Thursday, 25 November 2010

China Blue - A Slice of Chinese Heaven

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 Chun in 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!

Pip, pip!

China Blue [Map]: Conrad Tokyo, 1-9-1 Higashi-Shinbashi, Minato-ku, Tokyo. t: 03-6388-8000
Rating: Food: 8/10; Jasmine Tea: 8/10; Service: 8/10; Heavenliness: 8/10; Price-Performance: 8/10. Total: 40/50

1 comment:

Dave said...

Good see you sharing your thoughts again! Will look forward to more.