It's been some time, gentle Reader, since we last shared thoughts epicurean on these pages. What with my beloved Mater passing on, two of the Cost Centers being wed within eight days of each other, Your Humble Correspondent's forced exile in Yokohama, and The Once and Future Blonde being variously abroad, absent or otherwise occupied - it has been slightly frantic to say the least. Not conducive to bacchanalia at all, really.
It would be silly to suggest one hasn't dined sumptuously in the interim, but we have relied on various favorites like Trattoria Tornavento, Restaurant J, Tanger, Le Recamier, and Le garcon among others. Not content to rest on any ill-deserved laurels, we've tried some new (to YHC) venues like Restaurants Davis and Frick (Reviews coming soon). And our eyes are on some new places like Aux Chats Qui Peche in Hiroo, which opened its doors in October.
But while digression is always the better part of valor, the purpose at hand is to sing the praises of China Blue in the Conrad Tokyo [Map] at Shiodome. Awarded a Michelin star for the last three years in a row, this is a very good restaurant where Chef Albert Tse (originally of Jiang-Na Chunin Singapore) crafts elegant yet wonderfully contemporary Chinese food with a flair and élan that leaves Your Humble Correspondent begging for more. Combine this with the superb views over Hama Rikkyu park, and one might just imagine that one is part-way to Heaven … or Elysium at least!
The recent “Jasmine” lunch set that The Banker and YHC enjoyed was at once full of whimsy and weft, with peeks into many corners of the Chinese cooking genre. We started with Singapore Rice Cake, and after the mutual rapture (see Heaven, above), we immediately agreed that we were in for something special. The delicious slow-roasted pork with bread is a highly original take on both Char Siew and the soft Chinese dumpling. The Seafood Noodles combines lovingly-crafted and toothsome noodles with a veritable aquarium of seafood in a broth that brings to mind the best Tom Yum Goong. The dessert plate included sweetened sesame-ed fried noodles and an elysian elixir of passionfruit soup – a sure way to YHC’s heart!
Speaking of Michelin stars, our fair borough recently reinforced its standing as the most-starred city with 3 new restaurants at the highest level to move to 14 three-starred establishments, 54 with 2 stars, and a huge 198 one-star hostelries. To be fair, the Guide included Yokohama (2 two-stars and 14 one-stars) and Kamakura (10 one-stars) this year for a massive total of 266 venues. Nothing for it but to start at the start, and end once the doctor discovers … maybe 100 restaurants in!
In any event, do yourself an enormous favor and find an excuse to visit China Blue in the near future. It’s certainly more deserving of a star than Gordon’s co-located and eponymous place next door, and you will impress any and all punters with your choice of venue.
And if you’re one person short of a full table, a quick e-mail should be enough to have YHC present himself in all his full fat-boy glory!
"Le blog il nait, puis il vit, mais point ne meurt, en l'homme il survit"
The blog is born, lives, but never dies, for it lives on within the reader
Baron Phillipe (nearly)
"In faith, he is a worthy gentleman, exceedingly well read, and profited in strange concealments, valiant as a lion and as wondrous affable and as bountiful as mines of India" William Shakespeare, Henry IV Part 1, 1597
"A very valiant trencher-man" William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing; Act I, Scene I
Je veux que la mort frappe Au milieu d'un grand repas Qu'on m'enterre sous la nappe Entre quatre large plats, Et que sur ma tombe on metteC ette courte inscription: "Ci-git le premier poete Mort d'une indigestion"
I pray that death may strike me In the middle of a large meal I wish to be buried under the tablecloth Between four large dishes And I desire that this short inscription Should be engraved on my tombstone: "Here lies the first poet Ever to die of indigestion"
I am a long time resident of Tokyo. My interests are diverse - but mainly revolve around people and food. I run a small marketing company in Tokyo, while slowly branching out into consulting on growth strategies.
Posts represent my personal views with no bribes, inducements or payment from any source.