The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Haute Chinese Cuisine @ China Blue, Tokyo

I was invited along to dinner with Rob and some of his colleagues a couple of Fridays ago to the one-MIchelin-starred China Blue at the Conrad. Naturally, I had to bring my camera along, and thankfully Rob's colleagues are already aware of my food blogging so it wasn't too awkward for me to take shots of the dishes. The restaurant also didn't mind as long as I didn't use the flash so everyone was happy. I liked how this posh restaurant was fine with kids and babies because our table wasn't the only one with diners under 12 years old. I guess they'd have to be if they want to cater to hotel guests with children.

The main dining room has a cool and modern interior with a gorgeous panoramic view of the Tokyo cityscape through their huge floor-to-ceiling windows, and service was professional and impeccable as one would expect from a restaurant of this calibre. China Blue serves modern-style Chinese cuisine, and the small 1- or 2-portion size for each dish makes it a bit awkward to have a banquet-style meal. That didn't stop us from sharing dishes anyway. The price is on the high end and expect to pay at least 10,000yen per person for a decent meal. We didn't pay for the meal so I don't know how much dinner came to be, but I know we ordered a lot of dishes for six people, along with a bottle of nice Aussie riesling and another bottle of good red wine (I have disliked all the red wines I've ever tried before this one).

Most of the dishes were pretty good, and some were quite outstanding, but there were a few that were quite mediocre. We ordered a few dishes that were marked as 'Chef's Signature Dishes' on the menu, and these ones were really good. I haven't included photos of all the dishes we ate as there are too many, but the following selection are shots of the better dishes of the meal. Unfortunately I don't remember the exact names of the dishes but I'll try to describe them as best as I can.


1. The Amuse Bouche at the beginning of the meal: some sort of noodles with a type of pickled vegetable in a delicious sesame oil dressing; 2. Pork-wrapped Asparagus - tasted just like pork and asparagus, which is a good combination:

3. Peking Duck Crepe - this was pretty good, both texturally and taste-wise; 4. Hot and Sour Szechuan Soup - I love Szechuan soup, and this was packed with seafood and flavour, simply delicious:


5. Seafood in XO Sauce: choice from three types of seafood, and I chose scallops - beautifully prepared, the scallops were plump, juicy and cooked to perfection accompanied with sauteed greens and mushrooms; 6. Beef with Herbs - also another excellent dish, the chunks of meat were crisp on the outside and gorgeously tender and juicy when you bite into it:

7. This is a Mystery Dish as someone had ordered it but no one remembered what it was. I'm certain it's pork, and it was pretty good. 8. Seafood Fried Mee Suah - Rob ordered this because he likes the meesuah soup my parents and I cook at home. This dish is also a chef's specialty dish, and it was really good! Some of the others ordered two other carb dishes (a yee mein (noodle) dish and fried rice), and everyone agreed that the Mee Suah was the yummiest.


Only some of us ordered desserts, but the restaurant served everyone at the table a cup of some sweet apple tea and fried pastry doused in honey. I like unexpected complimentary service like that. I ordered the Lychee with White Tea Jelly and Rob got the Chef's Special which was a tasting selection of six desserts. I liked the Avocado Mousse and the Sesame desserts. The Aloe Vera dessert tasted a bit funny and the Mango Pudding was nice but very generic. The Lychee Jelly was also nice but it was bordering on generic because I couldn't taste the white tea flavour. I can't remember what the remaining dessert was. Thanks to Rob, I now remember what the sixth dessert was, and I even remember the taste. The Tiramisu dessert was slightly bitter with the flavour of espresso, but otherwise was quite forgettable.

Lychee with White Tea Jelly and the cup of sweet apple tea; and the Dessert Tasting Menu:

All in all, it was a good experience (you wouldn't expect anything less from a restaurant boasting a Michelin star) but to be really honest, I personally wouldn't pay that much for a Chinese meal. Thanks to Rob's company, I had the opportunity to see what China Blue has to offer.


  1. Mystery dessert
    I think the last one was tiramisu? - Rob

  2. Re: Mystery dessert
    Yeah I think you're right.