The Oak Door, a Tokyo institution, is nearing its 15th anniversary this spring. Since the Grand Hyatt Tokyo’s initial 2003 opening, its signature steakhouse has developed a loyal following among customers looking for one of the best cuts of meat in the city and those craving the famously delicious Oak Door Burger. To celebrate the anniversary, The Oak Door has undergone a renewal, including an interior redesign as well as the introduction of new chef de cuisine Patrick Shimada and original menu items. The March 1 grand reopening unveiled an enhanced space that captures how the restaurant has matured during its 15-year history.
Grand Hyatt Tokyo brought back the original interior designer Tony Chi, to remodel the main dining room and bar in a way that would maintain the heart of the beloved restaurant and celebrate its faithful customers. “The Oak Door has enjoyed profound success since its opening in 2003, and throughout all the years since,” said Chi. “The Oak Door has built a subsequent culture and cult-following that can be attributed to its very intimate, comfortable and cozy experience.” To further this experience, the new main dining hall showcases original white oak chandeliers that bring warm lighting to the formal dining space. Leather booth seating and new ceiling fixtures were added to the bar to create a more relaxed and intimate atmosphere. Chi also lined the restaurant walls with glass-framed reviews and articles on The Oak Door from over the years, reminding customers of their place in the restaurant’s success and longevity. “We have preserved The Oak Door’s old-world detailing and charm, drawing from the spirit of nostalgia, with a tinge of mystery,” said Chi. “But at its heart, it will always continue to be a warm hearth in wintertime, a sun-soaked terrace in the summer and a local, neighborhood joint year-round. In short, it’s where you want to be.”
A revamped menu was created for the renewal with hopes of making Chi’s statement more true now than ever before. Chef de cuisine Patrick Shimada, fresh from his time at Grand Hyatt Hong Kong’s Steakhouse, has introduced a spread of new menu items. While maintaining The Oak Door classics, Shimada is exploring more adventurous fare, including a bone marrow dish paired with grilled sourdough and herb salad. Alongside the signature burger, the new Garden Burger will appeal to vegetarian and health-conscious diners. Other savory highlights include Chef Patrick’s signature oak-smoked baby back ribs and an iceberg wedge salad with blue cheese dressing, crispy shallots and bacon.
Now sourcing from American, Canadian and Japanese beef suppliers, the restaurant is approaching the revamp with high aspirations to find the perfect steakhouse cuts. Shimada promises to experiment with fattiness and flavor by regularly rotating in new cuts. The addition of a steak broiler oven and dual grill to the redesigned kitchen is part of this mission. The steak broiler can reach temperatures over 900°C, producing crispier crusts and juicier meat. The dual grill, on the other hand, is powered by oak wood charcoal, lending smokiness to established steaks. The constant action in the kitchen is easily visible to diners from their table thanks to a new open kitchen layout. On the sweeter end of the spectrum, the renewed menu features a collection of made-to-share desserts that serve two to three diners. This communal-style final course includes several options, such as The Oak Door Pavlova and the “Baked Tokyo,” a unique dessert that is flambéed in front of diners’ eyes.
While the new menu may offer a fresh take on The Oak Door’s vision, at its core the renewal is a celebration of the restaurant’s history over the past 15 years and an ode to the customers who’ve built the community and made memories over their meals.
The Oak Door, Grand Hyatt Tokyo, 6−10−3 Roppongi, Minato-ku. Open daily 11:30 am – 1 am. Tel.: 03-4333-8784. tokyo.grand.hyatt.co.jp