there's no shortage of fine dining options in tokyo. but the innate sense of perfection of the locals and their eagerness to spend on an exceptional culinary experience, it's not at all bad idea to start a business here, especially if you're a chef of some renown. and that happens to be the case with jean-georges vongerichten. the frenchman trained with the very best in his field before continuing to make a name for himself. a michelin-starred chef lauded by the most feared food critics, vongerichten set up various restaurants - some standalone establishments, others inside 5-star hotels - in a number of leading cities across the planet.
his current network of top restaurants includes no less than eleven establishments in new york city, gourmet outposts in shanghai and on sunny st. barths, and as of late also a sleek new diner in tokyo's roppongi district. it's called jg tokyo and is vongerichten's very first restaurant in the land of the rising sun. for this venue he enlisted curiosity, a leading design based in the japanese capital and run by fellow countryman and architect gwenaël nicolas, to come up with a matching interior design. jg tokyo occupies a streetlevel unit at roppongi hills, an upscale mixed-use complex in central tokyo. the space is structured as such - it's lofty but relatively narrow with an intimate vibe - that the design seamlessly adapts to with subtle solutions.
the ground floor features 14 seats placed along a stone counter and an ultramodern exhibition-style open kitchen. large slabs of yellow stone form a scenic landscape-like backdrop. the palette is very much nature-inspired, boasting complementing natural material such as tanned wood and textured leather. a staircaise wraps around a statement light sculpture by artist reiko sudo and leads to an upstairs lounge with room for 40 guests for à la carte dining. the restaurant is helmed by chef fumio yonezawa who trained directly under jean-georges vongerichten in the big apple. jg tokyo features the freshest local and seasonal seafood, while it also specializes in refined 13-course omakase kaiseki dining. location: roppongi hills, 6-12-4 roppongi [roppongi].