GINZA SIX EDITORS
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Unique editors who are familiar with each genre GINZA SIX aimlessly
We spell way of enjoying that we found on foot.
Like a Roomba, I Return to Ginza to Recharge My Curiosity Like a Roomba, I Return to Ginza to Recharge My Curiosity
GINZA SIX EDITORS Vol.94
Thanks to repeated districts, overseas coverage home and office in 1:00 period trunk room state. Although the number of times of business trip decreased in now; period of the downtown area absence is rather zo eteiruyona on account of the work……. It matches the nature to rush about busily here and there, and it is peaceful, but, as for the mind, going Tokyo must chase the front line of the foods scene properly when in quiet county town and nature (thing which does not work). It is GINZA SIX that proceeds to charge cheerfully when I almost cut curiosity and stimulation snappingly. Okay, we visit.
At first, what went 6F "Ginza dining hall." In floor of 330 tsubos, sushi, eel, sukiyaki, beef shabu-shabu, barbecued chicken, specialty store such as pork cutlet link the eaves. There is cafe & restaurant "Ginza modern terrace of western dishes and sweets parfait created for 1941 more years from fruit shop of founding "Futaba fruit parlor Ginza Main Store" of popularity, too". Style that let it was modern and upgrade dining hall which symbolized department store of Showa to know from the naming. It is also Ginza Nara of Tokyo that lets business style of the former meal revive for these past several years though snack and public bar are booms. Precise dishes sample lining at the front desk is sight!
It is stomach goshirae in "kankokuyakuzenryori*bitsuki" (yummioru) of town not to be able to get on promptly as it tends not to be able to fall silent when hungry. Sisters shop of "ginza*ka" which opens on September 26, 2019, and gets two star in Michelin Guide Tokyo version from 2014. Mizuki Yun who it is owner chef of the shop, and produces is Master Korean traditional dish which the Korean government appointed. We can consume a lot of vegetables, and soup cannot take off much Korean food from starting member of eating out, too.
When we visited Korea for the first time. White croaker set meal "kurubibekkupan" came out before you heard order, and were you surprised when you entered rice shop close to hotel to eat breakfast? Morning menu is only like one kind, and seaweed soup and bread are working under Chan (side dish). We groan while longing saying it is saying "white croaker matches sundubu".
So that this offers popular dishes to course-centered main store "ginza*ka" by main with a la carte. Though it is whetted let alone namul and kimchi in chappuchie, stewed medicinal herb pork "bossamu", we charge "sundubu set meal" (all 2,500 yen ※ lower than + tax price) this time. It is homemade tofu, clams, velvet shank, garland chrysanthemum, white leek and ingredients. Flavouring is Korean all-around seasoning "tategi" to make with red pepper, beef tallow, potherb. Spice sauce which is sweet-sour to dried white croaker which we roasted. That white croaker is congenial to Yun reason, sundubu. Though we just tasted a mouthful, a feeling of trip is great!
sundubu of "*bitsuki" is sharp and is deep while there are many sweet seasonings in Japan. It is ideal favorite taste. To small dish as for namul and Chinese cabbage kimchi of bean sprout, cucumber and the kimchi of onion. Offer was chisel in shop, but "Oka rice cake" of home delivery of cooked foods which we can eat at seat at a table of the floor center service seems to begin in March. Such sense of fun and joke are good so as to let you work.
What went successively "CAFÉEXPERTO" (kafeekusuperuto) in foods floor of B2F. Though we were interested for some time, did some states of shop change? In coffee break, we try to drop in aimlessly.
"It is coffee which grew up in the best quality field bathing in the morning sun in the first at Blue Mountain Juniper peak farm. As coffee is fruit, sugar content rises until he/she ripens fully when we become ripe slowly. It is done cool-down by taking Blue Mountain mist after having taken light of a good day. Saying though this heat and cold difference matures slowly, is indispensable, shrine Soshi Saki of barista. Of big impact called "fruit as for the coffee" a word. We will use this phrase somewhere this time.
Though we compare by drinking two kinds of weekdays only and were at a loss with set 1,000 yen, we order today's coffee (750 yen ...). See, this concentration! While bringing face close to dripper, is drip with hot water at regular intervals. We confirm state of beans minutely and check flavor at the same time. We are just looking at coffee and posture to face each other on side, and something seems to awake.
