Posts tagged with "sushi"

JAPAN × CONDÉ NAST TRAVELER

JAPANESE CITIES OF TOKYO, KYOTO AND OSAKA RECOGNIZED WITH CONDÉ NAST TRAVELER’S 2018 READERS’ CHOICE AWARD 

Condé Nast Traveler magazine today announced the results of its 31st annual Readers’ Choice Awards, including the “The Best Cities in the World: Best Big Cities” list, featuring the Japanese cities of Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka ranked as #1, #2, and #12, respectively. 

“This wonderful recognition of three of Japan’s most prominent cities demonstrates the continued interest in Japan as a top destination among North American travelers,” stated Naohito Ise, Executive Director of the New York Office of the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO). “JNTO will continue to work to inspire travelers to visit even more destinations throughout the country, both within these popular cities as well as to more lesser-known regions.”

The Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards are the longest-running and most prestigious recognition of excellence in the travel industry and are commonly known as “the best of the best of travel.” 

One of the most popular cities in the world, Japan’s capital city of Tokyo is a thriving center of culture and the hub of innovation where visitors travel with endless opportunities for diverse activities. In June 2018, Tokyo saw the opening of the world’s first digital museum, the MORI Building DIGITAL ART MUSEUM, bringing three-dimensional art to life in collaboration with renowned art collective group teamLab. On October 11, 2018, Tokyo’s world-famous 80-year-old Tsukiji Market will move into an entirely new space in Toyosu

Two hours via bullet train from Tokyo, Kyoto, the former capital of Japan, offers rich history throughout the city and continues to be a favorite destination among travelers. In 2019, Kyoto will welcome many highly anticipated hotel openings, including the Ace Hotel and the Park Hyatt Kyoto. Even more, in June 2018, Kyoto City Tourism Association launched a new multi-language service to make restaurant bookings easier for incoming travelers, allowing tourists to make reservations and prepay at restaurants in Kyoto. 

The second largest metropolitan area in Japan, Osaka offers modern attractions and classic landmarks throughout the region. Home to Osaka Castle, Shitennoji Temple, Universal Studios Japan, a rich local food scene and abundant nightlife offerings, Osaka has something for every traveler. 

The results of the Readers’ Choice Awards will be published in the November 2018 issue of Condé Nast Traveler, on newsstands nationwide on October 16, 2018. The full list is available online at www.CNTraveler.com/rca.


ABOUT JAPAN NATIONAL TOURISM ORGANIZATION (JNTO):

As the official tourism board of Japan, JNTO is involved in a wide range of promotional activities to encourage international travelers to visit Japan. Through a variety of campaigns and initiatives, JNTO is inspiring more American travelers to visit Tokyo, Kyoto and beyond, and is raising awareness of Japan.

About Condé Nast Traveler 

As the most discerning, up-to-the-minute voice in all things travel, Condé Nast Traveler is the global citizen’s bible and muse, offering both inspiration and vital intel. Condé Nast Traveler is the most trusted and celebrated name in travel with 6 National Magazine Award wins and 26 nominations in its 30-year history. www.cntraveler.com

SIR NIKOLAI HOTEL × IZAKAYA

Sir Nikolai Hotel and IZAKAYA Asian Kitchen & Bar celebrate one year anniversary

A year ago, Hamburg lined up for the grand opening of Sir Nikolai and IZAKAYA Asian Kitchen & Bar. Well established in the city’s growing hotel and fine dining scene, Sir Hotels and THE ENTOURAGE GROUP celebrate a successful first year with the presentation of a 7-story high artpiece by acclaimed artist Steve Tepas.

Liran Wizman, owner and founder of Sir Hotels and Yossi Eliyahoo, owner and founder of THE ENTOURAGE GROUP commissioned Los Angeles-based artist Steve Tepas to create an artpiece for one of the building’s inner courtyard’s walls. The eye-catching 250sqm painting is titled “Collective Ascension” and shows nine abstract male faces looking upwards towards one abstract female who is bending down with her eyes closed. Inside each male head, boldly outlined in black on white background, the artist painted black staircases.

I created this piece in reflection of all the many journeys we take in life. We all have the same goal: rising to a higher level,” artist Steve Tepas explains.

The artpiece is visible through the retractable glass ceiling of the patio on the groundfloor, as well as from the hotel rooms facing the courtyard.

