“above GRILL & BAR” is a restaurant with the theme “chopstick cuisine.” “Moët Impérial” and “Grand Vintage 2006” were served for the special dinner of “LE&” held at the restaurant.
“LE&” is a gastronomic experience presented by Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage which started in June of this year in Épernay, France. LE&-inspired events held by leading Japanese chefs and sommelier who attended LE& have now sprung up in Japan. Following Shinya Tasaki’s gathering that we reported on here last time, a special dinner was held at “above GRILL ＆ BAR”in Toranomon Hills (Tokyo), a new restaurant opened by Chef Akira Watanabe known for “AW Kitchen” and “Yasaiya Mei” in Japan.
The theme of Chef Watanabe's dinner was “Japanese food culture and Moët—A marriage of two traditions.” To fashion his Japanese and Western cuisine, he carefully selected traditional Japanese ingredients, including Iburigakko, smoked pickles which impressed him while on a recent visit to Akita, Naruto Kintoki, sweet potatoes from Tottori, lily bulbs from Tokachi, Hokkaido, Hamo pike congers from Oita and Japanese black beef from Achi, Nagano, and cooked them freely. On that night, the marriage of these dishes and Grand Vintage Collection born out of Moët & Chandon’s long history was upheld.
The “Grand Vintage 2006” was paired with “Hoseki Ojubako,” Japanese traditional boxes with an assortment of colorful appetizers. When opening the Furoshiki cloth wrapper and uncovering the box, guests ohhed and ahhed at the gorgeous coloring of the appetizers! The first box was filled with cold appetizers such as fromage blanc with Akita Iburigakko, a Hokkai shrimp marinated with Shaoxing rice wine, a Carpaccio of cold yellowtail and a Japanese radish with salted kelp dressing. The second box also provided a feast to guests’ eyes and tongues with warm appetizers such as a steamed egg hotchpotch of foie gras, a Ganmodoki (deep-fried tofu) using lily bulbs from Tokachi, Hokkaido, a deep-fried Hamo pike conger and a petit corn dog.
Appetizer “Hoseki Ojubako” wrapped with Furoshiki was served to each guest. (In many cases, Ojubako is shared.)
Colorful cold and warm appetizers with “Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage 2006”
“Grand Vintage Collection 1999” was served with the main dish, “Iwami Pork baked in salt crust, Shiro-miso vinaigrette sauce.” This dish was an answer from Chef Watanabe for the question posed by Yannick Alléno at the LE& dinner in Épernay to share with guests, “How can we approach “salty,” the only missing taste in champagne?” Salt gradually penetrated into Iwami pork slow-cooked in the oven after being covered with cabbage, then wrapped with rock salt, accompanied with a sauce for which the sweetness and richness of white miso were freshly accomplished with the vinaigrette. It perfectly demonstrated this marriage with “Grand Vintage Collection 1999,” creating deep richness and aroma through lengthy aging, causing guests to gush with praise.
With the collaboration between modern Italian cuisine using Japanese ingredients and “Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage Collection,” the gastronomic experience of “LE&” seemed successful in expanding the boundary of empathy for gastronomic pleasure again at a Tokyo hot spot.
Chef Watanabe himself carved the main dish, Iwami pork grilled with rock salt, in front of guests.
“Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage Collection 1999” was paired with Iwami pork with an umami sealed in a wrapper of rock salt.
A rice dish to close the course, “Seasoned rice with black truffle and Japanese radish in an earthen pot with dashi (consommé) of porcini mushrooms”
Dessert was a melting Anpogaki (dried persimmon) from Toyama stuffed with chocolate brulée flavored with Sake.
English translation by Yuko Wada and Sean Gaston
More Info on MOËT & CHANDON:
MHD Moët Hennessy Diageo K.K.
◎above BAR ＆ GRILL
Toranomon Hills 2nd fl.
1-23-3 Toranomon, Minato-ku, Tokyo
11:00～22:00 LO on weekdays
11:00～21:00 LO on weekends
*lunch 14:00 LO / open everyday
|| Activities by “LE&” members
|■ We have happy news from an “LE&”member !
Hiroki Yoshitake, chef of “Sola,” a much-talked-about Parisian restaurant and one of the chefs who experienced “LE&” in Épernay, admirably won the “RED EGG” (grand prix) of “RED U-35 2014,” a competition for young chefs 35 and under.
|Chef Yoshitake, savoring his victory again after being presented a Bespoke Bottle from Moët & Chandon. Congratulations!
|■ An “LE& dinner” is being planned by Chef Naoto Kishimoto, an LE& participant, at restaurant “L'embellir” in Minami Aoyama, Tokyo. For more details, click here.
GRAND VINTAGE 2006 × LE& ───────────────────────────────────