about the dish of HAL YAMASHITA
A restaurant is not just a place to cook. It is the place to express the beauty of fresh ingredients directly to you. This is my philosophy.
So my style is not to interfere with those natural flavors through unnecessary cooking, but in fact to bring out and enhance the natural flavors of the ingredients for your benefit, through a careful selection of their combinations.
I believe it is difficult to artificially restrict my culinary style by trying to place it in a specific standard category. Probably the best way to describe the Hal Yamashita culinary style is to say that it does not belong to any of the standard categories but is in a unique category by itself - the Hal Yamashita style. A key underlying element to my style is the use of Japanese culinary aspects and ingredients. For example, I use 8 different soy sauces,10 different salts (mainly sea salt) and 6 different misos. Of course I also use many different vinegars and sakes to enhance dishes. Furthermore, I place an emphasis on the use of organic vegetables from specially contracted farms of which the total farmland area is 120,000 ha.
Other ingredients I use includes organic rice from the Tanba area(which is also located in Hyogo prefecture), herbs from the Bizen(in neighboring Okayama prefecture), special types of tomato from a specially contracted farm in Kobe, Kobe beef,Tajima beef and Awaji beef.
Another very important and I believe a unique feature about my Tokyo restaurant is the use of "Rokko Kobe water" which is transported three times a week all the way from Kobe to Tokyo specifically for my restaurant. The natural purification of this water through layers of granite makes it one of the most famous waters in Japan and in deed the world. This water is the single most important element in my cuisine.
To accompany my cuisine, I have over 1,600 bottles of Australian wine in stock at my restaurant. Furthermore, I have worked closely with a famous old sake distillery in the Nada district of Kobe (one of the most famous areas of sake in all of Japan) to create a "kimoto" style sake which is exclusively produced for my Tokyo restaurant and your enjoyment. This exquisite sake is particularly designed to perfectly match and enhance the entrees and seafood dishes on my course menu.
I also have invested considerably in and place great importance on developing and maintaining a special atmosphere and ambience for my restaurant any your enjoyment. The design concept of my Tokyo restaurant is based upon a ZEN style. The designer Mr Ohshima has planned the interior down to the smallest of details along the philosophy and simplicity of Zen to ensure that you have a unique dining environment and experience.
I have explained the various important elements of my restaurant, including my own special cooking style, the high quality natural ingredients from Kobe, the Rokko Kobe water, the exclusive sake and the Zen style of my restaurant's interior. However, the most important part is you, the customer - my guest. Everything has been designed and planned with you in mind, so that my staff and I can offer you unmatched cuisine and service. I believe that true fine dining is not about formal environments and overly complicated or pretentious meals. Instead I provide a carefully balanced mix of fine natural ingredients in a relaxing and friendly atmosphere. I want you to come to my restaurant and feel the way you would in visiting a very close friend's house. We would like to invite you and look after you just as if you had come to our own home.
Please enjoy my food and restaurant - a relaxing place inspired by Japanese Zen peacefulness, where you can savour a truly enjoyable and refreshing time.
I am very happy to be a chef, because I am very lucky to spend considerable time happily meeting and serving many customers. So many of my customers continue to return frequently to my restaurants that I can proudly say that I have developed many close friendships with them. I eagerly look forward to the move to Tokyo and opening my new restaurant, not just because of the excitement of living in a great city like Tokyo and the thrill of opening a new restaurant, but also because I will be favored with the opportunity of meeting you at my new restaurant.
HAL YAMASHITA TOKYO
Executive Chef - Haruyuki Yamashita