Sir Nikolai & IZAKAYA Asian Kitchen & Bar

The  seven-story Kontorhaus,  orginally  used  as  a  warehouse  for  seeds,  encompasses  94  rooms  and  suites  with  views  of  the  canal  and  the  Old  Town,  the  Speicherstadt  and  HafenCity  or  the  hotel’s  inner  courtyard.  The  open  and  inviting  public  spaces  on  the  groundfloor  stretch  from  The  Study,  a  cosy  lounge  where  guests  check-in,  over  The  Patio,  the  hotel’s  glass-roofed  courtyard  where  IZAKAYA  Asian  kitchen  &  bar  begins. The restaurant includes an open kitchen, where diners can watch the chef and his team artistically prepare the dishes at the kitchen counter, a 360-island bar overlooking the canal and two balconies,  floating over the water.

IZAKAYA Asian Kitchen & Bar defines skills and techniques of the Japanese cuisine with South American influences. The first IZAKAYA Asian Kitchen & Bar opened 2012 in Amsterdam and is one of the city’s most established fine dining spots. This success led to the opening of IZAKAYA in Hamburg, Ibiza and Munich. The  menu  features  fresh  sushi,  sashimi  and  a  variety  of  exquisite  meat  and  fish,  prepared  on  a  traditional  Robata-grill  or  in  a  Hibachi-fire  bowl.

A successful first year in Hamburg

Keeping with its philosophy of building meaningful relationships and offering extraordinary services to guests, Sir Hotel’s kicked-off two special initiatives throughout its first year in Hamburg. On Instagram, Sir Hotels launched travel guides that repurpose the social platform to provide an  innovative  way  for  locals  and  visitors  to  experience  the  city. Sir  Nikolai’s Hamburg guide is  an  easy-to-use  city  guide  highlighting  local  favourites  and  hidden  treasures. In addition, the recently launched program, Sir Explore, offers bespoke experiences to out-of-town guests and the locals alike. The collection of custom tours and workshops gives access to unique experts. Each host leading a Sir Explore experience represents an intriguing aspect of their community and culture; Sir Explore allows for a truly authentic insider perspective to each city.

At IZAKAYA Asian Kitchen & Bar time-honoured techniques blend together with innovative signatures, with spectacular dishes as the end result. Executive Chef Hariprasad Shetty composed a sophisticated menu of a variety of small, unconventional dishes and specialities of the Robata grill, always daring the guest to try something new.

Shortly after it opened, IZAKAYA Hamburg was awarded 15 points by the renowned Gault-Millau restaurant guide, making it one of the city’s top ten restaurants already in its first year.

Along with redefining Asian culinary classics, IZAKAYA Hamburg gives a cutting-edge twist to the classical Japanese and English tea ceremony by serving a totally new kind of ‘Afternoon Tea’ with an exclusive selection of extraordinary light bites, one of the best tea selections of the town.

www.sirhotels.com

www.the-entouragegroup.com

About Sir Hotels

Sir Hotels is a boutique hotel brand, founded in Amsterdam in 2013 with the opening of Sir Albert, located in a former diamond factory next to the city’s Museum Square. In 2016, Sir Savigny opened in the heart of Berlin’s district of Charlottenburg, followed by a second outpost in Amsterdam, Sir Adam, located in the iconic A’DAM Tower. Following the opening of Sir Nikolai in Hamburg, Sir Hotels headed to Ibiza: Sir Joan opened in July 2017. Sir Hotels cater to those who are looking for authentic stories and distinctive locations. Each hotel has stunning interior design, exceptional restaurants and bars and specializes in providing guests unique experiences on and off property. Sir Hotels are created and managed by the award-winning Amsterdam-based hotel development and management company Europe Hotels Private Collection (EHPC).

About THE ENTOURAGE GROUP

THE ENTOURAGE GROUP is an unrivalled hospitality empire, renowned for creating internationally acclaimed food and beverage concepts across the world. Their wide range of expertise has been cultivated extensively through years of hospitality management, operations and fine dining experience. Owners and founders Yossi Eliyahoo and Liran Wizman, along with the group’s CEO Stephanie Pearson, inspire THE ENTOURAGE GROUP to continually set the new standard for modern hospitality. The currently owned portfolio includes MOMO Restaurant, Bar & Lounge, IZAKAYA Asian Kitchen & Bar (Amsterdam, Hamburg, Ibiza and Munich), THE BUTCHER, THE BUTCHER West, THE BUTCHER Nine Streets, THE BUTCHER Social Club, THE BUTCHER Berlin, THE BUTCHER Ibiza and THE BUTCHER On Wheels, SHIRKHAN, MR PORTER, awarded by Michelin THE DUCHESS and MAD FOX club Amsterdam. The upcoming cities include Barcelona, Dubai and Milan. Due to the success of the group, founder Yossi Eliyahoo was awarded ‘Hospitality Entrepreneur of the Year’ in the prestigious Entrée Hospitality Awards 2015.

