Metropolis Magazine
Issue #805 - Friday, Aug 28th, 2009
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+ Best of Tokyo
Haikyo Corner
Out & About
Japan Beat
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Pop Life
2008 Flashback
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Restaurant Review
Bar Review
International Dining
Local Flavors
Table Talk
About Us
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Past Issues
790: Duco Delgorge
A food importer hopes to lead Japans organic revolution

772: Flavors of the year
Metropolis staffers pick their favorite new restaurants of 2008
764: Giving Thanks
Tokyo restaurants offer a true American-style Thanksgiving
760: Pumpkin Parties
Dress up and get messed up at Tokyo's hottest Halloween bashes
722: Delicious Debuts
A host of big-name chefs and restaurateurs are adding star power to the Tokyo dining scene
711: Food for Thanks
Thursday, November 22 is Thanksgiving in America, and Tokyo's restaurants help you celebrate in style
708: Tricks and Treats
Have a frighteningly good time at these Halloween hotspots
706: World Cups
Tokyo is finally waking up and smelling the (gourmet) coffee
691: New Style Dining
The glittering Shin-Marunouchi Building welcomes foodies of all budgets and tastes
684: Fou de France
A yearlong celebration of Gallic cooking comes to Tokyo
681: Global Flavor
Global Flavor: A guide to dining in Tokyo Midtown, part 1.
680: China Rising
From dumplings to noodles to Peking duck, Tokyo has a Chinese restaurant for you
663: Home for the Holidays
Cook for yourself at home this Christmasor get the professionals to do it for you
659: Food for Thanks
Thursday, November 23 is American Thanksgiving, and Tokyo's international restaurants will help you celebrate in style
623: Souper delicious
Spicy Hokkaido soup-curry shops put some new pep into the dining scene
620: Prost!
Three cheers for the Germans
607: Get Stuffed
Celebrate on any budget this Thanksgiving
605: The Ghosts Come Out to Play
Dust off your broomstick and sharpen your fangsHalloween is here
600: Healthy Options
Organic restaurants and shops are sprouting up all over Tokyo
598: Latin Flavors
Give thanks for Brazilian appetites
586: Smoke-Free Feasts, Part III
Stub out and eat up at Tokyo’s no-smoking delis, cafes restaurants
540: Must-eat TV
Yukari Pratt feeds her yen for Japan's eclectic menu of food programs.
539: In the raw
Veteran sushi chef Takashi Ono takes Carlo Niederberger behind the scenes at Roppongi Hills’ Sukiyabashi Jiro.
538: Spanish lessons
Sommelier Ned Goodwin studies the wine and cuisine of the "New" Spain to see what all the fuss is about.
537: Red, white and brew
American Bryan Baird is the brains behind one of Japan's most popular craft beers. Bryan Harrell meets the brewmaster.
536: The nihonshu express
John Gauntner disembarks at Tokyo Station and finds a wealth of fine sake.
535: In the market
Depachika denizen Yukari Pratt gives us the inside scoop on the scrumptious world of department-store food floors.
534: Branching out
Looking for a gourmet meal that won’t empty your wallet? Steve Trautlein visits the less-expensive outlets of some of Tokyo’s elite eateries.
533: Think pink
It’s pretty, it’s tasty and it’s perfect for summer. Ned Goodwin reveals why wine lovers should take another look at rose.
532: Taste of success
Pizzafest winner Makoto Onishi tells Ai Uchida about the highs and lows of becoming Italy's most famous foreign pizza chef.
531: Toast of the town
John Gauntner reveals why Niigata reigns supreme as Japan’s top sake region.
530: Cha cha cha
529: Growth complex
Tokyo is seeing a surge in new buildings that cater to curious chowhounds. Tama M. Lung tours three recent arrivals.
