above photo © Mandarin Oriental
Tapas Molecular Bar
Mandarin Orintal Hotel
Tokyo 102-8328, Japan
11:00 – 15:30 Lunch
18:00 – 00:00 Dinner
While highly-touted, we found Tokyo’s Tapas Molecular Bar more Vegas entertainment than Michelin Star-worthy. Usually we would not review a restaurant that does not excite us, but here we do as it is so heavily marketed.
Chef Ngan Ping Chow, originally from Hong Kong, is rather entertaining, a very good performer with knowledge of different languages and the main attraction. He creates decent examples of current modernist techniques. This is a good introduction for people not immersed in modernist cuisine, a.k.a. tourists. Tapas Molecular bar is definitely not for gourmets, as the food is not breathtaking in flavor at all.
On top of the food quality, the service not to the Japanese high standards. When you are paying $100’s for a meal, small gaff’s become more noticeable; like most high end restaurants with multiple course menus, TMB hands you a menu at the end of your meal, the beauty and form in-line with the artistic expression of the restaurant. Here, we received a simple printout that did not even reflect the meal we had.
Ok – enough of that – now onto the meal (which admittedly photographs beautifully!)
Dinner commences with a small toolbox containing a small hammer, mini shovel, tweezers, saw and a tape measure with the menu printed on it (which was pretty slick). This is followed with a series of dishes.
You enter into the Chartered Bank building – either feeling at ease in a monolithic womb to cash or a sort of annoyance at how much extra money exists to build all this ugly marble 🙂 Then you go down, and down, and down past mirrors and columns and you feel yourself defending into the nether worlds where the real jewels are kept … Mott 32 is a true beauty. With and extraordinary interior by Joice Wang (winner of the 2014 restaurant interior design award).
We sat at the bar and wandered around taking in the opulence. Our bar tender was skilled and quite charming (we did come back for a 2nd cocktail and tried for the same young man). Unfortuneatly the rest of the staff bordered on rude, to the extent that they would follow us to the restroom and trying to prevent one on looking around and actually enjoying the space. It did not make any sense as the restaurant is so beautiful; and a main reason why anyone was there.
The food menu for us was a bit too traditional with their signature peking duck and mountains of pork (a smell permitted the dining area); therefore, we concentrated on the liquid menu 🙂
Mott’s 32 cocktail menu is fantastic. As we find in most cities we visit, the menues seem to be born out of NY, LA or London. The menu here was created by an American, who used Asian twists. The flavours are truly local, extensively creative and with a perfect balance. My Old Fashioned was quite new fashioned, and infinitely drinkable!
Above Photos © Joice Wang
Hanami cocktail is made with Buffalo Trace Whiskey, Tanqueray Gin, Umeshu, Yuzu, Shisho, Ginger Beer and Chrysanthemum.
Plum wine poached Australian pear, candied ginger, cinnamon and Osmanthus flower.
Soy Sauce Ice Cream
Rose Garden – Rose, Rhubarb, Roselle and Ginger.
Passion Cooler is a refreshing alternative for dinner, shaken with Shiso leaf, coconut water, coriander seed and passion fruit.
The On Leong Tea Cocktail is mixed with Denizen Rum, Osmanthus & Oolong Tea, Passion Fruit and Guava
Mott 32’s Milk Tram – a delicate shaken cocktail of Belvedere Vodka, Vanilla Syrup, Almond Milk, Matcha Tea and Cinnamon
Mott 32 Bar and Restaurant
Standard Chartered Bank Building, 4-4A Des Voeux Rd Central, Hong Kong
12:00 – 15pm Daily
18:00 – 23pm Daily