Tokyo has recently seen a boom of new hotels popping up as its tourism industry continues to grow in preparation for the 2020 Olympics. THE BLOSSOM HIBIYA is one of the latest, luxurious accommodation options to join the glittering Tokyo skyline, having officially opened its doors on August 20, 2019.
The hotel’s chic restaurant, Sotoroku, is located on the 18F of the building. Whether watching the morning sunrise over a coffee and the buffet-style breakfast, or sampling the wine and sake selections at the bar as evening falls, guests and restaurant-goers alike are guaranteed a stunning, unimpeded view across the city.
Complementing the sophisticated and calm interior of the restaurant itself is its menu, which was inspired by shin-washoku (new Japanese cuisine). This style is intended to be a lighter, sleeker approach to Japanese food that combines elements of European culture, such as with the steak donburi. The breakfast buffet also embraces a more international style, with both Western and Japanese options available.
However, many of the menu’s options are locally-sourced using seasonal ingredients, and still have strong ties to the restaurant’s traditional Japanese roots. For the special assortment box lunch (¥4,200), the soba is made of a blend of flour from the Oita, Kagoshima and Miyazaki prefectures, the meat side dish uses Kuroge wagyu beef, and the origin of the mineoka-dofu (tofu milk dish that’s often eaten as a dessert) dates back to the Edo period and was first made on a farm located in Chiba.
At the moment, the special assortment lunchbox features tuna, bream and flounder sashimi and tempura made with an asari (manila) clam base and seasonal vegetables. The sake recommended to compliment this lunch set at the opening celebration of the restaurant was called Azakura, from Yokote in Akita prefecture. It’s a refined drink created to bring a silky, gentle and controlled flavor, but it’s stored at an unusually cool temperature, at -5 degrees Celsius (23 Fahrenheit). This decision was made to bring a crisper flavor was possibly intended more towards an international audience.
The restaurant space also has a connected room that would be ideal for small business meetings (there is no extra fee to use this), as well as a seating area that grants diners more privacy thanks to the elegant partitions. The overall effect of Sotoroku an environment and a menu that feels proud of its heritage but still highly international, geared towards business and tourism alike.
18F THE BLOSSOM HIBIYA
1 Chome-1-13 Shinbashi, Minato-ku