One of our favourite restaurants in Tokyo happens to be Andaz Tavern, a modern European provincial kitchen set high above the nation’s capital – 51 storeys atop the Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hill, to be exact.
Unlike what you would typically expect of flagship restaurants in luxury hotels, Andaz Tavern’s menu echoes a down-to-earth approach, featuring locally and regionally sourced produce cooked with the customer’s heart and soul in mind. It draws inspiration from classic European homestyle dishes that many can identify with – from Italian-style risottos to French duck leg confit and beef bourguignon – and shakes things up with Japanese influences in cooking and aesthetics.
Depending on seasonality, you may find Japanese ingredients like shirako (cod milt), bamboo charcoal, onsen egg and yuzu on your plate.
Andaz Tavern’s high quality crustacean and seafood dishes are its strong suit. A starter of juicy, oven roasted scallops, steamed broad beans, young onion mashed into a creme and tangy apricot vinegar (3,800 yen) came together harmoniously, providing a simple yet delicious flavour combination.
The lobster bisque (2,200 yen) that followed is expectedly decadent. But as the waiter ladled the soup out from a French copper pot, morsels of orange-tinged uni (sea urchin) began floating into sight, we knew we were in for a treat. A small slice of grilled bread – which was added in to soak the creamy bisque – was a delightful way to end the course.
But the true star of the show was the main of Japanese black pork loin, accentuated with a rim of bamboo charcoal, fresh spinach leaves and creamed potato (3,100 yen). The meat was well-seasoned and had a medium rare tenderness – a difficult feat to accomplish when working with lean, muscular tissues of pork loin. Appearance-wise, the contrast of faint pink flesh and black bamboo charcoal reminded us of Narisawa’s “Sumi 2009″ Hida beef. Spectacular and gorgeous to look at.
Other dishes we had include the earthy truffle and prawn risotto, cooked in a base of roast chicken jus and topped with a runny egg yolk and parmesan shavings (2,500 yen). And for dessert – a freshly baked rhubarb tart with chunky strawberry compote and cinnamon ice cream (1,200 yen).
Our first visit to Andaz Tavern was in fact, a surprise one planned by Koi for my birthday lunch back in May 🙂 The dining experience was satisfying and comforting, and the setting (we had a private room to ourselves) an unforgettable one. If my words bore any weight, I would bet you that we will be back.
Visit: Lunch in May 2016
Address: Japan, 〒105-6390 Tokyo, Minato, 虎ノ門１-23-4 Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills
6.30am – 11pm
Menu & Prices: here
Contact: +81 3-6830-7739