That, according to the place to hear, concept of acidity changes, too. Taste that is mild in a good balance, and is delicious clearly seems to realize without providing unnecessary bitterness and bitterness by fully using beans which we saw fault and did. We release carbon dioxide which appears after soaking coffee with hot water first, and having roasted to give efficiency of extraction. We seem to make extract of coffee state that is easy to dissolve in hot water. As for the coffee which we have finished dropping, aroma is completely left out. We just poured hot water of right temperature…Amazing!
Saying "only roast is apt to attract attention in Japan, but our store assigns focus to production center, farm, cultivation, kind mainly", shrine Saki. Oneself seems to have become authority of coffee when we listened to. Not only tongue but also thing tasting with ear is important. Though it is large facility, it is strange because we can contact for sense of distance that seems to be totally in mall and personal shop. In how good shop, it is people after all (pet theory).
Recently opportunities to give gift increase rapidly. From easy thing of affordable price to special special dish, update of information = material does not catch up with. We came to such a place and discovered reliable existence. In first class field "premier cru cafe" of kaku reru best class (3,000 yen ...). There is severe quality standard in all trips to lead to sorting, cultivation, crop, careful selection, transportation, preservation of field and is brand line which only beans which we cleared can name. As for the advantage to seem to put in the champagne bottle to be able to tolerate internal pressure by carbon dioxide, and to shut in aroma well. Without being able to enter freezer, one which is attractive in the one which is OK by room-temperature preservation. Package design is like picture, and it is wonderful, and lapping to have of look strongly comes.
Finally, to "THE GRAND GINZA" (zaguranginza) of 13F without opportunity to usually set foot too much. Chefs counter who are luxury in aiming in compound space to have in lounge, restaurant, VIP room, banquet, chapel to tea-ceremony room in floor of about 500 tsubos "Ginza pole-KIWAMI-." If hear, in Kyoto, Higashiyama "Kodai-ji Temple pole with-KIWAMI-" no Tokyo shop. Shop which there is to cover like bar lying hidden in hotel inner noodles dokoroya, department store open quietly somewhere is whetted.
"Ingredients of all the countries of the world add while treating material of each places of the whole country. I give by recipe to think to be the best each time each time. We consider preference and situation while exchanging catch of customer and conversation as it is counter-style. That basics are French, but meet fusion dishes French flexibly when add taste of the sum in conformity to ingredients, Hayato Saito of chef. As for correspondence adaptation to circumstances, the many drawers, it is proved ability!
Yellow jack which cold appetizer of one day vinegared kelp lightly and played, Hokkaido sea urchin, caviar. Have seat of deep red core daikon, green core daikon, black daikon in bottom. People in green shiso plate who put citrus fruit dressing in sauce, balsamic vinegar, the last, and scattered Zest of citron. Ten articles of best courses of entrusting you constitute (20,000 yen). Start from a feeling of mineral of champagne which is toast liquor and AMUSE of good shellfish and seafood of affinity, dishes, main dish of crustacea such as warm and cool appetizer, soup, foie gras dishes, fish dishes, spiny lobster and crab, flow called dessert. To guest who does not have the time, we seem to meet adaptation to circumstances in short courses.
In state that beef of main dish does field firing at low temperature slowly, and is gentle. We do flambeed in front of the customer for finish, and only appearance is fragrant. Special dish which is not able to bear to me who meat is burning hot, and want to eat so that meat juices flow out.
"Flavor of kazusa Japanese beef roast and seasonal vegetables and truffle." Accommodation of system seems to be in Chiba, Sawara-shi, this time local nokazusa Japanese beef with roast. Play flambeed, slice of truffle from Italy for finish. In addition, Mishima beef of natural monument and Hokkaido anyodore where only 50 of them are shipped to a year come up.
Wine which Masahide Takahashi of sommelier chose in service managers "Y by Yoshiki." Red wine of full body born by collaboration with brewer Rob mondavi Jr of YOSHIKI and Napa Valley of Aristrist. If what can come across brand not to be able to readily see in usual times has excellent sommelier.
Finally we thoroughly enjoy mille-feuille of strawberry of noted product sweets "Ginza Maxims" offering in lounge, and GINZA SIX circulation for approximately four hours is finished, too. In spite of being delicious discovery going away, it was big crop that was able to meet each professional. We intended to be able to charge enough, but this cause greed nature seems to pay that its respects. You should leave pleasure. We will come again again another day.
Text: Mamiko Kume Photos: Kayoko Ueda Edit: Yuka Okada
I spend so much time on assignment abroad or outside major metro areas, my home/office has been transformed into a temporary storage space. Despite the fewer actual number of trips these days, my job seems to take me out of the city for longer periods. Busily buzzing from here to there suits me, but while being in tranquil villages or in the midst of nature calms the spirit, I have to stay on top of things in Tokyo, the frontlines of the food scene—or else I’ll be out of a job! But when curiosity or stimulation runs low, I can count on GINZA SIX for a recharge. It’s where my pilgrimage begins.
