Tuesday, August 6, 2013

An order-all-you-can dinner at the Miyuki restaurant of the Chinzanso in Tokyo

9 kinds of appetizers to start


Today I woke up determined to have very good pasta for lunch because of an interview I'd read in the last issue of FT Weekend.

A British artist was interviewed over lunch in Venice, just before the opening of the Venice Biennale.

This article made me really hungry for a particular pasta.

Scroll down to read more...




THE OPTIONS FOR EXCELLENT ITALIAN

I mulled over the dozens of options in my mind, for excellent Italian food.

But I somehow couldn't make up my mind because I had such a specific pasta in mind from Venice that involved smoked fish and lots of tasty tomatoes, plus a couple of freshly chopped herbs.

So I ended up making this pasta myself.



SERENDIPITY IN THE FRIDGE

Fortunately, I had smoked fish and packages of organic cherry tomatoes and vine tomatoes on hand, so I didn't even need to go out to buy something for my pasta.

It was absolutely delicious, especially after I'd topped it with freshly ground sea salt from France.

Then in the evening we were supposed to have Japanese comfort food.





A GREAT SUMMER DEAL

By coincidence, I'd chanced upon a flyer about an order-all-you-can summer dinner deal at the Miyuki Restaurant of the Chinzanso hotel in an old part of Tokyo.

My favorite toro sushi...

It offered all the delicious things that people want to eat when they think of Japanese food -- like toro sushi, high-grade beef teppanyaki, crab and shrimp tempura, and grilled seafoods.

It cost something like 9500 yen per person.

Grilled crab in a shell with rice and miso soup


This may sound like a lot in some countries, but in Japan, that's practically a steal if you're talking about unlimited high-quality food in a luxury hotel.

So off my friends and I went to have some of this.

BETTER THAN EXPECTED

Teppanyaki beef and scallops, and my choice of assorted sushi
all came in one blow


I have to say that this Chinzanso order-all-you-can summer dinner exceeded my expectations.

When you eat out in restaurants all the time and live half your life in hotels, you tend to take buffet spreads with a grain of salt.

Most places are after the greatest impact for the least amount of money, and that's just a fact of the hotel or restaurant business.

I also ordered tempura and egg custard 


THE GREAT ADVANTAGES

But several things were going for this buffet.

First, it wasn't really a buffet but an order-all-you-can deal, so food was made fresh only whenever someone ordered it. This is the land of just-in-time production, after all, and there's simply no storage for advanced mass production, especially of food.

I tried to think about some kind of a diet.
So I ordered sushi by the piece.
The trouble is, I kept re-ordering and re-ordering....


Second, this was the Chinzanso, a famous luxury hotel in Tokyo that was, until January 1 of this year, part of the Four Seasons Hotel chain -- so a certain quality control was guaranteed.

The Chinzanso wasn't the kind of establishment that was going to cut corners on food.

Thought I'd have at least some really healthy food...


MY FAVORITE THINGS

Everything was good, but I certainly had a field day on the grilled crabs and the toro sushi, on just another wonderful dinner in my never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.





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