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Finding the perfect blend of Western and Japanese aesthetics and cuisine can be difficult. Finding it in a luxury brunch, even more so. Fortunately, a restaurant at the Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills, located on the 51st floor of Toranomon Hills Mori Tower, ticks all the right boxes. From mouthwatering snow-aged beef to ceiling windows with breathtaking views of the glowing skyline, The Tavern – Grill & Lounge offers a one-of-a-kind dining experience in the heart of Tokyo.

SNOWY DELIGHT
The Tavern – Grill & Lounge is Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills’ signature restaurant, featuring distinctive breakfast, brunch, and dinner menus that offer choice domestic meats and modern-inspired dishes made with seasonal local ingredients.

The restaurant’s specialty is yukimuro snow-aged beef. These select cuts of beef are matured for more than 25 days and naturally refrigerated using 15 tons of snow in a cellar in Niigata Prefecture. As Alistair Minty, the hotel’s director of food and beverage, explained, this process fuses the meat’s natural sugars until it becomes marbled and tender, giving it an organically savory flavor. It’s a long and delicate process—rarely undertaken, even in Japan.

LIMITLESS BRUNCH
The restaurant is also revitalizing the luxury brunch experience. Many hotel restaurants offer buffet-style brunches, but The Tavern – Grill & Lounge has introduced an enticing concept: unlimited starters.

“When you have a buffet restaurant, the presentation and quality can be difficult to maintain,” said Minty.

“In that respect, we keep everything fresh. Rather than having one heavy dish and becoming full for the rest of the meal, you can try many.”

Starters include a mix of smaller breakfast plates to comple­ment the main dish, including mixed-berries French toast with brioche, chocolate, blue honeysuckle, and Chantilly cream, as well as banana waffles with honey-yuzu compote, apricot coulis, and roasted coconut shavings.

After sampling their fill of entrées, visitors are served the main dish. This might be The Tavern’s signature eggs Benedict, seafood brochette, or the vegetarian-friendly eggplant gratin and tomato fondue. Items can also be upgraded for a taste of the snow-aged menu. The meal ends with a tower of freshly prepared seasonal sweets, as well as a dessert table with light chiffon cake, lemon meringue pie, and baked cobbler.

Jazz artists set the mood with live music and impro­visation that creates a delightful ambiance. “It is very fun, and I think the nice thing for brunch is that they also kind of wander through the restaurant. It creates an energy that guests enjoy,” Minty said.

SEASON IS EVERYTHING
The restaurant’s vision is, in part, influenced by how Japan values seasons. “Japan is great for having that seasonality of produce,” said Minty. “We absolutely try to rotate our food, to do it in a special way or evolve it slightly or differently.”

The Tavern – Grill & Lounge creates a new theme every few months. The à la carte menu is available year round, but the dinner and afternoon tea courses use seasonal or themed menus.

A limited menu through February features Kurao pork, which comes from pigs fed Baumkuchen, a traditional German spit cake.

FEEL AT EASE
Minty believes every part of The Tavern – Grill & Lounge shapes the visitor experience. “The view, the food—including snow-aging and our signature starters—the music, and the service are four components of a whole package,” he said. “These create a unique kind of venue in terms of top-floor restaurants.”

And while luxurious, The Tavern is always welcoming. “That’s what we want to promote: a luxury experience in a more informal manner, a place where you can have quality service and a beautiful product, but still feel at ease.”