by Vittoria Dell’Anna
What if fine dining would embrace a democratic and popular dish such as pizza? It happens every day (for both, lunch and dinner) inside one of Tokyo’s most luxury places: it is a corner in the corner inside the Italian restaurant K’Shiki, located on the 38th floor of the building. Mandarin Oriental Tokyo features several outlets, offering different types of cuisine: cantonese (Sense), French (Signature), sushi (Sushi Shin by Miyakawa, Sushi Miyakawa’s one and only branch, 3* Michelin in Hokkaido) and molecular (Tapas Molecular bar, 1* Michelin). But, should you wish to experience pizza as never before, you must take one of the 8 seats of The Pizza Bar on 38th, awarded by 50 Top Pizza with Prosecco DOC Award in the Top Ten Japan 2021.
Reminding Japanese ‘corner restaurant’ concept, executive chef Daniele Cason decided to open The Pizza Bar back to 2013, featuring just a few seats in order to gain a really high quality service. Cooking and serving pizza are part of this immersive experience: guests are able to watch the making of pizza exactly as it happens with sushi corners in many other places in Japan. Besides Daniele, 3 pizza makers coming from different countries (Japan, Thailand and Philippines) are around the corner, all sharing a crucial obsession for perfection.
Ingredients are coming from different parts of the world: mozzarella and cheese are from Italy, while vegetables are local and truffle is sourced from Italy, France, China and Australia (especially the black Australian truffle, famous for its really high quality). Tomato sauce comes from Puglia region (located in the south of Italy) and it’s accompanied by Pachino tomatoes paste, with the purpose to mix both textures and flavours.
The menu features 6 classic pizza (such as Buffalo mozzarella) and a couple of specials, such as Green pizza (topped with wild vegetables coming from Japanese mountains) and Sausage and zucchini (using both green and yellow local zucchini, dried seeds, homemade sausage, zucchini flowers and other flower toppings). However, the best seller dish is Pizzino: a kind of double oven baked focaccia filled with mascarpone cheese, olives cream, truffle, parmesan, fior di latte mozzarella and provolone cheese. Double baking makes it extra crunchy outside but soft and melting inside.
Tasting menu is also available and it includes a special starter, a special pizza and a sweet pizza for dessert. Sweet pizza always changes together with the seasons; for this spring 2022 it features Strawberries: white dough, Domori chocolate 65%, ricotta cream with candied fruits and raw sautéed Amaou strawberries (one of the most precious varietals raised in Fukuoka region, located in the South of Japan) with Grand Marnier liquor. During summer it’s easy to find mango and passion fruit for sweet pizza, while in Autumn the most used fruits are figs.
Finally, Omakase option is also available: let the chef surprise you and taste different wines, beers, liquors or sake paired with each pizza. Beverage list includes craft local beers, a selection of Japanese wines and Italian liquors. ça va sans dire, should you wish to drink something different, the hotel’s wine cellar got you covered.