Travel | HOTELS & RESTAURANTS

Chinese-French fusion by acclaimed chefs

Innovative dining incorporating two of the most influential cuisines in the world — Chinese and French — awaits at Toh-gu Chinese restaurant at the Hilton Tokyo Odaiba, when newly appointed head chef Hiroyuki Togo is joined by former work colleague and one of Kyoto’s most acclaimed chefs, Motoi Maeda, until Oct. 31.

Lunch and dinner courses, based on Cantonese cuisine, but plated in the French style, see a reinvention of culinary traditions in a fusion of East and West. Influences are drawn from ingredients and destinations, with Maeda employing techniques and ideas from when he first worked at a Chinese eatery to more recent times as a master of French cuisine at his eponymously named and Michelin-starred restaurant.

Dishes range from a delightful gougere (cheese-flavored choux pastry) and sea urchin tart to a succulent roast Iberico pork dressed in a red rice sauce and accompanied by farm-fresh vegetables.

Served from 11: 30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. (weekends and holidays, 11: 30 a.m. to 4 p.m.), the seven-course lunch is ¥7,000 plus taxes, while the 12-course evening menu is available for ¥12,000 plus taxes and is served from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.

The Hilton Tokyo Odaiba is directly connected to Daiba Station or 10 minutes from Tokyo Teleport Station (free shuttle bus available). For more information, visit hiltonodaiba.jp or call 03-5500-5500.

Meals, interior design of Provencal essence

Embark on a gastronomical journey and savor Provence’s best from Le Luc to 
St. Tropez when Cerulean Tower Tokyu Hotel restaurant Coucagno reopens from Sept. 20. After renovations were done by renowned restaurant and interior designer Ryu Kosaka, executive creative director of Aoyama Nomura Design.

Located on the hotel’s 40th floor, Coucagno offers dining with a view. The redesign sees an added warmth delivered to the restaurant, with sandy cobbled stone accent walls, the extensive use of wood, plastering and paneling all employed to lighten and open up the space, as well as evoke a feeling of being in France.

Two private salons — perfect for client and business entertaining, as well as family functions — also form part of the new interiors.

Celebrated executive chef Nobuhiko Fukuda has created a seven-course special Provencal menu for the occasion (¥14,300 plus taxes and service charges; served 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m.) His cooking draws from a rich sensibility to create artistically pleasing dishes that are also unapologetically authentic in their delivery.

Cerulean Tower Tokyu Hotel is five minutes from Shibuya Station. For more information or reservations, access https://www.tokyuhotelsjapan.com/global/cerulean-h/ or call 03-3476-3000.

Delectable menu perfect to enjoy with drinks

Pub grub should never be boring, and fresh off the menu at the ANA Crowne Plaza Kobe hotel is a pop-up bar with a difference.

The fourth floor lobby “Sports Bar” is open from Sept. 15 to Nov. 2 (4 p.m. until midnight) and is designed to coincide with Rugby World Cup 2019 matches. The drink menu features regional additions to bar staples, while high-end local ingredients are used for the snacks and finger food.

The humble meat pie (¥300, taxes and service charges included) is given a luxurious makeover with the addition of Kobe beef and sweet Awaji onions. Japan’s ubiquitous kara-age deep fried chicken (¥300, plus charges) is also overhauled; meat from the flavorsome and juicy local heirloom Tajima poultry breed shines in this faithful adaptation of a national classic. Local red and white wines (¥600 to ¥1,200 plus taxes and charges, depending on the brand); the award-winning and fragrant “Hyaku Moku” pure and high-quality junmai daiginjō sake, said to be a perfect with cheeses and dry-cured meats (¥1,500 taxes and charges included); and a sleety mizore sake slushie using Hakutsuru sake (¥900, plus tax and service charges) round out the beverage offerings.

The ANA Crowne Plaza Kobe is directly connected to Shin-Kobe Station. For more details or reservations, access https://www.anacrowneplaza-kobe.jp/en/ or call 078-291-1121.