Month: April 2015

Yakumo Saryo

Yakumo Saryo

Tokyo, Japan

We love the expression “by heart” as it implies that the heart is involved in the act of remembering. From our meal at Yakumo Saryo we remember every fine detail by heart. From the quiet streets of the Yakumo neighbourhood to the beautiful objects and spaces we walked through on the way to our long wooden table. We remember the entrance gate, the wooden steps, the noren, the garden, the glass and wooden veranda, the wagashi counter and the corridors. And we remember the sequence of movements with which the chef was preparing and serving each dish. It was without doubt the most amazing lunch of our journey in the Japanese archipelago…

Claska

Claska

Tokyo, Japan

Our Tokyo tour starts from the contemporary and slightly nostalgic Claska Hotel in Meguro-Ku, a neighbourhood made of minute alleys, short buildings, eclectic geometries and multi-coloured roofs. The hall opens on Claska Dining & Cafe Kiokuh, a pretty eatery where North-European and Japanese design melt into a charming equilibrium. We have a western-style breakfast that includes thin granola crackers, honey, a small portion of candied fruit and a generous one of fresh fruit. At lunch, the room becomes a curious lively melting pot where hotel guests eat alongside neighbourhood young people and tribes of ever-smiling mothers and children. In the meanwhile, soft light-brown poodles cast curious glances from the windows of Dog Man…

Kitsuné Café

Kitsuné Café

Tokyo, Japan

Away from the luxury of Omotesando-dori and next to Maison Kitsuné Boutique is the coffee shop Kitsuné Café. The décor, the music and the ways of the barmen embody the playful and fairy-like spirit of the Kitsuné brand. We drink Hokkaido organic juices (North Farm Stock), in mini glass jars, from stripy paper straws. We sip hand-dripped coffee and taste Japanese one-bite sweets. “Teeny Time” in Minato-ku, Tokyo!

HIGASHIYA

HIGASHIYA

Tokyo, Japan

A confectionary brand that you would immediately associate to the brand Simplicity and everything this name stands for: culinary craft, Japanese tradition, innate beauty, experience and elegance. This small shop and take-away window near Aoyama serves Lilliputian traditional sweets: crackers, wafers and manju cakes (steamed sweets made from bean) individually packed and perfect as gifts for you or your loved ones.

Higashi-Yama

Higashi-Yama

Tokyo, Japan

Of Higashi-Yama, we will remember the glimpse of the private dinners revealed by the thin slits in the façade, the goldfish swimming in the patio tank, the discreet atmosphere of an elitist and charming Tokyo, the hidden grace of the coming and going of handmade ceramics, the perfect tasting of a homemade tofu, the fusion of new flavours in a bowl of pastel vegetables, and the superb intense taste of a green-tea rice pudding whose surface shone like polish. Such a culinary experience resembles a journey.

MARU

MARU

Tokyo, Japan

The chaotic rhythm of a late Aoyama afternoon disappears as soon as you cross the threshold of Maru restaurant. You just have to go down a few steps to enter a different Japan – secluded, intimate, ceremonious – suspended between tradition and modernity. Like in a present-day izakaya (a typical Japanese inn), the main feature is a long counter. Behind it, chefs celebrate the ritual of modern Japanese cuisine with a dance of precise gestures and harmonious skill. The dishes of the kaiseki “Kyoto style” menu follow one another in all their beauty.

Mominoki House

Mominoki House

Tokyo, Japan

This food concept store in Tokyo’s Harajiku is one of a kind (in the whole Japan). We like to think that every night since 1976 owner and chef Eiichiro Yama recreates the same atmosphere: 1930s French music, a piano, the smell of brown rice and macrobiotic cooking and fresh flowers on each table. Homely.

Alpe del Lupo

Alpe del Lupo

Como, Italy

“Today I was given a wolf’s molar tooth as a present. I have always wondered where tribes’ fascination with wolfs originates from. Perhaps it comes out of respect for an ancient enemy. Nomads are hunters and breeders. There is no doubt they will encounter a wolf at some point in their lives. Wolves are well organised, they have a strong discipline; they are patient, quick and smart animals. They know how to read signals from the land and they can speak to the sky”. Alessandra’s passion for wolves (and her love for horses) dates back to when she was a little girl. Sometimes we need to see past the appearance of things to be able appreciate their true nature. Take off a thick layer of paint to reveal the original wood. Discover the understated elegance of a ‘70s building hidden in the glamour of lake Como…

Rustic Goat

Rustic Goat

Alaska, USA

At the crossing with a big Boulevard with an American name there’s a modern glass and wood building. At the bar they serve fragrant beers. In Alaska the wooden oven seems to have replaced the gas cooker. From this oven they take out genuine, skilful and seasonally inspired food. The Cauliflower Flat Bread is an oven-baked cauliflower cracker filled with ricotta cheese, rocket, red and yellow beetroot, mushrooms and roasted onions. You sit at long wooden tables accessorized with white linen napkins. When the waitress describes to us her favourite dessert is like listening to a modern folk song that talks about summer, a tent in the woods, a bonfire, roasted marshmallows on sticks and hot chocolate bowls to dip them into. In the parking, a light blue vintage van and sport bikes await a crowd with a passion for uncomplicated American fare.

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