Monday, February 16, 2015

A fancy French dinner in Tokyo with friends from Manila at Tokyo's best hotel.



With so many friends from Manila in Tokyo this week, I decided to organise a nice eight-course dinner for everyone at Crown, the fine dining French restaurant of the Palace Hotel.

Palace Hotel is widely considered as Tokyo's best hotel. 

It's also my personal favourite hotel in this city

MY FAVOURITE HOTEL IN TOKYO


It's spacious enough so you don't feel crowded in, and yet also intimate enough so that it feels like a nice base to temporarily call home.

The interiors are classic rather than modern, but in a very streamlined Japanese way. Few hotels in Tokyo pay this much attention to details.

Best of all, almost every room has an amazing view and a terrace, which is practically unheard of in this city.

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ALL IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD

Everything worked out quite nicely as everyone was billeted within two blocks of each other, at the Palace Hotel and at the new Aman Tokyo.

So Crown was elevator distance or walking distance for everyone, and it's really an excellent combination of very good food, a beautiful restaurant, and incredible views.



TOKYO HAS SOME OF THE BEST
FRENCH AND ITALIAN FOOD IN THE WORLD

Lots of people only want to eat Japanese when they're here in Tokyo, which incidentally has replaced Hong Kong as the new "it" destination.

But few people know that there's so much more to Tokyo than sushi and wagyu.

In fact, Tokyo serves up some of the best French and Italian food in the world, so it's a pity to miss out on these gastronomic experiences as these are really some of the best anywhere.

PRIVATE ROOM WITH A VIEW



So for a change from Japanese fare, I booked Crown for dinner, and we got a private room with the most amazing view of the whole Tokyo skyline as we ate and drank the whole evening.

Thank goodness my friends left the planning to me and decided to take my word for it, that Crown is very good

A CUT ABOVE THE REST



It's not one of these over-hyped trendy French restaurants of the moment in Tokyo as it's actually got quite a long history behind it and a very polished staff who've been around; but at the same time, unlike some old French restaurants in Tokyo, it's kept up with the times and the tastes by overhauling itself in every way.

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The Michelin two-star L'Effervescence, for instance, serves good food, too, but in an atmosphere too stark for my tastes, and with pretty so-so service dished out by a young staff, making it a hip rather than a seamless dining experience.

And I'll pick seamless over hip anytime.

Or Quintessence, which is way too cramped for my tastes to be an overall enjoyable experience.

WHAT A NICE EVENING



At Crown last night, the food was beautiful, the experience so lovely, and there was not a single dissatisfied person among the very fastidious foodies in the room.

In fact, if I had to pick a place for my 50th birthday party right now (even if this still is a rather long time in coming...), this restaurant would probably be in my shortlist, along with Chateau Restaurant Joel Robuchon.

At Crown, we laughed all night, remembering all the nice restaurants we've eaten in together all over the world, and planning more trips together -- thus making it a truly wonderful evening in my never-ending, and never-endingly delicious #Travelife.


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