Nippon Cuisine An innovative French-inspired
take on classic Japanese dining
HOSHINOYA Tokyo is a contemporary luxury hotel that honors the elegant customs, traditional design philosophies, and dedication to regional cuisine prepared with locally sourced ingredients that define the ryokan experience.Go to the HOSHINOYA Tokyo website
DiningEach dish a work of art
Amuse-bouche: Five flavors of delight
Five meticulously designed items representing the five flavors (sour, sweet, bitter, salty, and umami) are each placed on stones individually heated to ideal serving temperatures.
Pictured (from left to right): Sea bream tartare; French onion soup; Croquet of chrysanthemum greens, with whelk and escargot butter; Bonito boudin with apple; Persimmon and cream cheese paste, steamed in a root vegetable pouch
Entrée: Blue mackerel
Blue mackerel cuts, tenderized with vinegar before being seared along the skin to enhance their aroma, are seasoned with a ginger dressing and served on a plate decorated with a long strip of pickled red daikon resembling an obi belt used to fasten kimonos. They are then colorfully garnished with myoga ginger and edible chrysanthemums, as well as wild pansies.
ConceptIntroducing novel ingredients
Ingredients from all across Japan are readily available in Tokyo. But Hamada, who believes that every ingredient reveals the character of its producer, only buys ingredients from farmers he has met in person. "I want my customers to discover the flavors and aromas that can only come from ingredients that were picked by farmers at the exact right time, based on signals conveyed by nature," he says.
InterviewA chat with the Executive Chef
2004: Becomes youngest winner of Bocuse d'Or Japan.
2013: Becomes first Japanese chef to win Bronze at the Bocuse d'Or World Finale.
2016: Appointed Executive Chef of HOSHINOYA Tokyo in July.
What is your personal philosophy?
"Less is more." This phrase was coined by the German architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. He was implying that the more limited your options, the closer you get to the true nature of what you are creating--which applies to food, as well. In Tokyo, you can find the finest ingredients in the world. This is why when I choose an ingredient, I force myself to find ways to make it even more delicious than it already is. It's time-consuming work, but it's what drives my creativity.
Who has influenced you the most?
If I were to name just one person, I would name Tsunekazu Nishioka, the late resident carpenter of Horyu-ji temple. He once said, "Don't use straight wood. Combine two pieces of warped wood, and you'll get a piece of wood that is stronger than any piece of straight wood." That has influenced my way of thinking about fish. Expensive fish is, of course, delicious, but I believe one can prepare a dish from normally discarded fish that is even more delicious.
What have you done specially for HOSHINOYA Tokyo?
Immediately after arriving at HOSHINOYA Tokyo, I understood that the hotel was designed to offer a genuine ryokan experience to visitors from overseas. Food is a big part of that experience, so guests who dine at the hotel restaurant will be using Japanese dinnerware. I also asked the artisans who crafted the entryway doors to craft the trays on which meals are served, to create continuity between the hotel and restaurant.
What are your long-term goals?
I want to create fish-based specialties that will make people around the world applaud the quality of the food at HOSHINOYA Tokyo and want to return just to experience it again. Specifically, I want these guests to fall in love with the Japanese ingredients I introduce to them, as well as with my own French culinary approach to preparing them. With its abundant rivers, hills, and coastlines, Japan is a treasure trove of delicious ingredients.