Eat Here: The Jade Room, TokyoBy Iona Goulder
Heading through the impressive EDITION lobby you follow the almost jungle-like path past the iconic blue bar to reach The Jade Room – a low-lit restaurant with a stunning outdoor terrace that provides the perfect setting for a special night in Tokyo.
The restaurant itself is a harmonious blend of modern sophistication and Japanese aesthetics; the sleek and contemporary design, infused with subtle touches of traditional craftsmanship, creates an atmosphere of refined elegance. The soft lighting, muted tones, and understated decor (we loved the art) exude a sense of tranquillity, providing the ideal backdrop for an intimate dining experience.
The Jade Room: The Lowdown
You may be surprised to hear this, but the EDITION has chosen Michelin-starred British chef, Tom Aikens, to spearhead the experience at the hotel’s rooftop restaurant. For the Jade Room and Garden Terrace, he has designed two separate menus based on a concept that is centered around century-old methods of cooking with menus exploring flavours driven by seasonal change and bound by a belief that everything should be sourced as locally as possible.
For dinner you can choose between a five and seven-course set menu that is constantly changing and evolving – and the restaurant also offers a wine pairing with wines from around the world carefully chosen to compliment the dishes. We went for the five-course menu and were taken on a culinary journey that combined the best of British and Japanese cooking to create flavours we’d never tasted before, ingredients that we never knew could taste so good, and an experience we will definitely never forget.
The Jade Room: The Food
The culinary voyage begins with scallops, caviar, turnip and dashi a brilliantly unusual combination of flavours and textures. Delicate scallops, perfectly seared, are accompanied by the luxurious indulgence of caviar. The earthiness of the turnip adds depth, while the dashi broth infuses the dish with umami richness. Each element is thoughtfully composed and expertly balanced. This dish certainly set the tone for what was to come.
The second course of flounder transported us to the depths of the sea. Tender flounder, cooked to perfection, is paired with succulent hamaguri clams, their briny essence bringing that ocean taste to the plate. The subtle sweetness of celery root and the velvety richness of whey elevate the dish which – with each bite – reminded us of the meticulous attention to detail and the chef’s dedication to sourcing the finest ingredients (we’re told there may only be one or two farms in all of Japan that grow the celery root for this dish).
For the third course, the legendary wagyu beef takes centre stage: melt-in-your-mouth slices of marbled perfection are complemented by the earthy aroma and delicate texture of maitake mushrooms. The sweetness of turnips and the vibrant freshness of spinach add complexity and balance. Each element of this dish pays homage to the rich culinary traditions of Japan, showcasing the chef’s ability to showcase the natural flavours and quality of the ingredients.
After an ingenious pre-dessert palate cleanser the culinary journey reaches its crescendo with a dessert that embodies the Jade Room experience. The wheat Shochu baba – a traditional Japanese sweet bread with a twist – elevates it to new heights. The bright citrus notes of mandarin add vibrancy, while the delicate infusion of jasmine tea provides a floral elegance. The playful inclusion of rice brings a nod to Japanese culinary traditions. This captivating finale leaves a lasting impression, a perfect harmony of flavours to finish the meal with.
A menu designed by a British chef may not be your first thought when eating in Tokyo. However, for the quality of ingredients, the inventiveness of the menu, the staff, and the setting, it’s as good as any other restaurant we’d tried in the city. Of course, it’s far more formal than what Japan may be famous for but in a city that also does luxury better than anyone else you can’t get much more luxurious than a night in the Jade Room. A final word must go to the bread, sourced by the chef from a local bakery, we both agreed it was quite possibly the best we’d ever had anywhere. Don’t just take our word for it, book and go see for yourself, you won’t be disappointed.
For more information, see here.