meals.

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Sweet beet melds with white wine-shiso sauce underneath a gorgeous piece of salmon. | Photo by Melissa Uchiyama

Take out is also an option. Their boxed lunch-burger comes with that bright Kamakura salad I mentioned, for 600 yen. Two bentos total 1,000 yen. These take-out deals will be even sweeter as the weather warms. The spacious Arisugawa Park is a nearby place to unpack a meal.

Larger and fancier lunch meals are also an option, at 2,500 yen or 5,000 yen. Dinners range from 1,980 yen to their most luxurious, at 7,000 yen.

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Le Petite Chou Chou may indeed become another lunch-time favorite for you. It is ooh-la-la with substance, a homey canvas on which they spread gobs of color.

For your own cute-favorite, Le Petit Chou Chou is selling such Valentine sweets as raw (nama) chocolate, 600 yen for two pieces; a strawberry and orange mousse, 450 yen; truffles, 1,200 yen for five pieces, and more. Valentine sales run from February 8-14th, but you may reserve the treats now.

At Le Petit Chou Chou, easy-going elegance awaits. 

Name:Le Petit Chou Chou
Location:Hiroo Walking Street, across from the big red pachinko parlor
Closest Station: 3 minute-walk from Hiroo Station
Business hours:7 daysLunch: 11:00 ~ 15:00 Cafe: 15:00 ~17:00 Dinner: 17:00 ~ 23:00


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