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.
09｜Ginza KOKOROJapanese Steakhouse (Ginza)
Luxurious Kobe Beef Grilled on a Binchotan Charcoal Oven
In Japanese the word “Kokoro” means heart, alluding to the fact that Ginza KOKORO (Kobe Beef Rogama Steak Ginza KOKORO) takes pride in providing heartfelt dishes and service to all their guests. Chef Katsunori Hirata has experience working as the head chef of a famous luxury hotel in Japan, as well as experience working in a Michelin awarded auberge in France. Ginza KOKORO’s menu, which changes every month, features carefully selected seasonal ingredients. Proven cooking techniques are used to maximize their delicious flavors.
During a recent visit they opened our course with an appetizer of raw wagyu beef garnished with delicate white truffles. A second introductory platter was an assortment of luxurious ingredients such as uni, lobster and abalone. Guests visit Ginza KOKORO for its kobe beef, which is cooked on a custom made binchotan charcoal grill that they maintain at 180 degrees. “The key feature of rogama is that the fat from the meat itself is used to grill the meat, rather than using additional oils,” says Chef Hirata. “By using a Binchotan charcoal, the smoke wraps around the meat which is grilled over close fire.” The grilling times always vary depending on the size, thickness and type of beef being cooked. From Chef Hirata’s perspective, this is akin to having a conversation with the meat, paying careful attention not to miss its perfect serving condition. The result is beef that is fragrant and crispy on the outside, but tender and moist on the inside. The flavor of the meat itself is so rich that you don’t even need to add seasoning. You will be fully satisfied by simply enjoying the deep umami flavors of the meat. Chef Hirata takes great pride in satisfying his guests, and works hard every day to exceed their expectations.
“Even the Slightest Compromi se Could Ruin Everything”
“I want you to feel as though you are having a luxurious time while you are with us,” says Chef Hirata. “We always want to exceed the expectations of our customers. For that reason, I always give my best as a chef and never compromise my commitment to quality. Even the slightest compromise could ruin everything.” Ginza Kokoro is known for encouraging guests to compare the differences between their Kobe Beef and their Matsusaka Chateaubriand Beef. “Above all, I want you to taste and compare the tastes and textures of the best parts of the beef,” says Chef Hirata. Sometimes guests at the counter are deliberately not told which meat is which, to stimulate a lively discussion with the chef. This playful attitude reflects Chef Hirata’s personality and experience. He knows that guests want to learn and be entertained as they enjoy delicious food.
KOKORO Wants You to Imm erse Yourself in its Carefree Atmosphere
“I want to create an immersive atmosphere in which guests can forget their daily lives and enjoy themselves in a carefree manner”, says Chef Hirata. Ginza Kokoro opened in 2018, and in celebration of their upcoming 5th year anniversary they will renovate their private rooms so that guests can enjoy an even more special and intimate time together. The reason why GINZA KOKORO chose ROCOCO as a partner is because "I liked the elegant style of drinking from a wine glass and its refreshing, high-quality flavor," says Chef Hirata.
"Our appetizers in particular use plenty of seasonal vegetables and seafood, and there are many dishes that take advantage of the quality of the ingredients themselves. I think they pair well with the soft taste of ROCOCO."they pair well with the soft taste of ROCOCO."
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