528: Workaholic
Ned Goodwin stretches the limits of his sommelier skills at one of the world’s largest wine fairs.
527: Moveable Feasts
Matt Wilce's pick of Tokyo delis make a Golden Week picnic a walk in the park.
526: Grains of truth
John Gauntner sets the record straight on the diverse variety of sake rice.
525: Prost!
Bryan Harrell raises his glass to the beers of Germany, and the best places to quaff them in Tokyo.
524: Spices of life
Get your pho and dried mango fix at these five international food stores in Tokyo. Hanna Kite goes to market.
523: Que Syrah
Sommelier Ned Goodwin heads to his homeland to sample the latest darling of the wine world.
522: Shanghai surprise
Chinatown's newest attraction gives visitors a chance to sample the delights of the Middle Kingdom. Steve Trautlein chows down.
521: Spring fling
John Gauntner ushers in the warmer weather with a host of seasonal sake.
520: Luck of the Irish
Chef Dorje Heavey has become Japan's latest culinary sensation by bringing a taste of traditional Ireland to Japan. Aodhan O'Faolain hears his story.
519: Golden bowls
Carlo Niederberger tours Tokyo's newest "ramen town" and gets his fill of noodles from across the nation.
518: The sweet stuff
Resident oenophile Ned Goodwin tracks down some Tokyo chocolatiers whose wine lists match their bonbons.
517: Down to earth
A charter member of Japan's environmental movement, Hideo Fujimura serves up organic goodness at his down-home izakaya. Bryan Harrell pays a visit.
516: By the numbers
John Gauntner delves into the pluses and minuses of selecting sake.
515: Star gazing
When only the best will do, serious gourmands look to the stars in the esteemed Michelin guide. Tokyoites can also get a taste of its award-winners' fare, as Tama M. Lung reports.
514: Let them eat bread
Hanna Kite checks out the hot new bakeries making yeast lovers rise across Tokyo.
513: Bubbling over
Resident oenophile Ned Goodwin rediscovers the joys of Champagne with a little help from Dom Perignon.
512: Frugal feasts
Tokyo's finest restaurants offer affordable lunch sets for a fraction of the dinner bill. Hanna Kite takes lunch outside the office.
511: Some like it hot
Just in time for those frigid winter nights, John Gauntner debunks the claim that the only good sake is a cold sake.
509/10: Fresh meat
Matt Wilce dishes up 2003's best dining debuts.
508: Just desserts
Tokyo's latest theme park is a temple to all things sweet. Lisa Sekiguchi pays a visit to Jiyugaoka Sweets Forest.
507: 'Tis the season
With all the winter beers and holiday ales around, the amber brew's not just for summer anymore. Bryan Harrell throws a few back.
506: Talking shop
John Gauntner reveals the city's best-stocked but little-known sources for premium sake.
505: Haute chocolates
Top-class European chocolatiers avec cafés have oozed onto the Tokyo gourmet scene. Hanna Kite handpicks the city's best.
504: Home on the grange
Ned Goodwin toasts Penfolds, the prized winemaker of his native Australia.
503: Hot turkey
Hanna Kite finds out what's cooking for Thanksgiving this year.
502: Just for fungus
Bryan Harrell sniffs out matsutake, autumn's culinary delicacy.
501: Strange brews
And now, nihonshu wizard John Gauntner brings you sake completely different…
500: Masks and flasks
Carlo Niederberger counts the treats as Tokyo’s restaurants and clubs bewitch their tables for Halloween.
499: Import experts
Ned Goodwin talks shop with three of Tokyo's top foreign sommeliers.
498: Rise and shine
Whether continental or buffet, Western or Asian, Tokyo's hotels offer great ways to kick-start your day. David Chester breaks the fast.
497: Dining by design
