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Friday, April 8, 2011

Park Hyatt Shinjuku

I stayed here when the Park Hyatt first opened in 1997.  I had dinner during the first week at the New York Grill, and got food poisoning, a mild one.  I've since then eaten here a dozen times, and tonight might have been the best.

But first, after checking in, I strolled across the street to the park with cherry blossoms:

I tossed Pearl's ashes at the base of the right tree:

While the hotel itself might have been Pearl's favorite, the combination of Sakura and the Park Hyatt made that difference.  Unfortunately, this park has now become a haven for homeless people.  During the day, they pack their belongings into a nice cube of blue tarp, and spend most of the day just sitting next to it.

Well, this is the view from my room on the 46th floor:
Mount Fuji is to the left, except you can't see it.  Yes, it did occur to me how fortunate I am compared to the homeless in Shinjuku and the general devastation in Tohoku.

Dinner tonight at the New York Grill started with a 2009 Parducci Sauvignon Blanc (13.5%), for I lived close to this winery when I spent some time at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and a 2009 Cline Zinfandel (14%) from the terroir of Oakley in California.  I paid more for one glass each than these bottles cost in the USA.  The music was nostalgic New York jazz.

Caesar salad with Reggiano cheese and an elegant sauteed foie gras over poached Fuji apples and brioche, covered with coffee jus, were the perfect beginning.  Why coffee is unusual, but it was okay.

They used bacon instead of anchovies, I would guess, because Americans don't like anchovies and eat bacon.

My entre was a Yamagata ribeye with sesame and garlic soy sauce dressing, accompanied by a large plate of crispy duck fat potato fries:
My view was spectacular.  I think I got the best table in the house.  As you can't see the steak too well, here it is again:

This is their kitchen:

I've had a lot of great meals these past five weeks, and this one is at least in the top five.  Zagat has for the past five years rated the New York Grill as the best restaurant in Tokyo.  After all those train bentos, fusion extravaganzas and Kaisekis, this was a nice return to home-cooking.

I love this hotel, but it is, maybe, too expensive.  The service is outstanding and rooms supposedly the largest in Tokyo.  Tomorrow, back to the Tokyo Westin.


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