‘Luxury hotels and fine dining in Tokyo’ is a snapshot of our experience in the exciting capital city of Japan, a destination that conjures up images of bustling streets, towering skyscrapers and modern, urban and futuristic design; add to this the opportunity to dine at world class restaurants and stay at award-winning hotels, then we knew we were in for a treat when we booked our flights to Tokyo.
Where better to start than at Andaz Toranomon Hills Tokyo, a stylish and modern design led hotel which offers a ‘luxury boutique’ experience like no other; Andaz is the Hindi word meaning ‘personal style’ and trust us when we say that this hotel oozes personal style everywhere you look. Expect wooden sculptures, bespoke artwork and oversized bonsai trees throughout and an open plan lobby on the 51st floor where check in is a relaxed and informal affair during which you can sit down, enjoy a drink and soak up your surroundings.
The spacious rooms and suites are beautifully appointed as you would imagine from this award winning, boutique brand; expect the finest of linens and contemporary furnishings alongside Japanese bathroom amenities that change with the season and a complimentary minibar including snacks and non-alcoholic beverages. For the ultimate in indulgence check in to one of the 2 bedroom Andaz Sky Suites for 210 square metres of luxurious city living and stunning views across Tokyo.
Whilst staying at The Tavern we dined at The Tavern which presented us with the opportunity to experience a Shojin Ryori meal in a luxury setting; this style of cuisine is the traditional dining style of Buddhist monks in Japan that dates back to the 13th century and is perfectly suitable for vegans or vegetarians.
We enjoyed a selection of seasonal ingredients, delicate flavours and even a little bit of an education during our meal and this was all accompanied by nocturnal Tokyo skyline views to die for. Rich umami filled broth, light crispy tempura, sweet sesame paste, salty and sour pickles, tofu like we’ve never had it before, eggplant that was so succulent and delicious that it’s impossible not to love, all combined to leave us thoroughly impressed.
For those of you wishing to enjoy a Shojin Ryori meal at The Tavern please allow them at least 2 days notice as it is not on the standard menu; but trust us when we say that the service, the food and the mesmerising views made it a memorable experience that you’re sure to enjoy!
ANA InterContinental Tokyo resides in the heart of the city offering superb transport links via the adjacent Ginza Line Subway Station. With 844 guest rooms and suites to select from there really is something for everyone, business and leisure travellers alike.
The staff team manage to deliver a personal and attentive service despite the size, meaning you can be sure to feel at home as soon as you check in to ANA InterContinental Tokyo. Those guests choosing a Club InterContinental room are invited to check in from the 35th floor lounge where they can also enjoy breakfast, afteroon tea and evening cocktails whilst experiencing the peerless views and refined ambiance.
Pierre Gagnaire Tokyo presents the chance for a sophisticated foray into the world of French fine dining, as the only Tokyo restaurant of two Michelin starred chef Pierre Gagnaire it truly is a unique opportunity in this city known for its culinary prowess. We made a reservation and proceeded to dine with views of the iconic Tokyo Tower, whilst sipping champagne and enjoyed beautifully presented food, which paired local flavours and ingredients with the techniques and panache of traditional French cuisine.
We marvelled at flavour combinations that were thought provoking like porcini mushrooms, spinach and coffee with a dusting of intense dried cep powder to complete the dish. Equally enjoyable and the talk of our table was the braised endive with orange caramel sauce, deep caramel flavours lifted with tart orange juice, layers of truffle and toasted hazelnut flavour delivered a real culinary masterpiece.
As you would imagine the service and ambiance were of the highest standard, anything less would not do justice to the creativity and craftsmanship that were at work in the kitchen ensuring that our meal was nothing short of fantastic.
The Peninsula Tokyo has no shortage of accolades including Best Hotel in Tokyo for the second consecutive year in the Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards and is widely regarded as one of the finest hotels in the world. That legendary and unique Peninsula service is ever present and you can be sure to marvel at the way the opulent marble floors blend harmoniously with the Japanese artwork that adorns the walls; from the moment you enter the extravagant and dazzling lobby you are in for a treat. Make no mistake, if you choose to stay at The Peninsula Tokyo you really are selecting to reside at one the most desirable addresses in town.
Just when you thought it was not possible to elevate the levels of service we had already enjoyed, we arrived at Hei Fung Terrace, the Cantonese restaurant at The Penninsula Tokyo. From the moment we walked through the door until the time came for us to say our goodbyes we felt part of an exclusive and intimate family, the staff were outstanding and guided us through our meal with personalised sophistication.
We enjoyed an array of Cantonese creations including a spicy and sizzling Eggplant Hotpot that filled our noses with its delicious aroma, flavour packed and utterly delicious Kung Po Tofu and Maipo Tofu were just some of the dishes that graced our dining table. Also worth a mention were the delectable, mushroom filled steamed dumplings, soft and doughy, slightly chewy, melt in the mouth dumpling skin with rich mushroom flavours inside meant we were in foodie heaven as the flavours and textures and aromas continued to delight.
Hei Fung Terrace is perfect for vegan foodies as there was a vegan menu available upon request offering a selection of Sichuan and Cantonese plant based options, a simple yet ultimate delight that is often overlooked, even by the finest of restaurants.
Tokyo really is a culinary hotbed with every cuisine and taste catered for by the most talented of chefs using some of the finest ingredients on the planet; combine that with hotels that deliver the best of service whilst offering amenities and rooms that are luxuriously appointed means that Luxury Hotels and Fine Dining in Tokyo is the real deal on every level and we simply can’t wait to return!
Paul Eyers is Founder of Vegan Food Quest. Vegan Food Quest have become luxury vegan travel specialists as they continue to find, eat and write about the best vegan food in the world.