Japan: One small step closer to the Stars!

From 160,000 listed restaurants in Tokyo, representing - among other things - good taste, at least 247 of these are listed in the Michelin Guide. And with 32 establishments decorated with the famous “3 stars” (of which 16 are located in Tokyo, compared to 25 in France and only 10 in the US), Japan has without doubt become a nation of culinary elegance, all dutifully packaged and delivered with a level of service par excellence. And as proof, the Japanese excel equally well in the art of sushi as in “exotic cuisine”. Two traditional Japanese restaurants were awarded 3 stars in 2012: Sushi Yoshitake and RyuGin. And if Joël Robuchon is still the most decorated chef in Tokyo, French chef Alain Ducasse and his restaurant “Beige”, has just been awarded a second star for his shrewd melange of recipes. Meanwhile, on the top floor of the Chanel building, French cuisine using the finest local ingredients literally shines on the plate; think Kamakuta vegetables and Hokkaido veal… 

Alongside the most prestigious addresses, the extremely select UKA-TEI restaurant serves for example grilled Japanese meat in the exclusive Omotesando Avenue, Tokyo’s equivalent of the Champs-Elysées. Amidst a lacquered wood decor, wavering somewhere between Japanese tradition and western splendour, savouring a glass or sharing a bottle of Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Réserve or Palmes d’Or would certainly not go amiss. 

At VIONYS, a cosy, inviting Champagne bar run by Japan’s 2002 sommelier of the year  in the upmarket area of Ginza, an array of tasty bites is available, updated every week and served with a selection of 5 - 6 different Champagnes, featuring, of course, the Brut Réserve, Cuvée 225 and Palmes d’Or. 

And embarking on another Franco-Japanese journey of discovery to the country of the rising sun, are Michelin-starred chef Michel Bras and his son Sébastien, who boast their own on-line boutique and display their culinary prowess equally well in a Relais & Châteaux in Laguiole, as in a surrealist hotel in Hokkaido…with a different menu, of course. 

Culinary art clearly knows no bounds!

Journey of discovery | Published on: 10 December 2012
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