Farewell to Ginza’s iconic (albeit dated) Sony Building. Once extolled by gourmets for housing the Tokyo outpost of Maxim’s de Paris — at a time when few French restaurants or chefs had any interest in Japan — now all that’s left is a hip and well-curated hole in the ground. Welcome to Ginza Sony Park.
This high profile pop-up space, which runs until after the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, occupies the building’s four basement floors, and boasts a couple of big names. The venerable wagashi confectioner Toraya offers five kinds of kakigōri shaved ice, including a couple of boozy numbers featuring rum or limoncello. All include a big dollop of creamy-smooth koshi-an red bean jam.
On the very bottom level, Beer To Go serves a colorful selection of deli items, plus burgers and brisket, to pair with the eponymous suds from the Kirin subsidiary Spring Valley Brewery (plus a few guest taps).
But the most interesting outlet here is Mimosa Ginza. It’s the first spinoff by chef Toshiro Minami’s Michelin-starred Chinese restaurant near Omotesando. Instead of his usual modern Shanghainese cuisine, he has developed a line of excellent dim sum take-out items, including steamed buns, spring rolls, radish pie and superb little egg tarts. He also has an interesting range of drinks, including an amazing foamy pu-erh tea. Not to be missed.
Ginza Sony Park B1, Ginza 5-3-1, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0061; www.ginzasonypark.jp/e; open 11 a.m.- 7 p.m. (closed Mon.); steamed buns ¥350; tea from ¥500; nearest stations Ginza, Yurakucho; nonsmoking; major cards accepted; Japanese menu; some English spoken
IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5