n every table, greeting each guest at Ta Vie, is a message i n a bottle—a course-by-course r undown of t he day’s t asting menu on one side and an esoteric poem on t he flip. The verses come fr om Yoshinomi, an old Japanese folk song, and speak poignantly of the journey of a l ost traveller. At the base, chef de cuisine Hideaki Sato has written the words “Pure. Simple. Seasonal” with great flourish—and we’re l eft with no doubt t hat it’s an indication of the philosophy that guides this particular culinary nomad.
Sato’s will is t o showcase t he very best of Asian produce through a prism of finely honed French techniques, and this shines through a seasonally attuned menu that’s never short of t wists and turns. The very first dish we’re served this year i s a t estament t o this—and a prime example of t he chef’s i nnate artistic vision when it comes t o crafting a dish. Listed on t he menu as kegani crab and avocado cocktail with black vinegar