About Steve Tepas

Steve Tepas is a painter and sculptor in the Neo-Purism movement, based in Los Angeles and Spain. He has shown his work at Art Basel Miami and at the Marrakech Light Festival. His first solo exhibition will take place in July. Before he dedicated his life to the arts, he was a creative director in Fashion and Interior Architecture.

PARTY AND SUSHI

by Vaughn Lowery

Vincent Myrha and his team over at Party & Sushi are phenomenal. They purchase fresh fish daily from the market early in the morning and effortlessly prepare it right in front of you, fabricating a top notch sushi restaurant atmosphere. We experienced so much merriment as they made-to-order all types of rolls, sashimi, vegetable as well as shrimp tempura (w/ small portable fryer). Everyone at our editorial photo shoot was impressed, including the featured celebrity. And on top of that, Vincent and his team are extremely gifted and entertaining. An excellent idea for house parties, trunk shows and receptions.

partyandsushi.com

#360Magazine #Recommended

THAI DISHES

By: Vaughn Lowery

About 24 years ago, Tom Wynter moved from Thailand to America with a dream to open his own commercial enterprise. He started working at Thai Dishes restaurant, the old location. And moved on to a California Pizza Kitchen location for almost a decade and became a licensed bartender where he functioned at a popular bar in Hollywood. After becoming managerial staff at various establishments, he begins to act in tandem with Thai Dishes in Santa Monica when it was located on 2nd Street. The owners decided to call it quits as the rental for their location was coming up for renewal. Wynter decided to extend the legacy of this authentic Thailand franchise and discovered a vacancy at 123 Broadway in Santa Monica which fulfilled his imagination – a restaurant with a bar and patio which mimicked the likes of cafes in Paris. This time around he wanted to make sure that his restaurant had all of the key ingredients which he really felt engaged him as a patron – great food and drinks with a decor to match.

Soon After, Thai Dishes on Broadway was born. An unassuming and unpretentious venue which would be perfect for a quick drink/bite or a spot where you celebrate your birthday. Wynter obviously struck gold being a half block away from Ocean Boulevard, the newly renovated mall and the last stop on the Expo Line. For this area, everything is moderately priced and holds all the right offerings for a romantic date or simply a place to recharge your batteries while you people watch in the sidewalk seating. The ambiance is stellar: mosaic tiling near bar, warm fall colors, bespoke wall paper, faux ostrich wrapped table tops and unique Thai ornaments sprinkled throughout. The most sought after menu items include: BBQ pork over rice, spicy green bean tofu, roasted duck over rice and red curry chicken (presentation is very reminiscent of an authentic Thai dining experience).

Specialty handcrafted cocktails like their Mai Thai cocktails made with Thai whiskey will keep you coming back, but customer service contributed by his general manager, Leila Regalado, is a key component to TDOB’s success. She will have you seated within seconds and constantly will check in to see if you require anything else. If her smile isn’t enticing enough, serving size, happy hour specials and bottomless mimosas on Saturday/Sunday from 12 to 3 pm) should reel you back in.

Wynter asserts, “I’m constantly checking on the quality of food that comes out our kitchen and my staff sometimes needs me during holidays and weekends, which leaves little or no time for a life outside of this place.”

THAAI DISHES SQUARE

One thing’s for sure, Tom Wynter and all of his personal sacrifices have made Thai Dishes On Broadway a slam dunk within the Santa Monica Pier/Downtown area.

For additional info, please visit http://thaidishessantamonica.com

TOKYO TEA

My heart beat with anticipation as the plane broke through the clouds as we approached Narita International Airport. The 22nd stop on my international checklist couldn’t have looked more picturesque from this view. Upon arrival, I advanced to customs where I was corralled through a maze-like queue I would liken to the old school snake game. Shortly after, I approached an automated kiosk attended by a customs official, who surprised at my stature jokingly remarked that the machine was made for Asians. Passport in hand, I stepped up to the counter at the final checkpoint and receive my stamp to enter Japan. With a quick smile and gesture to pass the attendant said “Arigatou! Welcome to Tokyo!”

My first morning in Tokyo started like any other. I woke up early, ready to seize the day. I lifted the curtain and popped out of my sleeping quarters to head for the showers. At 9 hours, an ultra-modern take on the traditional Japanese capsule hotel, living out of a locker for 4 nights somehow felt super trendy and posh. Exceptionally clean facilities, private bathrooms and showers and a super sleek, minimalist design explained the “Fabulous” rating on my booking website. As always, I strove to tour like a local, having accommodations that were authentically Japanese was paramount.

