The Conrad Tokyo is one of the most highly-rated hotels in the city of Tokyo - some of the rooms and suites overlooks the iconic Tokyo Bay and the Hamarikyu Gardens which is just stunning in the fall. When I visited Tokyo last month, I stayed in one of the Bay View Rooms with Executive Lounge access (from my Hilton HHonors Diamond Status) for two nights and during the stay, I took the opportunity to check out Kazahana (a Japanese restaurant within the Conrad Tokyo) which was easily one of the best meals that I have ever had in Tokyo.
Located next to the award-winning China Blue restaurant, Kazahana serves up traditional Japanese cuisine with a contemporary twist during Lunch and Dinner - do note that the sushi counter is closed on Mondays. There is also a dress code (stricter during dinner) so make sure you check the website for the latest information. The first dish I sampled at Kazahana was an appetiser of Grilled Mushroom with Sesame Paste Dressing, Oyster Mushroom, Shimeji Mushroom, Grape, Japanese Pear and Pomegranate. Consistent to what you would expect to find at a good Japanese restaurant, the presentation was simply top-notch but more importantly, the flavours were complex (considering how many different components there are in this dish) and well-balanced. I love the contrasting flavours of sweeness, tartness and saltiness that somehow seemed to gel together with that delicious sesame paste dressing.
The second dish that was served was a Clear Soup with Fried Pike Conger Dumpling, Turnip, Turuna Leaves, Maitake and Japanese Citrus - the presentation is clean and simple but yet at the same time, it was incredibly elegant. I love the Mt. Fuji detail and how effortlessly the Japanese citrus seems to float above the dumpling. The acidity from the citrus, complemented by the sweetness of the soup acted as a palate cleanser which was crucial in savouring the delicacy of the next dish.
The next dish was definitely one of my favourite - it was incredibly beautiful and not only were the finest sashimi-grade seafood utilised, each one of them was paired with a special sauce or ingredient for that perfect bite. Honestly, I don't know if sashimi can get any better (or prettier!). If I had to pick one out of the five that I have sampled, it had to be the Marinated Tuna with Smoked Radish Pickles and Wasabi - delicious and delicate with the right amount of freshly-grated wasabi. A close second will definitely be the Shrimp with Shuto Sauce in the middle - amazing texture and presentation!
The next course utilises a selection of seasonal ingredients and delicacies - there were four components to this beautifully presented dish which I thought would be better if I showcased them individually instead of collectively:
- Broiled Salmon Kikka Flower and Salmon Roe in Egg Yolk Vinegar
- Deep Fried Japanese Pepper with Scallop and Japanese Potato, Salt and Citrus
- Thick Soup with Chestnuts
- Simmered Edamame Tofu with Thick Starch Shrimp Sauce, Lotus Root and Ginger
If there was one dish I had to pick out of everything that I have sampled during lunch, the Charcoal-grilled Japanese Wagyu Beef with Sweet Soy Sauce, Green Onion, Mushroom, Homemade Wheat Gluten, Fried Burdock, Truffle and Foam Egg Yolk is a clear winner. Served in a piping hot stone bowl, the Japanese Wagyu Beef was cooked perfectly with the right ratio of fattiness to give that 'melt-in-your-mouth' texture that everyone seems to love. More importantly, that truffle and egg yolk foam was subtle enough to complement the dish harmoniously (instead of drowning it - a mistake a lot of places make). In fact, it was so good that it deserves another photo - absolutely delicious and since this is a seasonal delicacy as well, it will probably not be available soon but no harm checking when you visit Kazahana anyway.
Finally for the last course (before desserts), I sampled the Steamed Japanese Rice with Pacific Saury. As some of you may know already, quality rice is highly-prized and regarded in Japan and Kazahana definitely stocks up one of the best in the country. I am not an expert but from what I have learnt from the staff, there are only a handful of restaurants in Tokyo that managed to get this particular type of rice.
Finally for dessert, a trio of Roasted Tea Panna Cotta, Bracken-starch Dumpling, Soybean Flour and Roasted Tea Syrup, Seasonal Fruits and Matcha Tea. The most outstanding one has got to be that Roasted Tea (locally known as Hojicha) Panna Cotta which has got to be one of the best interpretation of this Italian favourite. Kazahana at the luxurious Conrad Tokyo seems to tick all the right boxes - the food was amazing in both flavours and presentation, it overlooks the Tokyo Bay and the gorgeous Hamarikyu Gardens and more importantly the service was impeccable. If you are looking for a meal to remember in Tokyo, I simply cannot recommend Kazahana enough.