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Park Hyatt: Tokyo

I did the Lost in Translation thing for the first time and went to the Park Hyatt's New York Grill. I suppose that after living in Tokyo for four years, it was about time. And given the fact that I will be leaving Tokyo in three months back to my home state of California, it was kind of necessary.

Luckily, I had a very fitting partner in crime, Anders. We zoomed up to the 52nd floor of the third tower of the Park Hyatt and found ourselves in front of two sleek black-pantsuited Japanese women.

Park Hyatt: Tokyo

"Do you hab a rezabeh-shon?" We did not, but that didn't seem to be a problem as they followed up with the question, "May ai hab your na-mu pureezu?" To that Anders replied, "Anders." All the while, I was completely ignored because, we suspect that A) I look Japanese and B) I am a woman. Nevertheless, I am pretty used to being ignored when I am around non-Japanese people in Tokyo so I wasn't that surprised. Pant-Suit Lady Number 1 took our umbrellas and Pant-Suit Lady Number 2 gestured to us, "Misutah Anders-san."

We were taken around the impressive open kitchen with about 20 chefs working intently like elves in a workshop. I had to admit that being on the 52nd floor alone was quite breathtaking.

Park Hyatt: Tokyo

Park Hyatt: Tokyo

The whole of Tokyo was visible and even though it was overcast, there was a feeling of magical buoyancy - being amongst the clouds and being able to overlook Yoyogi-park all the way to the Tokyo tower and Roppongi Hills. We sat there pretty as the pretty waiter got us acquainted with the menu. The lunch course, including an appetizer and dessert buffet, and main dish was ¥5,200 per person. He directed us to the buffet table where we were to help ourselves to appetizers. Being the hoarder that I am, I piled my plate with a little bit of almost everything.

Park Hyatt: Tokyo

Park Hyatt: Tokyo

The highlight for me was the mushroom saute. The array of mushrooms combined with the baby corn was umami-heaven, albeit I would have held the oil down a little more. The smoked salmon was also worth noting for its tenderness and aiolo-ish dill sauce.

For the main dish Anders ordered the rack of lamb. Very luxurious for a mid-day meal, this was a deal given the generous portion.

Park Hyatt: Tokyo

I ordered fresh taglierini with eel. This was one of the few times I have had fresh pasta in Japan. The strands were firm and egg-colored.

Park Hyatt: Tokyo

I was really into the fact that they didn't cut the pasta into smaller strands since rolling up the pasta on my fork was really satisfying. The pasta had just the right density, uniformly twirling up evenly on my fork. The eel was not very "eely" since it seemed to be lightly sauteed with butter. The combination of the eel with the shreds of parmesan cheese was satisfying but lacked the tenderness of Japanese style grilled unagi (i.e. hitsumabushi).

Park Hyatt: Tokyo

After our main dish, they moved us to the "lounge area" for the dessert buffet. Perhaps Sofia Coppola also got her idea for Marie Antoinette from this buffet spread...

Park Hyatt: Tokyo

Park Hyatt: Tokyo

I stocked piled my plate with an array of fruit-based desserts. I loved the fact that each dessert was bite-sized, allowing me to try a little bit of everything.

Park Hyatt: Tokyo

Park Hyatt: Tokyo

Park Hyatt: Tokyo

Park Hyatt: Tokyo

Park Hyatt: Tokyo

Park Hyatt: Tokyo

Park Hyatt: Tokyo

Park Hyatt: Tokyo

Park Hyatt: Tokyo

The favorite dessert amongst the selection was the berry strudel type thing (top right). It doesn't look that impressive, but looks are deceiving. The thin flaky crust on the bottom was in perfect harmony with the vanilla custard lined under the blueberries and fruit.

Park Hyatt: Tokyo

With a dollop of raspberry sorbet and a hot cup of coffee, I was in heaven. The chairs were comfy as well.

I must admit that being up so high in the air in Tokyo made me feel relaxed and detached from the excessive footwork that is necessary on the streets below. Being in the upper stratosphere of Tokyo is like being in another dimension of Tokyo.

I turned off Lost in Translation halfway through the movie because it annoyed the hell out of me, but I will give it to Sofia Copla for capturing the heavy yet mystical feeling of the Park Hyatt.

Park Hyatt: Tokyo

Park Hyatt: Tokyo

Park Hyatt: Tokyo

PARK HYATT TOKYO
3-7-1-2 Nishi Shinjuku
Shinjuku-Ku
, Tokyo

Tel: +81.3.5322.1234
Column: Tokyo JUNKtion
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6 comments

  • This looks delicious. I'll have to stop by next time I visit.

    Too bad you don't like the movie :(. They have a drink at the bar called the L.I.T. that was quite yummy when I tried it.

    aldo on

  • Ooooohhh and I like that bright painting there above the doorway of the cellist and pianist. I wonder who did that.

    kayoko on

  • OMG how trippy I was JUST talking about this movie. I must admit I actually own the movie on DVD… I think it was a gift and I only saw it once. I think it's enjoyable, but it really is so offensive on so many levels.

    This post is friggin awesome though, seriously. That eel pasta looks out of control. And you know I'm not a sweets person, but that dessert bar… mmm… Sofia HELLA jacked that spread concept for Marie Antoinette! Good call!!

    And of course they totally ignored you at the front. Fucking assholes- why are the Japanese STILL so obsessed with white people???

    Your photos totally capture the whole LOST IN TRANSLATION MOOD! I love the foggy melancholy of the place. Ok, I'm projecting.

    But c'mon, the soundtrack to that movie is good, no? Where would Phoenix be without that movie?

    kayoko on

  • You girls need to get over yourselves, stop pulling the ABC-attitude and start trying to understand the angle it's made from – Tokyo seen through gaijin eyes and that's all there is to it. It's a wonderful film that captures the alienated feeling of loneliness that you get in Tokyo, and those few incidents where you think it's racist is just because you're American/Japanese and therefore have no sense of humour when it comes to racial or cultural matters.
    ;-) You're missing out, duderinos.
    Love, Anders

    Anders on

  • Yeah, I sometimes think that I need to give that movie a chance again. But I totally got the same impession that you did, Kayoko – I was totally offended! It was just SO shallow.

    yoko on

  • Whoa, well put sir.

    Esp about the American/Japanese bent and not having a sense of humor. HA.

    I do feel though, that Japanese people have just as strong of a sentiment of loneliness and alienation as the gaijin do, anywhere in Japan. It's different, but also very complicated.

    I'm gonna pull out the DVD and watch again!!! I do love Bill Murray's character. Esp in that tight Tshirt.

    Love,
    Duderina

    kayoko on

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