Last week in Japan, living a Travelife, the Travel Companion said: “Let’s go have the best breakfast in Tokyo.”
It was our last day in Japan, after a very nice holiday in Hokkaido, and our last meal together.
Breakfast in Hokkaido
He left the choice of restaurant to me, so I lost no time in getting the hotel concierge to book my all-time favorite breakfast place in Tokyo.
This is the Les Saisons restaurant of the Imperial Hotel, an institution in Tokyo.
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THE BREAKFAST PLACE FOR POWER BROKERS
I hadn’t been to Les Saisons in a very long time, but when I used to eat here a lot, it was the absolute power broker kind of place.
At breakfast, you’d see politicians, financial bigwigs, corporate CEOs and Tokyo’s movers and shakers having meetings over scrambled eggs, sometimes with caviar, and occasionally with champagne or some whisky.
THE CHEF CAME FROM CHAMPAGNE
But this wasn’t the reason I liked Les Saisons.
Les Saisons is still run by Thierry Voisin, a talented chef formerly of the chateau hotel Les Crayeres in Champagne, France, which just happens to be among my favorite weekend escapes in France.
Les Crayeres also has one of the best restaurants in that part of France. It’s a Michelin two-star, last I looked, and the last time I stayed here in July, I ate in their restaurant every night.
A BRESSE CHICKEN TO REMEMBER
I met Thierry about fifteen years ago, I think, when he first arrived to take over Les Saisons.
I still remember he made me a killer Bresse chicken stuffed with truffles. And most of my meals there afterwards have been very memorable.
In fact, my very first Kir Royale was at Les Saisons, over 24 years ago. Can you imagine? So I was understandably quite excited to go and have breakfast there last week, living a Travelife.
TOO MANY CHOICES
But here comes the Travel Companion, giving me all sorts of hints about where we should go for the best breakfast in Tokyo after already leaving the decision-making to me.
So I ignored all his comments because I’d already made up my mind.
But finally, when we were in Hokkaido last week, after his nth comment about finding the best breakfast in Tokyo, I said: “Didn’t you leave the choice of restaurant to me?”
He did tell me to find him the best breakfast in Tokyo.
ANYTHING BUT A HOTEL BREAKFAST
He replied: “Just don’t book a hotel breakfast please.”
Uh-oh. After traveling together so much, he knows me only too well. He knows how much I love eating in luxury hotels because the breakfast food quality is usually excellent and the surroundings are spacious and nice.
But I really wanted to go to Les Saisons, so I continued to ignore him. Sometimes, when I do this, I actually get my way, you see.
LIFE’S TOO SHORT
But finally, after his nth remark about not booking a hotel restaurant, I decided to make him happy. Life’s too short, obviously, for both of us to be happy at the same time.
So I decided to just give in. Or perhaps, more accurately, to finally let go.
I canceled my original booking at Les Saisons and on Friday morning, off we went to a very casual breakfast place in Omotesando known for its fluffy pancakes and heavy-hitter breakfasts.
TOO POPULAR FOR WORDS
This place we went to on Friday proudly says it serves the best breakfasts in Tokyo.
There were no reservations allowed for breakfast here but we were lucky enough to be shown right in, after parking the car. The people who came afterwards had to wait about 30 minutes — and when we left the restaurant, there was a line two floors down.
That’s how popular this breakfast place is.
A NICE WAY TO END
Was it the best breakfast place in Tokyo? Not to me. But it was okay, the food was good enough and we certainly had fun.
Besides, I realised that it wasn’t so important to me to have the best meal on that day, as it was to make another person happy.
And it was very nice and ever so appropriate that my last memory of the Travel Companion is a happy and smiling one, in Tokyo, living his own version of a never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.