Ekki to the Edge

Events Food & Drink - June 18th, 2013

Tokyo has dozens of luxury hotels with restaurants that can be hard to choose between, but when special promotions like this one come along, making plans for lunch or dinner becomes a little easier.

With United Airlines starting new direct flights from Denver, Colorado, to Tokyo, Four Seasons, which has hotels in both cities, has done some temporary job swapping in its Tokyo kitchen to give us a true taste of North American cuisine.

If you head to the Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Marunouchi between now and June 28 you’ll have chance to try dishes from and inspired by the Rocky Mountain state, made with ingredients from here in Japan and cooked by Simon Purvis, Executive Chef of Four Seasons Hotel Denver.

Purvis is actually British, and while his menu reflects that heritage somewhat (bubble and squeak, anyone?) there is a focus on grilled North American fillers and he’s been impressed by how easy it has been to adapt to working here.

At an event to launch the promotion he explained that he had been particularly impressed with the ingredients on offer, talking up an Ibaraki goats cheese (Colorado is well-known for goats milk produce) sourced to be served with roasted beets as an appetiser for the grill menu, and seafood that was the freshest of the fresh. Purvis said that he had to check with a Japanese colleague whether it was going to be ok to sear the sashimi-grade scallops the hotel had been supplied:

“The quality of the produce here is amazing, we’ve all been taking photographs in the kitchen so we can take them back and show people just how amazing (the ingredients) are in Japan.”

He would do well to take inspiration back to his colleagues and friends back home; the hotel in Denver (as well as in Vail, a resort that is a wonderful two hour drive into the mountains from the city) are offering a package called ‘Konnichiwa Denver’ which will appeal to Japanese tourists taking advantage of United Airlines’ new route, adding a Japanese breakfast to the menu in the hope that the comfortable away from home experience is complete. For those of us not travelling any time soon, though, there are a couple of weeks to taste some of the best of the other side of the Pacific.

The Menu

Homesick Americans often crave a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, but how many of them will have tried a seared fois grois dish that takes inspiration from their childhood favorite? They can have that as part of a three or four course grill menu during the evening, a cashew butter adding to what is perhaps the standout dish on the menu. There is also Canadian lobster, lump crab cakes, olive fed beef tenderloin and classic Angus burgers like the one pictured above to get the juices flowing.

Side dishes and deserts shouldn’t be left out: there’s that bubble & squeak – a British tradition of using leftover roasted vegetables to make a richly flavored mash up – crispy mac and cheese with a truffle center are fine examples, and if you’ve still got room you’ll want to get stuck into some peanut butter crunch or a mountain berry panna cotta.

Any friends from Colorado (there must be at least a few of them in Tokyo) will thank you for letting them know about the promotion – perhaps they’d buy you lunch by way of thanks for giving them a taste of home?

Chef Purvis will be in the kitchen at ekki BAR & GRILL offering up a taste of his restaurant, Edge, until June 28, and with the hearty US-style portions and rich cuisine fit for a king we’ll not be missing out.

Lunch, from ¥2,500; Dinner from ¥6,500; Brunch (Saturdays and Sundays only) from ¥3,900

For restaurant reservations, call ekki BAR & GRILL at 03-5222-5810 or email ekkigro.mar@fourseasons.com