In this exclusive interview with ROCOCO partner restaurants, chefs and sommeliers from ROCOCO's partner restaurants tell you in their own words what they are passionate about in terms of food and restaurants.
02｜HOMMAGEModern French (Asakusa)
Learning From the Past to Express the Asakusa Terroir
Owner Chef Noboru Arai opened his restaurant Hommage in his hometown of Asakusa over 20 years ago. The philosophy of Hommage has always been “learning from the past”. Chef Arai’s novel approach in treating Asakusa as a culinary region and expressing its terroir through his cuisine was rewarded with a 2 Stars Michelin award in 2022. It is fascinating that such a forward thinking French restaurant is located in the traditional city of Asakusa, just minutes away from Sensoji, the famous Buddhist temple. Gourmets visit Hommage for its variety of intricately prepared dishes, each bursting with vivid colors, textures and flavors. Chef Noboru Arai shares that “French cuisine is always evolving. It feels like the Internet and Social Media have accelerated the speed at which information is shared, which is very different from when we first opened our restaurant. Back then, information was primarily shared in books and magazines. I feel I might be weeded out if I don’t adapt to the times, so I always try to push my boundaries. I try to balance my effort with focusing on my family and Asakusa, which are also important to me. I hope to continue creating dishes through which I can express my feelings, without feeling overwhelmed.”
ROCOCO Instantly Changed Chef Arai’s Image of Beer
Chef Arai thought he did not enjoy the taste of beer. However, when he first tasted ROCOCO, he thought to himself, “delicious!”, instantly changing his image of beer. He felt convinced that the delicate and fruity flavor or ROCOCO, combined with its fresh taste would be appreciated by a wide range of people. He thus decided to serve it at Hommage, and ROCOCO has become a favorite among many of his customers.
ROCOCO is the Perfect Beer to Pair with French Cuisine
Chef Arai’s priority while cooking is to bring out the full flavors of ingredients that are in season. By combining ingredients sourced all over the world and infusing them with his own emotions, Chef Arai feels he is better able to express the terroir of Asakusa. Naturally, he also seeks out beverages that can harmonize, and even enhance, the experience of his dishes. Conversely, he avoids beverages that interfere with his dishes. ROCOCO’s delicate taste is therefore a perfect match for the delicate dishes served at Hommage.
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