Japanese-style Italian restaurant is quite unique. While the courses are of Italia-origin, the techniques are definitely Japanese kaiseki-inspired. “Ciliegio” or sakura blossoms in Italian is a fine example of such unique combination of East and West.
The lunch course is especially popular among ladies as the menus focus on healthy balance of ingredients and Instagrammable food. The sets included either a 3 or 4-course menu (appetisers, pasta and/or main, dessert+drink) or a low-calories 2½-course (slightly smaller pasta or half a main) option for ladies.
Bread are made freshly daily, and consisted 4 kinds for my lunch – a bread stick, a cheese bun, a slice of baguette and a soft bun. They were all very good Japanese bread – flour are milled twice for a really fine texture – and somewhat softer than the Italian variety. Even the bread stick was crispier.
The appetisers Antipasto Misto can contain up to 30 ingredients, from fresh and superior quality vegetables from local farmers, to edible flowers to different in-house cured meat and fish. For my lunch, there was a piece of bonito aburi cover with sesame served yuzu sauce, cream cheese with smoked salmon, parma ham with balsamic and melon, yam mousse with Fuji apple chunks, deep-fried brussels sprout with pesto, foie gras with raspberry and toast, potato salad on baguette with devilled quail egg, baby yamatako, pate with olive, and ikura with mushroom ravioli. Just for one appetiser course!
There were 5 types of pasta and 4 main courses to choose from. I picked the lightest of the lot, crab meat and clam spaghetti in white wine sauce. It was very light and flavourful. The spaghetti was a bit too soft for my liking, but this is Japan and their spaghetti does tend to be slightly softer than al dente. The disappointment was the clam – they were not very fresh.
And dessert was another eye-pleaser. It consisted of a macaron of mocha filing, dried apricot with fresh strawberry, a slice of opera cake and a mochi with brandied cherries.
Ciliego is located in the Prince Sakura Tower hotel and is only a 3-minute walk from Shinagawa station. If you are a guest of the hotel, you get 10% off the price, and if you are Marriott Platinum Elite, you get 15% off.
Reservations recommended, especially for lunch, where it can be really crowded.
CILIEGIO Ristorante Caffè
The Prince Sakura Tower Tokyo, Autograph Collection
Japan, 〒108-8612 Tokyo, Minato, Takanawa, 3 Chome−13−１