Japan: Lunch at Chinzanso Four Seasons Hotel
Ladies who lunch? Don’t mind us if we do!
Holiday time in Japan means catching up with as many of my Japanese friends as possible. My friend who we have known since we were wee small came to the concert I blogged about in my previous post but it was so hectic that day, we didn’t have enough time to catch up then, so she managed to take a day off from her busy work schedule to fit me in a lunch date!
Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo is a Four Seasons Hotel in Mejiro. If you are used to a more modern hotel as the likes of Ritz-Carlton and Mandarin Oriental in Tokyo, Chinzanso does look a little dated.
Once you are greeted by the doorman and step inside its vast lobby, it does feel a little dark and old-fashioned. However, as you are naturally led towards the light pouring in from the extensive windows at the back, you are met by a shrine looming in between lush trees, and you are made to quietly nod in appreciation of the traditional Japanese roots it has managed to maintain and how it prides itself on the old-school quality of service that is quintessentially engrained in Japanese culture.
We went to lunch at Il Teatro, an Italian restaurant that faces the garden in the above picture.
Lunch Menu Set allowed us to choose each of the 4 courses from a selection, which was sufficient enough that we did not have to choose the same dish. Life is all about variety, unless it’s green tea desserts, in which case, I wouldn’t blame you for choose the same as me!
The salmon was very tasty and well seasoned but it was tiny!
It was half of a fillet that we are so used to in the West. I had to stop myself from gasping ‘what did you do with the other half of it?’ before realising this is Japan. It’s like when I was in Starbucks the other day, and they were selling sandwiches with just one half of the sandwich as one portion. I know of so many of my British friends, who would need to buy at least 4 of them!
Dainty is everything in this country.
We chose the Dessert Trolley option, where the lady kindly described in depth about each minuscule pudding, after which she asked which ones we had wanted. We looked at each other, like what does she mean, which ones… surely, ALL??
“We will have all 10 please, thank you”.
There was a lot of mango related puddings, which did not suit me particularly as it’s not my favourite, but they were all delicately made and more a treat for the eyes!
The individual portion size was on the smaller size across courses, however if you are looking for a place to linger over a long catch-up lunch, this is a perfect, tranquil place. You are never made to feel rushed, service is as attentive as ever, the views are beautiful, the food pretty as a picture, and you feel rested. There was a table to the right of us, with 2 mothers and their respective little well-behaved child, and we giggled that would be us in a few year’s time! We wish.