K+ is an Italian restaurant related to nearby Equateur, with head chef Watanabe Tatsumi. It is at street level in the Nishiazabu district, a leafy and peaceful area that is home to many embassies, neighbouring the more lively district of Roppongi. As so often with restaurants in Japan, it is on a small scale, with just three tables of two and eight counter seats arrayed opposite the open kitchen. If you dine here before 9 p.m. then only a set menu is offered, but if instead you visit from 9 p.m. onwards, as we did, then you can go a la carte. Relaxing jazz music played quietly in the dining room.
The wine list appears on an iPad. Although markups were modest, there were essentially no cheap wines, the list starting at the rather hefty entry point of ¥9,800 (£73), and heading skywards right up to the giddy heights of Domaine Romanee Conti La Tache 1976 at ¥598,000 (£4,438), which is actually about half its current market price. The list had labels such as Leclerc-Briant NV champagne at ¥9,800 for a bottle that you can find in the high street for ¥7,932, the enjoyable Chateau Lagrange 2006 at a very fair ¥16,800 compared to its retail price of ¥15,540, and Chateau Montrose 2004 at ¥27,000 for a wine that will set you back ¥21,854 in a shop. For those with the means, there were grander offerings such as Haut Brion La Mission 2002 at ¥50,800 compared to its retail price of ¥55,525, and the glorious Salon champagne 1998 at ¥148,000 for a wine whose current market value is ¥128,371.
There were no nibbles on offer, though you can order bread, which was white and crusty served warm, and was pleasant enough. A snow crab croquette with caviar was lovely, with sweet crab and a crisp outer layer (15/20). A classic spaghetti carbonara had pasta with excellent texture, with pancetta, garlic and plenty of Parmesan Reggiano, and a slightly creamy texture, topped with shavings of summer truffle (15/20).
Tagliolini Genovese featured thin pasta coated with pesto, the flavour of the pine nuts and basil coming through nicely (14/20). Risotto was topped with raw langoustine. The rice had very good texture, made with a pleasingly rich stock, but for me there was a bit too much saffron, whose slightly metallic taste somewhat overpowered the delicate sweetness of the langoustine (14/20). A miniature rum baba was just a little drier than it should be, served with marscapone, Chantilly cream and lemon jam. For me a little more citrus would have been beneficial (13/20). Coffee was pleasant if unmemorable.
Service was charming, our Japanese waitress speaking some English. The bill came to ¥ (£141) per person with a bottle of wine to share. If you shared one of the cheapest wines then a typical cost per head might be around £85. Overall I enjoyed K+, with its cosy atmosphere and capable cooking. It seemed to be a very relaxing spot, with some diners wandering in after 11 p.m. for a late dinner.