When exiting my hotel in Shinjuku I was quickly swept into the cadence of the crowd outside. The city has a true rhythm, a viable beat that you either get on or awkwardly exist outside of. Luckily my cultural metronome was in tune and I set out ready to embrace my week as a Tokyoite. Here’s the TEA on Tokyo.

Tour

Among the many quirky shops and unconventional things to pursue in the city, there are the famous cat cafes. They’re literally all over Tokyo and are just what they seem to be. I dropped into Calico Cat cafe in Shinjuku. I spent some quality time with my feline friends while enjoying a traditional Japanese milk tea with boba. At 1000 yen per hour it’s a welcome escape from the bustle of the city that won’t break the bank.
A visit to the tallest tower in the world will give you vertigo if nothing else. The Tokyo Skytree, standing at 350 meters, gives one incredible view of the city while providing equally heightening entertainment and shopping. The attraction starts with a massive shopping mall, chock full of retail and restaurants, (Tokyo Skytree town) to engorge the senses before leading to the attraction. After purchasing my ticket at the will call, I was ushered into a massive elevator that ascends the height of the tower in under a minute (your ears will pop). The top platform features a cinema, photo booth and of course the resident gift shop; however the real treat is the view. At night the metropolis is an endless sea of light rippling in all directions. For the more courageous, there is a portion of the floor that has a glass bottom. Don’t look down!

Eat
One of my favorite Japanese snacks and the ultimate street food in Japan, is takoyaki. The ball of dough is filled with grilled octopus and is fried to a crisp golden brown on the outside, leaving the inside a nice gooey consistency. Topped with a sweet soy sauce, mayo and bonito (fish) flakes, this makes the perfect snack if you’re in a hurry. It’s sold practically everywhere (convenience stores, street vendors, restaurants) however the perfect stop for me was Gindaco Takoyaki. A causal chain found all over Tokyo. Here they specialize in the treat and make them to order with a number of toppings and flavors. I stumbled upon the location in Kabukicho and spent a moment enjoying a Japanese highball (beer infused with liquor) while watching the busy square outside.

A trip to Tokyo without sushi? Unheard of. Although a novelty in the states, conveyor belt sushi restaurants are definitely worth a visit in Tokyo. I dined at Smart Sushi at the Shinjuku JR station and had a phenomenal experience. Have your pick of fresh sushi as it goes round on the belt or select made to order hot and cold dishes (and sake of course) from the tablet at your seat. I couldn’t help but think about the efficiency of the whole experience. Is this the future of dining?
Adventure
From Shinjuku Station I took the Keiko Highway bus towards the Fuji Five Lakes region and Kawaguchiko. The two hour ride is quite scenic, taking you west of Tokyo. It’s just the right distance for a perfect day trip. Buses are outfitted with WiFi and in-seat power outlets making for a comfy ride. As I left the city behind, I traded the tall compact skyscrapers of Tokyo for wide open spaces and countryside homes. On approaching to the final bus stop, the topography changed significantly as the mountains jut out before you and the winding roads lead into the small town before Fujikawaguchiko.

The snow capped peak of Mt. Fuji commands the skyline above Kawaguchiko Station, which is the closest one can get to Japan’s majestic active volcano during the off season. The terrain is only safe for driving and climbing during July/August; however the view from here is unparalleled on a clear day. The station was packed with tourists and locals alike, perusing the shops and attached cafe; while the train yard is full of photographers admiring the vintage trains and snapping away at Fuji-san. I ventured across the street to a very unassuming traditional Japanese restaurant, which is aptly named as such. While enjoying a fantastic Katsudon, I gazed out the window at the beauty that is Japan’s tallest mountain.
As I boarded the Narita Express train from Shinjuku, I longed for so many of the other fascinating experiences one can enjoy in the land of the rising sun. I assured myself that four nights in Tokyo could not have been better spent. The T, E and A of my trip made for some lasting memories and affirmed my return trip to Japan in the near future. Until the next chapter…
Arigatō gozaimasu!
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NOBU DOWNTOWN NYC

​This is what happens when you mix an acclaimed architect with one of 360’s most prolific furniture makers.

If you’re ever in the New York Metropolitan area this is one bit of art that’s making some serious noise within the five boroughs.

The new Nobu Downtown in NYC features a lyrical sumi-e ink sculpture designed and conceived by David Rockwell in collaboration with John Houshmand.

🏁Check out NY Times article for additional information.

*Featured photo courtesy of Eric Laignel.