ADDRESS: 10F GINZA SHISEIDO BUILDING, 8-8-3 GINZA, CHUO-KU, TOKYO 104-0061 JAPAN TEL: +81 3 3572 3911
For Faro, the Italian restaurant run by Shiseido group, going vegan is their calling. The restaurant welcomed Kotaro Noda, chef of one-michelin-starred “Bistrot64” in Rome in 2018, and since then, they have presented modern Italian cuisine with an emphasis on serving vegan courses and vegan non-alcohol pairing menus. “For vegan dishes, we don’t use animal-oriented ingredients. So, it is important to have drink-pairing flavours that introduce complexity and elevate the dining experience. Adding acidity and tannin is the key, as both affect the sensorium of taste buds. As you sip from the drink, new aspects in the flavour will come up, and that can be a satisfying experience for diners,” said Noda. He created a vegetable- and fruit juice-pairing menu as an alternative for those with caffeine intolerance and for the health conscious. Last December, he presented a special two-night collaboration with “One story”, a platform that connects passionate farmers with top chefs. The menu featured “Lotus Root Ravioli” made with lotus root and seasonal fresh Saga nori seaweed, paired with a fermented papaya, lemongrass and chilli concoction inspired by “somtam”, a Thai green papaya salad. It complemented the oyster-like umami flavour from the ravioli, and the spiciness enhanced the sweetness of lotus root. Sommelier Kakeru Kawauchi, who led the drink-pairing event said, “For the dish, we highlighted the acidity from the citrus, and to enhance the flavour even more, I used chilli for that extra kick.” For the Canederli with beetroot sauce, pairing was done with Japanese cassis cooked in syrup. They separated the cooked cassis from the syrup, dried it, powdered it, dripped it like coffee, and blended it with the syrup again. “Different temperatures bring out different flavours in cassis” said Kawauchi.
Noda shared that he was inspired by the flavours of juices, which are highlighted so intricately by sommeliers at Faro. “Going vegan might seem restrictive for some people, but for me, it allows me to be more creative, especially in a drink-pairing menu curated together with our sommeliers.”
“JUICE PAIRING ADDS COMPLEXITY TO PLANT-BASED DISHES, AND THAT MAKES THE DISHES MORE EXPRESSIVE. AS A RESULT, THIS MULTIPLIER EFFECT GIVES MORE DEPTH TO THE DINER’S EXPERIENCE.“