I head first to the Ginza Grand Premium Food Hall on the sixth floor, with its over 1,090 square meters of floor space and specialty eateries for sushi, eel, sukiyaki, beef shabu-shabu, chicken skewers, and deep-fried pork cutlets. Also there are the popular parfaits of Futaba Fruits Parlor, born of a produce store founded in 1941, and Ginza Modern Terrace, a café and restaurant offering Western-style food and sweets. As the name suggests, it’s like a food hall from a Showa-era department store sporting a contemporary upgrade. Yesteryear style pubs and taverns have been booming in recent years, and this successful revival of an erstwhile food format is quintessentially Tokyo’s Ginza. The elaborate plastic food samples on display in front are quite a sight!
When my stomach is empty, it won’t keep quiet. I immediately head out for a meal at the hall’s Korean Food Maestro Mi-Wol Yoon. Opening September 26, 2019, it’s the sister restaurant to Ginza Yunke, awarded two stars in the Michelin Guide’s Tokyo edition since 2014. It’s produced by owner-chef Mi-Wol Yoon, a traditional Korean food maestro, as designated by the Korean government. Korean food provides ample helpings of vegetables, plus plenty of soups and broth. It’s something you want to keep in your starting lineup when eating out.
On my first trip to Korea, seeking breakfast, I went to a place near my hotel. To my surprise, I was served the ishimochi (white croaker) combo meal –even before I gave my order! The breakfast menu had just the one option, it turned out, and it came with wakame seaweed soup and banchan (small side dishes). Feeling nostalgic, I found myself thinking, “Wow, sundubu must go awfully well with ishimochi…”
The flagship Ginza Yunke primarily serves full course meals. But here, Mi-Wol Yoon serves up popular fare mainly á la carte—namul and kimchi, of course, but also japchae and bossam, which is pork broiled in medicinal herbs. This time, I opted for the sundubu (soft tofu stew) combo (2,500 yen; all prices listed before tax). It’s packed with homemade tofu, clams, enoki mushrooms, shungiku (edible chrysanthemum leaves), and white scallions and flavored with Korean all-purpose seasoning dadaegi made from red chili peppers, beef tallow, and potherbs. The dried ishimochi is broiled and served with a sweet-and-sour condiment sauce. According to Chef Yoon, sundubu and ichimochi go very well together. I’ve just had one bite, and it’s a total trip!
The sundubu you find in Japan tends to be sweet. At Mi-Wol Yoon, it has sharpness and depth, my ideal taste sensations. Side dishes include bean sprout namul, Chinese cabbage kimchi, and cucumber and onion kimchi. This was dine-in only, but the restaurant in March will introduce an okamochi (take-out in carrying box) service that lets you eat at the tables in the middle of the floor as well. Such combination of whimsy and chic is always more than welcome.
My next stop is Café Experto on the Food Floor, the second belowground floor. It had caught my eye, and—wait, I think it looks a little different! I headed in for a coffee break.
“The coffee is from a special grove at the Blue Mountain Juniper Peak coffee farm, the first to receive the morning sunlight. Coffee is a fruit, so it’s gradually ripened until fully ripe to increase the sugar content. After receiving ample sun, the Blue Mountain mist sets in and cools the grove. In a word, this temperature difference makes a major difference,” explains the café barista, Miyazaki-san. I’ll have to use his impressive phrase, “Coffee is a fruit,” sometime somewhere.
On weekdays, there’s a special deal that lets you compare two different blends for 1,000 yen. I’m tempted, but I order the coffee of the day (starting at 750 yen). Wow—look at that focus of his! The barista holds his face right next to the dripper while allowing the hot water to drip at a precise rate. He carefully checks the ground beans and the aroma at the same time. Just studying this display of attention and respect for the coffee—there’s a lesson here, I think.
When I ask, it’s something about a change in the concept of acidity. Using a lot of coarsely ground beans makes it possible, I’m told, to create well-balanced, mild, and refreshingly delicious flavors free of excessive bitterness. To increase extraction efficiency, the coffee beans are first soaked in hot water. This process eliminates from the beans carbon dioxide gas produced by roasting, making it easier for the coffee extract to dissolve in hot water. When dripped completely through, the aroma from the beans is completely transferred to the liquid. And all this simply by dripping hot water at the right temperature…amazing!