Tama Miyake Lung digs into this week's slate of designer events and finds that even the eating is getting creative.
496: Sake and the city
Tokyo is filled with places to sample and study nihonshu. Resident expert John Gauntner offers a few pointers on where to begin.
495: Mexican dream
Tokyo is a tequila lover's heaven, with restaurants and bars serving up a margarita for every taste. Jenny Chen throws a few back.
494: A winning pair
Ned Goodwin expounds on the union of wine and washoku.
493: Big appetites
With yet another skyscraper thrown in the mix, Shiodome offers a world's worth of dining options. Chris Betros digs in.
492: A cook's tour
Matt Wilce joins Josef Budde at his chef's table to discover what brought him to the Grand Hyatt Tokyo.
491: Triple crown
Self-described "Sake Guy" John Gauntner kicks off a new column with three simple tips for enjoying good sake.
490: Rebel with a saucepan
Former Tokyoite Eric Gower pushes the boundaries of Japanese cuisine in a new cookbook, Tama Miyake Lung reports.
489: A place in the sun
Ned Goodwin casts his sommelier's eye over the best wines for summer.
488: California dreamin'
Tokyo restaurateurs are getting a taste for the Golden State. Jenny Chen reports.
487: Dean's list
Manhattan's most famous deli has begun its global expansion with a new outlet in Marunouchi. Martin Webb samples the selection of goodies.
486: Join the club
Tokyo's illustrious membership clubs are gaining momentum despite the recession. Carlo Niederberger reports.
485: Through the roof
Rooftop gardens aren't the only thing growing on top of our metropolis. Carlo Niederberger heads skyward and finds a new café culture blooming across the city.
484: Westward bound
Ned Goodwin travels across the Pacific and discovers an oenophile’s paradise.
483: Independent spirit
Carlo Niederberger scours the city for gourmet celebrations on the Fourth of July.
482: Hot flash
Summer’s here and suddenly there’s a “bar and grill” around every corner. Tama Miyake Lung explores Tokyo’s newest nightlife sensation.
481: Island hopping
Tama Miyake Lung navigates a sea of tropical dining spots in search of the endless summer.
480: Private eyes
Get out of the glare and sup in secret-Matt Wilce hunts out the most secluded restaurant seats in the city.
479: Iron supplement
Matt Wilce gets a gourmet dose from TV's Iron Chefs.
478: Chill factor
Summertime and the drinking should be easy. Ned Goodwin tells you what to sip when the heat soars.
477: Food for thought
Mohammad Yunos Hassani now wows Tokyo diners with Afghanistan cuisine. Carlo Niederberger reports.
476: Tapping the ivory
David Chester tells you where to sip and sup to the sounds of live piano music.
475: Top of the world
Haute drinking and dining is an elevator ride away. Carlo Niederberger reports.
474: Toque of the town
Roppongi Hills is teeming with innovative new restaurants and cafés. Chris Betros takes a look.
473: Historical present
Hanna Kite takes a tour of Tokyo’s oldest restaurants
472: Heavenly dining
Georgia Jacobs looks up the city’s best restaurants with a view.
471: Flavor favors the brave
Forget boring wine lists, says sommelier Ned Goodwin, Tokyo is full of oenological adventures, if you know where to look.
470: Spring to your lips
Sink your teeth into the season’s traditional fare. Carlo Niederberger tells you where to find it.
469: Homemade
Wow your dinner guests with recipes from the stars—that’s star chefs. Georgia Jacobs gets cooking.
468: Let’s meat
There may be nothing new under the sun, but in Tokyo there’s plenty doing between two buns. Steve Trautlein wolfs down the city’s best burgers.
467: On a Clare day
Tucked away in the hills of South Australia is a wine-lover’s paradise—the Clare Valley. Ned Goodwin samples the delights.
