One of Tokyo’s most iconic of luxury hotels, The Park Hyatt, has a new man in town. Chef Steffan Heerdt, originally from Germany, has taken over the reins as Chef de Cuisine for the hotel’s stunning 52nd floor restaurant, New York Grill.
Chef Steffan is no stranger to the Park Hyatt group, having worked for the prestigious hotel in Hamburg, Zurich and most recently as Chef de Cuisine at Park Hyatt Seoul’s premier restaurant, Cornerstone. He brings a seasonal freshness, coupled with his fine dining mastery, to one of Tokyo’s most illustrious restaurants.
On a crisp and clear evening, my husband and I found ourselves seated by the window, overlooking the Tokyo city skyline, enhanced by the low lit and beautifully serene ambience of New York Grill. After being greeted by Chef Steffan himself, he eagerly explained the heart of his menu; seasonal and locally sourced produce. Unable to choose just one, we decided to share a selection of menu items based on the chef’s recommendations. We started with an appetizer of Hokkaido Buratta accompanied by a mouthwatering melee of roasted beets, tomato, candy walnuts, and orange dressing. This was followed by pan seared scallops, cauliflower puree, and toasted hazelnuts. Both dishes were seasonably pertinent, the hazelnuts, in particular, adding a wintry nostalgia to the meal, and a brilliant start, setting the tone for what was to come. We paired the appetizers with a glass each of Hermann J Wiemer Vineyard Dry Riesling Seneca Lake 2014, and King Estate Domaine Pinot Gris Willamette Valley 2015.
For the main course, we couldn’t resist trying the Japanese wagyu on offer; the Hokkaido Akaushi sirloin and the Sendai tenderloin. Both were perfectly grilled, well portioned and melted in your mouth the way only wagyu can. The beef was accompanied by four sauces: mustard seed, green chimichurri, red wine and green pepper. The green chimichurri was our pick for both steaks as we like a bit of zest. The Kobe Prime Cut is also recommended.
Chef Steffan recommended a variety of sides including mashed potato with garlic chips, sauteed spinach with lemon zest and brown butter, and green asparagus with egg vinaigrette and chives. I made a hefty bid for the crispy duck fat fries, but agreed we had probably already ordered more than enough. We switched to red wine to complement the beef for this course, indulging in a glass of Dunham Cellars Syrah Columbia Valley 2012 and David Arthur Meritaggio Napa Valley 2008. We were both in awe of our respective selections, and their performance as support act to the Japanese wagyu was superb.
Dessert was a close call between the caramelized strawberry marshmallow with mandarin sherbet and the apple pie ice cream bar with Calvados caramel sauce; by this point, sharing a dessert was all we could manage. We went with the former, unable to say no to caramelized marshmallow. It did not disappoint and was easy to share, concluding our evening by adequately satisfying our sweet tooth without having to loosen the belt.
We left feeling sufficiently stuffed, yet planning our next visit, excited to see more of what Chef Steffan has to bring to New York Grill this year... that, and those crispy duck fat fries.
New York Grill Park Hyatt Tokyo 3-7-1-2 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-Ku
Hours Lunch: 11:30 a.m to 2:30 p.m. Dinner: 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
For reservations, call 03-5323-3458© Japan Today