The Capitol Hotel Tokyu, located in the heart of Tokyo, prides itself on offering guests the best homegrown ingredients with its food offering across its three main restaurants. Every year, the chefs at its Chinese restaurant Star Hill head to different locations across the country to discover the very best of what Japan has to offer.
In the third of this series, executive chef at the Chinese restaurant Star Hill Noboru Kobayashi takes us through his journey to Miyagi; the southern prefecture in the Tohoku Region located on the Pacific coast. Surrounded by the sea and mountains, the prefecture is celebrated by an abundance of fresh seafood, vegetables and local sake made in clean water and rich soil. Inspired by the ingredients discovered in Miyagi, chef Noboru created a special menu consisting of eight courses cooked with selected ingredients from Miyagi, such as Ezo abalone, Sendai Japanese Black, Miyagi salmon and marbled pork meat.
One reason why chef Noboru chose to feature Miyagi is that the producers from the region have a strong passion for the detail that goes into producing the finest ingredients. An example is the baby leaf farmer, who cares for each leaf with an obsessive nature including controlling the temperature in the farm and hand picking method used to ensure that the leaf has the freshest taste without acridity.
Commenting on his favourite ingredients in Miyagi, Noboru said, “My favourite dish created was the Ezo abalone and prawn sauteed with abalone liver sauce. The Ezo abalone from the Sanriku coast is full of minerals creating a strong flavour. Therefore I paired it with abalone liver sauce to bring a deep and rich taste to the dish.”
After experiencing all that Miyagi has to offer, chef Noboru gives his top tips for anyone wanting to visit Miyagi:
Saigyo Modoshi no Matsu Park
This park is well known as the best spot to see the cherry blossoms as well as a spectacular panoramic view of Matsushima Bay. There is a cafe in the park, which gives excellent views too.
Located just next to Sanriku offshore which is one of the three biggest fishing grounds in the world, Kesennuma Port is a great place to observe the action at the market created by the energy by the local fishermen trading fish.
The Capitol Hotel Tokyu, which has recently celebrated 10 years of luxury, has been described as an elegant cocoon of Japanese comfort. The hotel boasts 251 rooms with 14 luxury suites on offer. The hotel also features a number of exclusive restaurants, art installations and architecture designed by Kengo Kuma. Next door to Hie Shrine – one of Tokyo’s most important religious buildings – the hotel offers guests the unique opportunity of experiencing shinto traditions up close. In the other direction lies Japan’s Diet building – workplace of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga – and views over the high-rise filled metropolis. A regular haunt of VIP visitors, politicians and famous faces, The Capitol Hotel Tokyu offers guests a discreet space in which to relax. Within its walls the hotel offers three restaurants, between them serving a variety of teppanyaki, kaiseki, sushi, Chinese and modern Japanese favourites. The all-day dining restaurant, ORIGAMI is another favourite of the locals and travelers. A pool, spa, bar and pastry boutique are all in-house for hotel guests keen to unwind at the end of a long day of discovery in Japan’s metropolis.