466: Haute dining
The top two floors of Shinjuku's My City store have become a gourmet's delight. Chris Betros samples the cuisine.
465: Home and away
Already a success in the US, Mako Tanaka looks to bring his distinctive fusion cuisine back to Tokyo, he tells Steve Trautlein.
464: Pearl one
Shell out for the one you love this Valentine’s Day at the city’s top oyster bars. Add a bit of bubbly to the mix and you have a sure-fire aphrodisiac for a night of romance. Matt Wilce picks some piscine pearls.
463: Eat your heart out
Japan's brand of Valentine's Day is more about chocolates than hot dates
462: Wok around town
Matt Wilce celebrates the coming Year of the Ram with a taste of Chinese regional cuisine
461: Where the heart is
Ned Goodwin visits fellow oenophile Karla Pratt to discuss life, loss and love of wine at Tochigi's Coco Farm & Winery.
460: Soup's on
The mercury's falling and comfort food is calling. Before you get chilled to the bone, David Chester helps you find some solace for the soul.
459: Winter warmers
There's nothing like a steaming hot pot to keep out the seasonal chill. Stephen Cotterill comes to grips with chanko nabe, sumo-style.
457/8: Cream of the crop
Matt Wilce serves up the dining world's hottest debuts in 2002
456: Food's the fashion
Martin Webb shops then drops at these stylish in-store cafés
455: Bottle tops
Ned Goodwin seeks out the city's best and brightest sommeliers
453: True to life
Matt Wilce meets Don Foley, the man behind Ebisu café Good Honest Grub
452: Talking turkey
Carlo Niederberger gets ready to gobble it up on Thanksgiving Day
451: Steeped in tradition
Love it or hate it, steaming oden signals the start of winter in Japan
450: Thinking inside the box
Tama Miyake investigates the ubiquitous bento with help from culinary expert Elizabeth Andoh
449: What lies beneath
Resident wine expert Ned Goodwin delves into the depths of Tokyo's cellars
448: Devilish dining
Matt Wilce scares up some horribly different dishes for Halloween
447: Tour de France
The toast of Paris, chef Eric Frechon is no flash in the bain-marie
446: On a roll
Onigiri is being rediscovered as a culinary delight in its own right
445: Chow down
Tama Miyake makes tracks to Tsukishima, home to the shitamachi specialty known as monja
444: In the mix
Steve Trautlein goes on a not-so-fruitless search for Tokyo's best juice bars
443: Pop stars
Matt Wilce tastes the good life at Tokyo's toniest champagne bars
442: New York's finest
Tama Miyake takes a bite out of the Big Apple without stepping outside the Yamanote line
441: Gaga for gyoza
Tokyo's newest theme park for foodies
440: Into the fire
Few things say summer like a steak on the barbie in your own backyard
439: Kitchen confidential
Tokyo restaurants are branching out by teaching customers how to whip up their own creations
438: Mix and match
Top tips for pairing food and wine
437: Divine dining
436: Hot plates
435: Sundae school
434: Rare vintages
433: Oodles of noodles
432: Secret gardens
431: Eat your heart out
430: Bottle shop
429: The Italian job
428: The water table
427: For the love of the game
426: Life before Starbucks
425: Show time
424: Hot spot
423: Gift of gusto
422: Crossing the Rhine
421: Mamas' boy
420: Tales of tofu
419: Top of the food chain
418: Small awakening
417: Feeding unfrenzied
416: Sakura sweets
415: Modern master
414: Star turns
413: A sip of style
412: Digital bites
411: The loving spoonful
410: Fried & tested
409: California Drinking
408: Puff daddy
407: Let's do brunch
406: Spice world
404: Party poppers
403: Roll with it
402: Festive feasting
401: From bush to bottle
396: Gastronomic expolorations
395: Gourmet to go

