In Chinese culture, the color red symbolizes celebration and luck. On special occasions, red dominates the festivities, covering every banner and lantern in order to rear in the maximum amount of good fortune. Perhaps this is why when stepping into Grand Hyatt Tokyo’s Chinaroom Chinese — located on the top floor of the hotel next to the famed Oak Door — diners feel a sense of prosperity in the lovely, intimate atmosphere. Plump, ruby light fixtures hang from the ceiling, humming in its amber glow and lighting up the room in a celebratory glimmer.
And there’s much to celebrate. Chinaroom welcomes its 16th anniversary this year. In its recent guest chef series, the restaurant will be celebrating Taiwanese cuisine by inviting renowned Chef Ben Hsieh of Yun Jin restaurant at Grand Hyatt Taipei. With almost 30 years of experience, Hsieh is the face of a new wave of Taiwanese haute cuisine which combines modern, innovative ingredients with traditional recipes. The chef is also conscious of offering clean and natural alternatives to Taiwanese cooking, focusing on wellness and health.
Signature dishes from the six-course special menu include shark-fin-free “Buddha Jumps Over the Wall,” a soup consisting of abalone, fish maw, sea cucumber and bird’s nest. In Chinese cuisine, bird’s nest, along with sea cucumber, is a collagen-rich delicacy which has been historically consumed by the Chinese people to achieve glowing skin. The silky broth, which is steamed for about an hour and a half, is an intoxicating concoction so aromatic, its namesake derives from an old tale about a monk who jumps over the temple walls in search of the mysterious, fragrant soup.
Hsieh’s second main dish consists of a sizzling beef tenderloin with seared bell peppers and a Taiwanese spin on classic American condiment “A1” — a fruity, barbeque sauce staple in many American steakhouses. Served on a sizzling hot plate, the short strips of beef are soft to the touch, with a buttery aroma that melts in your mouth. The portion may appear small, but Hsieh deliberately tries not to overcrowd or over-serve each step of the course, instead opting to tease out the maximum flavor of each and every ingredient, revamping culinary heirlooms with a contemporary twist. Take Hsieh’s crispy anchovy coated in tangy tomato-barbeque sauce and sesame, a dish that makes for the perfect snack to nibble on between courses. The rest of the menu includes appetizers, plump pork dumplings, noodle soup and dessert, as well as a tapioca drink consisting of three types of pearls.
Through every bite, slurp and smack of the lips, chef Hsieh’s course will take you on a journey that celebrates Taiwanese culture. As each mouthwatering dish beckons diners to unearth a rich bed of flavors, diners will quickly find that there’s more to Taiwanese cuisine than tapioca tea or pork dumplings. Hsieh’s collaboration menu will be available until October 31.
11:30am – 2:30pm, 6:00pm – 9:30pm (Mon – Fri),
11:30am – 3pm (Sat – Sun, National Holidays)
6th Floor Grand Hyatt Tokyo
6-10-13 Roppongi, Minato-ku