“In Japan, people tend to focus almost entirely on roasting. Here, we also look at the production region, coffee farm, cultivation methods, and bean variety, among other things,” says Miyazaki-san. As I listen, I feel myself becoming more of a coffee aficionado. It’s not just important to taste, but to listen, too, it seems. GINZA SIX is a big place, but it’s amazing how you can interact with people at close distances, as you would on a shopping street or in an owner-operated shop. No matter how good the store, in my view, it’s the people that matter.
I’ve experienced a sharp increase recently in gift-sending opportunities. From casual, affordable gifts to the truly special, my information, and therefore story ideas, can’t keep up. But I’ve now found a most reliable option: Premier Cru Café (from 3,000 yen), the highest grade of coffee from the best groves. This flagship line offers only coffee meeting the most rigorous standards in all processes—grove selection, cultivation, harvest, sorting, transportation, and preservation. It comes in champagne bottles to withstand the internal pressure of the carbon dioxide, which has the added benefit of bottling up all of the aroma. Store this at room temperature. It doesn’t need to be refrigerated, another draw. The package design is great, too; it’s like a painting. The charming wrapping is wonderful, too.
Lastly, I go to The Grand Ginza on the 13th floor, a restaurant floor where I normally don’t have the opportunity to dine. Measuring more than 1,650 square meters, the multiple-purpose space features a lounge, restaurant, VIP room, banquette room, chapel, and tea room. I’m headed to Ginza Kiwami, a luxurious chef’s counter, the Tokyo version of Kodaiji Kiwami in Higashiyama, Kyoto. It strikes me as a tantalizing hideaway, like a noodle shop secretly located in the corner of a hotel, or a bar hidden away in a department store.
“We use ingredients from around Japan, plus food from around the world. They’re prepared in the way we think ideal at that particular time. We stand here behind the counter—so, as we talk with customers, we also consider what they like and the circumstances. It’s basically French, but we add Japanese touches, depending on the ingredients, for a type of French fusion. We’re pretty flexible in this regard.” So says Chef Hayato Saito. The ability to play things by ear and draw on ample resources in doing so is the sign of a true professional!
The cold appetizer on one day is white trevally lightly salted with kombu, Hokkaido sea urchin, and caviar. Underneath are concealed sheets of red, green, and black daikon. A Shiso sauce, balsamic vinegar, and finally a citrus dressing are dribbled over this dish sprinkled with yuzu zest. The ultimate chef’s course consists of 10 dishes (20,000 yen). It starts with a shellfish or seafood amuse-bouche, which goes splendidly with the minerality of the champagne served for the toast, then proceeds to hot and cold appetizers, soup, a foie gras dish, seafood dish, a crab or lobster crustacean dish, the main dish, and dessert. The course can be truncated for customers without much time—they’re quite flexible.
The beef served as the main dish is cooked slowly at a low temperature until tender. It’s flambéed right in front of the customer to finish. The roasted surface is aromatic. Even with the juices seeping out, I want to eat it hot, a masterpiece I simply can’t resist.
“Kazusa wagyu beef, seasonal vegetables, and aroma of truffles.” There’s an inn in the same corporate group in Sawara, Chiba Prefecture. Today, local Kazusa beef is roasted, then flambéed to finish and spiced with Italian truffles. Sometimes you’ll be served beef from Mishima cattle, an official Natural Treasure, or l’agneau de lait, of which only 50 are shipped annually.
Selected by service manager and sommelier Masahide Takahashi, the wine is Y by Yoshiki, a full-bodied red created through a collaboration between a music artist Yoshiki and Napa Valley winemaker Rob Mondavi Jr. Having a sommelier means getting to learn about an otherwise hard-to-find label.
Lastly, I try the famous Ginza Maxim strawberry mille-feuille currently being served in the lounge, thereby completing my four-hour tour of GINZA SIX. I’ve made some delicious discoveries, but the major takeaway was meeting a number of true professionals. I feel like I’ve gotten a pretty good charge, but nearly everywhere I look, my appetite for more threatens to rear its head. I’ll leave the fun for next time and make a fresh start another day.
Text: Mamiko Kume Photos: Kayoko Ueda Edit: Yuka Okada
Writer and editor. Previously deputy editor-in-chief of Tokyo Calendar and Cuisine Kingdom; currently works freelance. Researches and writes mainly on restaurants and food culture, regional Japanese food, and travel here and abroad. Currently pens columns on gastronomy old and new for Brutus and on commemorative dinners and other topics for Shukan Shincho.GINZASIX_OFFICIAL Instagram