Russian aristocratic cuisine is not that common in Japan. Its character is derived from a diverse number of influences including Central Asian, Central European, and the Middle Eastern. Grand Hyatt Tokyo (グランドハイアット東京)’s French Kitchen (フレンチキッチン) has collaborated with the Mori Arts Center Gallery (森アーツセンターギャラリー) exhibition in serving a high-end Russian afternoon tea, which feels like dining with the famous Russian tsarina, Catherine the Great. The assortment of food is more than what you’d find at a regular restaurant, so prepare to be treated like a Russian aristocrat!
— エカ様〈大エルミタージュ美術館展〉公式 (@Dai_hermitage) March 28, 2017
Mori Arts Center Gallery is an art exhibition area which presents high-quality works from around the world. Precious works from manga producers, anime motion pictures, design, and fashion are presented here.
The gallery is running “Old Masters from the State Heritage Musuem (大エルミタージュ美術館展 オールドマスター 西洋絵画の巨匠たち)” from March 18 2017 until June 18 2017. It is said that Catherine the Great, the longest female ruler in Russia, was popular for gathering her artworks at the museum. She also established regular imports of tea in Russia. During her reign, she hired a French chef to work with Russian aristocrats. This was a status symbol that also shaped Russian cuisine with French influence.
The French Kitchen is an all-day dining restaurant. It also serves weekend brunch buffets, which is open throughout the day. If you come to the place for afternoon tea, it is advisable that you skip lunch as you will be served with different assorted dishes that will surely satiate your appetite. Among the menu are Vatrushki with cottage cheese and jam, smoked salmon blinis, Piroshki, pork rilletes on rye bread, crepes with apricot compote, pastries, buttermilk pancakes and a lot more! These come in bite-sized portions so you can try everything.
You can match this with a prestigious French tea by NINA. Their Ekaterina II tea (エカテリーナⅡティー) is very relaxing. This is a blend of Earl Grey and Ceylon teas, as well as dried sunflowers and cornflowers. Don’t forget to try the bird’s milk cake (バーズミルクケーキ)! This consists of small, rectangular blocks of milk-based, airy meringue covered in a chocolate glaze. This cake is delicious and melts in your mouth, and has been popular for generations. The restaurant will be serving it with heavenly chocolate marshmallow coats.
Another is the apple pastila, a traditional fruit confectionery. It uses caramelized apple, which is sweet and a perfect match for tea. You can also try Catherine’s favorite dishes for dinner called the Hermitage Special Dinner (エルミタージュ スペシャルディナー). A Royal Heritage Afternoon Tea (エルミタージュ アフタヌーンティー ロイヤル) costs 15,000 yen, which includes glasses of Louis Roederer Champagne and caviar. This is going to be served until June 30, 2017.
So if you’d like to step back into the Russian bygone world, why not drop by Grand Hyatt Tokyo’s French Kitchen? It is a great way to enjoy Russian tea and cuisines in Japan, which doesn’t happen too often. The Afternoon Tea is more than enough to satisfy your appetite!