Despite the name, this is not a japanese restaurant - more a Euro-Nippon fusion which takes the ingredients and cues from Japan and serves them in an innovative way that suits and tickles European palates. We chose the € 139 Impressions menu consisting of 6 courses plus two amuses gueules, a pre-dessert and post-dessert sweets. This was light cuisine at its best - a tantalizing array of tastes with sauces so light that it was mostly like eating flavoured air. We especailly relished the 'Butterschaum' accompaniment to the main lamb dish - a frothy concoction of melted butter, cream and truffle oil with the lingering taste of a sauce Béarnaise yet so light that it was enjoyed without Cholesterolangst.
In contrast to the kitchen which deserves the top rating the service, while friendly, youthful and extremely helpful, is not quite up to the same level. Although my wife announced she was a vegetarian, she was presented with a bite-sized piece of pork belly as a second amuse gueule - an error, however, which the service and kitchen immediately corrected.
And then there's the bizarre ambiente! Red plastic eggshells on one wall; arabian mirrored doors on another and strange white plastic obelisks throughout the dining area - all hardly Japan (despite the predominant colour of the rising sun). A further disappointment, the lack of a Rhine view - at least when dining indoors. We had asked for a Rhine view when booking the table and, although confirmed, our window table's prospective river view was obstructed by a large terrace and low wall at the Rhine end.
All in all - a top rating for the kitchen, four for the service and three for the ambiente. Viator Coloniae
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