A Michelin star for Signature
Thursday, 13th December 2007
Source : Mandarin Oriental
Signature is the stylish restaurant on the 37th floor of Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo. Itspecialises in French-inspired cuisine andhas been awarded a Michelin star in the prestigious guide's inaugural edition for the capital.

The hotel itself garnered the highest, "luxury comfort" rating of five red pavilions in the prestigious hotel and restaurant guide's first venture into Asia in its 108-year history.

A Star for Signature (Chef de Cuisine: Olivier Rodriguez)
According to Michelin, "A restaurant that receives one or more stars is not only one of the best in its country but also one of the best in the world." Michelin Tokyo 2008 lauds the "refined, high-quality contemporary French" cuisine of Signature's Chef de Cuisine Olivier Rodriguez, a native of Toulouse. True to the Japanese aesthetic, every individual dish in his carefully constructed menu is artistically rendered.

Under the Michelin classification system, Signature's one-star status signifies that it is "a very good restaurant in its category; a place offering cuisine prepared to a consistently high standard." The rigorous selection process, honed over the years since the star rating system was introduced in 1926, has made a Michelin star the benchmark of culinary excellence.

A graduate of the INFATH Culinary School in Nice, early in his career Chef Rodriguez was Commis at the Michelin 2-star le Chantecler, and Section Chef at both the 2-star Les Jardins de l'Opera Toulouse and 3-star Enoteca Pinchiorri Firenze.

He has presided over Signature's lighter-than-classical, Mediterranean-influenced creations since the restaurant's opening in 2005. Joining him in creating exceptional guest experiences is Chef Sommelier Fumihiko Kamo, himself no stranger to the Michelin stamp of quality: in 2000, Kamo became the first Japanese Chef Sommelier of a 2-star restaurant, Les Clos de la Violette in France's Aix-en-Provence.

His deep fund of experience with rare vintages, as well as the many biodynamic and organic wines in Signature's more than 400 bins, ensures that he will find the perfect wine to match each clientele's preference and selection of cuisine. Manager Bernard Claeys, a native of Belgium, began his career as Head Waiter at the (then) 3-star Restaurant

Alain Chapel France, moving later to the 3-star Le Gavroche in London. Prior to opening Signature he held several managerial positions in Japan, including Restaurant Director at Tokyo's Chateau Restaurant Taillevent Robuchon.

A restaurant's interior design, service and comfort levels have no bearing on the award of a star, but at Mandarin Oriental's Signature, diners are assured of a memorable experience in ultimate comfort and style, surrounded by spectacular views across the Ginza, Tokyo Bay, and Otemachi areas.

Signature is open for lunch and dinner daily.

Tokyo Affirms its Status as the World's Leading Culinary Destination
Of the 21 Michelin guides covering 22 countries, Michelin Tokyo 2008 is unique because all of the restaurants in it attained the highly coveted star status. A team of five inspectors, including two Japanese nationals, awarded a total of 191 stars to 150 restaurants, more than any other city in the world.

Jean-Luc Naret, director of Michelin Guides, said in a press conference that Tokyo's unprecedented performance is owed to "the incomparable quality of the products and cooking techniques used, and the culinary traditions handed down from generation to generation, and which continue to develop, thanks to the talent of its chefs." The rigorous selection process, conducted anonymously over a period of 18 months, involved 1,500 of the city's estimated 160,000 restaurants.

With renewed interest expected in the capital's myriad culinary offerings, Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo offers domestic and overseas travellers alike an ideal location. Its Nihonbashi address is the historical and cultural heart of Tokyo commerce; a destination itself with scores of centuries-old shops specialising in upscale goods from lacquerware and washi papers to the finest kimono, and fans fashioned from bamboo and silk. The contemporary haute couture of the world-renowned Ginza is just blocks away.

Michelin Tokyo 2008 notes the hotel's "truly elegant interior," with "decorations such as calligraphy, folding screens and ikebana (that) introduce a Japanese sensibility." In addition to the "panoramic," "stunning" views, Mandarin Oriental's legendary service is also lauded: "Like the well-laid out interiors and the overall concept, the first-class service is also a major attraction."

Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group is the award-winning owner and operator of some of the world's most prestigious hotels and resorts. Mandarin Oriental now operates, or has under development, over 10,000 rooms in 23 countries with 16 hotels in Asia, 14 in The Americas and nine in Europe and North Africa.

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