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New chef adds dessert flair to dinner; fine dining high above the city; summer in France

New chef adds dessert flair to dinner

The Ritz-Carlton Tokyo’s new Chef de Cuisine at the Azure 45 French restaurant has made his debut in sweet style.

Shintaro Miyazaki comes well-trained, graduating from Tokyo Seishin Cooking School, working at various top establishments in Japan and apprenticing in France for two years. But it is his expertise as a former patissier that makes his menu both flavorfully and visually unique.

Each dish looks as if it should be sitting behind the glass counter of an exclusive patisserie — immaculately presented and garnished with vibrant splashes of fruit sauces, greens and colorful vegetables. The sweet influence is so evident, it comes as a pleasant surprise to experience the delicate and savory flavors of the mains.

The unusual concoctions include a mousse-like foie gras served with sprinkles of gingerbread, Brittany blue lobster wrapped in a grilled mushroom roll, and a tender slice of suckling veal accompanied by a vegetable eclair and milk foam. When it comes to the real desserts, it’s no surprise there’s a variety of mouth-watering choices, but recommended is the chef’s specialty — a light mascarpone-filled chocolate bowl that tantalizingly melts under a drizzle of hot melted chocolate.

Miyazaki’s dishes are available a la carte or on various course menus, which range from ¥5,000 to ¥18,000 and include amuse-bouches and palate cleansers that are just as exciting as the mains.

The Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo, can be accessed directly from Exit 8 of Roppongi Station on the Tokyo Metro Hibiya and Toei Oedo lines. For reservations and more information call 03-6434-8711.

Fine dining high above the city

Royal Park Hotel the Shiodome, Tokyo, occupying the second basement, 1st and the 24th through 38th floors of the Shiodome Tower, has, since April, turned over the hotel’s Harmony restaurant to chef Yoshiaki Hoshino.

The well-experienced chef Hoshino won first prize at the long-established international culinary contest in France called Le Taittinger 46e Prix Culinaire International Japon in 2012. At the Harmony restaurant, Hoshino offers a reworking of his award-winning dish of gratin of lobster and sea bream with a mille-feuille of vegetable offering.

Hoshino states that: “By using select seasonal ingredients, I work hard to prepare dishes while maintaining their delicate tastes. And I would like my guests with enjoy the dishes’ appearance as well as the taste.”

Harmony commands a beautiful view of nearby Hamarikyu Gardens and the dazzling, sky-scraping Tokyo Tower. Guests can watch the chefs in action as they create their masterpieces in the restaurant’s open kitchen. Private dining rooms are also available for more formal gatherings and business dinners.

The Royal Park Hotel the Shiodome, Tokyo is one minute from Shinbashi Station on the Yurikamome and Toei Oedo lines. For more information, call (03) 6253-1111 or visit www.rph-the.co.jp/shiodome .

Summer in France

The Imperial Hotel Tokyo’s grand chef Kenichiro Tanaka will offer his original menu through July at the hotel’s traditional French restaurant, La Brasserie located on the first basement floor of the hotel’s tower building.

Tanaka is the 13th grand chef at the hotel since 2002, and has supervised all menu items offered by the Imperial Hotel Ltd. In 2005 he received the French order of Chevalier du Mérite agricole.

Embracing the hotel’s traditional flavors, Tanaka adds his original take and ideas to the six special courses on offer this month. The special menu is a popular, annual event and this year Tanaka chose tastes from southern France. Tanaka has chosen many products and techniques that are often used in the region and he will prepare dishes to allow customers to experience the early summer of southern France.

The course is available at both lunch and dinner services for ¥13,000 per person including tax, but subject to a service charge.

The Imperial Hotel Tokyo is three minutes from Hibiya and Uchisaiwaicho stations, or five minutes from Ginza and Yurakucho stations. For more information and reservations, call 03-3539-8073.