394: Gourmet to go

391: Imperial Cuisine
390: Pizza pizzazz
389: Eat elite
388: Don't eat the scenery
387: Niku nashi
386: Shanghai Surprise
385: Uncorked
384: Cake walk
383: Gastronomic nomad
382: Short fuse
380: Eating eelectric
378: Through the grapevine
375: Culinary dancer
372: Roy raves
359: Love feast
354: Fugu Ryotei
351: Gateau de Noel
350: Seasonal specials


By Steve Trautlein

The Miele Guide Restaurant Month
An Asia-wide charity event serves up gourmet meals for a good cause

Courtesy of Peking

If you’re looking for an excuse to splurge on fine dining this summer, Tokyo has just the event for you. During the entire month of August, three of the city’s leading restaurants—and leading chefs—are teaming up with dozens of their overseas counterparts to help combat poverty.

The Miele Guide Restaurant Month is an Asia-wide extravaganza that sees 57 restaurants offering special set menus or other culinary promotions. Fifteen percent of the proceeds will be donated to the United Nation’s World Food Program, with monies being earmarked for projects in East Timor, one of Southeast Asia’s poorest countries. In total, the organizers hope to raise $200,000.

Founded just last autumn, The Miele Guide is an annual publication dedicated to recognizing and celebrating Asia’s best chefs—a kind of Michelin Guide of the Orient. The inaugural edition listed 357 restaurants from Kuala Lumpur to Kyoto, and all the featured eateries were invited to participate in this month’s event.

“We wanted to bring together likeminded individuals to contribute back to society for something we all feel passionate about,” Miele Guide spokeswoman Priscilla Tan tells Metropolis. “We are heartened by the fact that many have showed tremendous support.”

Participating restaurants run the gamut from Bo Innovation in Hong Kong, which serves the avant-garde cuisine of bad-boy chef Alvin Leung, to Bedik Bengil, a down-home Indonesian joint in Jakarta. Chefs in Singapore, Bangkok and Shanghai are all taking part, representing a spectrum of cooking that’s as varied as the cuisine of Asia.

Here in Tokyo, the three participating restaurants—housed in a pair of the city’s most renowned hotels—show a similar diversity. Michelin-starred kaiseki eatery Hanasanshou in Shiodome sources its vegetables from a Kyoto farming family that’s been in business for 400 years. Also in the Park Hotel Tokyo, celebrated chef Tateru Yoshino’s eponymous eatery brings the classic French cooking of his Michelin-starred Paris restaurant, Stella Maris, back home to Japan. In Hibiya, the Imperial Hotel’s Peking restaurant (above left), headed by chef Masashi Komine, specializes in cuisine from the “imperial court of the Ming Dynasty.”

Each of these chefs have embraced the charity event with gusto, lending their talents to the cause with seasonally inflected menus. “I thought this was an amazing idea,” says Takada of Hanasanshou, who created an eight-course dinner featuring the likes of bluefin tuna toro, early matsutake mushrooms and roasted trout (¥10,000). “The fact that there’s such an event and that I was asked to participate in it, helping people by doing what I do best—what could be better than that?”
At Peking, chef Komine offers up a mid-summer dish that’s available at both lunch and dinner: chilled Chinese-style soba noodles in an original broth of sesame and coconut (¥4,620). “Whether people choose to eat this dish because it’s for charity or just because they like it doesn’t make a difference,” he tells Metropolis. “I hope either way that this will give people a chance to think about charity.”

Aficionados of haute cuisine will be most excited about the participation of Yoshino (left), the son of Kagoshima farmers who traveled to France at age 18 and apprenticed with the likes of Joel Robuchon and Michel Troisgros. After being awarded a Michelin star for Stella Maris in 2006, Yoshino became a celebrity in his homeland, and his resplendent eatery in the Park Hotel Tokyo is now a mecca for local foodies. (The chef’s first Tokyo restaurant, in the Shiba Park Hotel, has also earned a Michelin star).

For the Miele Guide Restaurant Month, Yoshino has created a full-course dinner with dishes like crab and tomato farcie with green-pepper jelly; sautéed foie gras with “red fruits”; “Stella Maris”-style lightly smoked salmon; and main dishes of grilled Japanese beef with tarragon or lamb en croute with rock salt (¥12,600).

“We strive to take part in various charity events, like Medicins du Monde, every year,” Yoshino writes in an email. “I’m really happy to be able to take part in a good cause such as this through my cooking.”

● Hanasanshou: 25F Park Hotel Tokyo, 1-7-1 Higashi-Shimbashi, Minato-ku. Tel: 03-6252-1156. Open daily 11:30am-2pm and 5:30-9pm. Nearest stn: Shiodome.

● Peking:
Imperial Hotel Tokyo, Tower Bldg B1, 1-1-1 Uchisaiwaicho, Chiyoda-ku. Tel: 03-3503-8251. Open daily 11:30am-9:30pm.

