Restaurants / Restaurant Guide


Review excerpt: Chef Koichi Hashimoto's creative cooking is like an interactive performance, in a setting that is always easygoing and relaxed. He offers only one tasting menu — a sophisticated multicourse meal that unfolds for up to three hours — and there is only one sitting each evening.

You need only glance at Hashimoto's compact open kitchen to understand why: Space is at a premium at Celaravird and his crew have to clear the equipment for each course before embarking on the next. But there is another reason: He doesn't want to spoil the element of surprise.

Some dishes are miniature landscapes, evoking sandy summer beaches or austere temple gardens. You may be served a single giant droplet resting at the base of a jade-green lotus leaf. The stones in your "rock garden" may turn out to be edible. Your dessert might even resemble a traditional Japanese hand-held firework.

Hashimoto hails from Osaka and originally trained in French cuisine. But working in Spain had an even greater impact on him — especially the season he spent at ElBulli, the celebrated (and now long-closed) modernist restaurant in Catalonia, whose cooking epitomized the term "molecular gastronomy."

In line with the nationwide state of emergency declared on April 16, the government is strongly requesting that residents stay at home whenever possible and refrain from visiting bars, restaurants, music venues and other public spaces.