Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Meal: New Years Eve at the Park Hyatt Tokyo

View of Tokyo from the 52nd floor of the Park Hyatt Tokyo

I'm back after a few weeks off during the New Year (Shogatsu) holiday, and so I thought I'd start digging myself out of the list of new experiences to write about by starting with New Years Eve at the Park Hyatt Tokyo. (Just a random aside in case you were wondering, yes, the Japanese do celebrate Christmas but it more closely resembles Valentine's Day--no religious connotation, high retail component, couples give each other gifts and go out on romantic dinners).

Tyler and Maris

Maris was visiting me for the holidays, and so I knew I had to find a special way for us to celebrate New Years Eve and ring in the new decade. I was told the acrophobia-inducing views from the bar and restaurant at the Park Hyatt Tokyo were not to be missed. As a huge fan of the movie "Lost in Translation," I knew the Park Hyatt and its New York Bar factored prominently in the story. I was sold.

Dinner was a 5-course French-American-Japanese fusion tour at Chef Nadine Waechter-Moreno's New York Grill. For you fellow foodies out there, here's a rundown of the menu:
  • First course: Taira Scallop Ceviche with Vanilla, Yellowstone River Caviar, Sea Urchin Flan, Sweet & Sour Cucumbers
  • Second course: Foie Gras Terrine with Fruit Chutney, Brioche, Apple Balsamic and Baby Basil
  • Third course: "Quail Cooked Two Ways" - Seared Quail Breast and Quail Consomme, Chick Pea Puree, Kochi Tomato Salsa
  • Fourth course: Grilled Miyazaki Beef Tenderloin and Braised Veal Cheek, Spiced Bread, Winter Truffle and Nut Tapenade, Spaghetti Squash, Truffle Jus
  • Dessert: Bitter Chocolate Fondant, Pineapple Chili Rice Roll with Coconut Sherbet

First course: Taira Scallop Ceviche

Dessert: Chocolate Fondant, Pineapple Chili Rice Roll, Coconut Sherbert

Favorite dish: Grilled Miyazaki beef tenderloin was pure buttery goodness--never had a steak quite this tasty before. Least favorite dish: Foie gras--I get why it's a "delicacy" but I personally can't get into it. Overall, the food was delicious, but not really worth the figurative "dishwashing" I'll be doing the next few weeks to pay the bill...

Really it was the company, the setting and the occasion that all made this an unforgettable experience. Pricey? Yes. Worth it? Absolutely.

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