● Restaurant Tateru Yoshino Shiodome:
25F Park Hotel Tokyo, 1-7-1 Higashi-Shimbashi, Minato-ku. Tel: 03-6252-1156. Open daily 6-9pm. Nearest stn: Shiodome.

For more information about The Miele Guide Restaurant Month, see

Word of Mouth

Ramen shops are usually the haunts of students and ojisan, so the opening of Fuga in Asagaya (2-13-2 Asagaya-Kita, Suginami-ku; is something of a surprise. This sleekly designed eatery is stylish and clean, with jazz BGM and a variety of tables in addition to counter seats. The owner is said to have visited “countless” ramen shops gathering information on how to make the best tantan-men—and it shows. Fuga’s award-winning version of the dish comes in several varieties, including regular (above, ¥880), shrimp (¥1,180), chicken (¥980) and even cheese (¥980). Other ramen dishes include chuka soba (¥700), the ever-popular chashu (¥950), wonton (¥950), and a variety of salt-broth-based noodle bowls: plain (¥700), chashu (¥950), butter (¥800) and chicken (¥700). A plate of five gyoza dumplings costs just ¥350, and Fuga also offers rice dishes like chashu donburi (¥400).

Cremamore serves up exactly what Tokyoites are hungry for during the dog days of summer: authentic Italian gelato. Recently opened in Shiodome’s Nippon TV Tower (B2, 1-6-1 Higashi Shimbashi, Minato-ku;, the new shop joins branches in Hiroo, Jiyugaoka and LaLa Port Tokyo Bay, as well as overseas locations in Italy, France and Switzerland. All of Cremamore’s gelato is made from scratch following the original Italian manufacturing process. To ensure freshness, milk, eggs and fruit are purchased in Japan, and no preservatives, artificial coloring or additives are used. Besides traditional flavors like lemon, strawberry, pistachio and chocolate, Cremamore offers offbeat gelato like tomato, pumpkin and even “sparkling wine.” Limited time-only flavors include pineapple-basil and strawberry with bitter chocolate. A small (single-flavor) cup or cone is ¥400, while two flavors cost ¥450 and three go for ¥500. Dieters will be happy to learn that gelato contains less than half the dairy of normal ice cream—so dig in!

Ma Chambre in Roppongi Itchome (Izumi Garden Tower 3F, 1-6-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku; is also doing its part to help locals get through the summer. On Friday, September 4, the elegant French restaurant will host a "vegetable tasting" event featuring produce from Nishiwaki Farm in Nagano. The ¥8,000 full-course dinner includes herbed cucumber and feta cheese cocktail; "Kita Akari" potatoes and foie gras confit seasoned with black sesame; red bell pepper and Mimolette gateau; fresh fish from Numazu with creamy eggplant; stuffed French quail with corn galette; and, for dessert, soufflé glace with tomato confiture and Tawny Port. Seating is limited to just 50 people, so book your spot now by calling 03-3560-5013 or via the website.

The owners of Hanabi in Nakameguro are so confident you’ll enjoy your meal that they’re offering an eye-opening deal to repeat customers: bring the receipt from your first visit, and 40 percent of that total will be discounted from your next one. Located on the Meguro River and melding the flavors of Europe, Japan and the rest of Asia, Hanabi (2-16-11 Aoba-dai, Meguro-ku; offers dishes like spicy Korean cucumbers (¥480), tandori shrimp (¥580) and vegetable terrine (¥580). Kushiyaki items include the usual chicken and pork skewers (from ¥150), plus shiitake (¥200), eringi mushrooms (¥180) and quail egg (¥200). A lineup of four pizzas is accompanied by a full page of pastas, as well as main dishes like stir-fried pork with oroshi ponzu (¥980), chicken Nanban with housemade tartar sauce (¥880) and yougan yaki (a tabletop stone grill). Top off your meal with desserts ranging from traditional Japanese wagashi (¥980) to banana-caramel parfait (¥1,080), gelato and gateau au chocolat (¥880). —Eds

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