Yan Toh Heen Presents a Gala Dinner with Japanese Celebrity Chef Yuji Wakiya September 16, 2016 (With the special menu available through September 23)
On Friday, September 16, Yan Toh Heen, InterContinental Hong Kong’s 2-Michelin star Cantonese restaurant, will welcome back celebrity Japanese chef Yuji Wakiya（脇屋友詞）owner and chef of Turandot (in Tokyo’s Akasaka area & in Yokohama) and Wakiya (in Tokyo’s Akasaka area) for a Gala Dinner. Chef Wakiya is collaborating with Yan Toh Heen Executive Chef Lau Yiu Fai to create an innovative 8-course menu showcasing premium seasonal ingredients with a California wine pairing for HK$1,888 per person + 10% service charge.
Known in Japan as the “Iron Chef” of Chinese cuisine, thanks to his appearances on the popular TV programme which originated in Japan, Chef Wakiya is internationally acclaimed for his creative Chinese cuisine infused with Japanese influences. His dishes are acclaimed for their delicacy, harmony and beautifully artistic presentation.
The two award-winning chefs have collaborated on several occasions. This visit marks Chef Wakiya’s third guest chef promotion at Yan Toh Heen; and Chef Lau has showcased Yan Toh Heen cuisine at both Wakiya’s Tokyo and Yokohama restaurants a few years ago.
Guest Chef Wakiya will be showcasing the following dishes on the Gala Dinner Menu:
- Crispy Minced Scallop stuffed with Konbu, Conpoy and Caviar
- Wok-seared Lobster with Brown Sauce
- Sliced Wagyu Beef served in a Laver Wrap with Seasonal Vegetables and Rice Pancakes
- Abalone Congee with Green Vegetables
Chef Lau’s featured dishes will include:
- Barbecued Stuffed Suckling Pig with Minced Shrimp and Golden Taro with Hairy Crabmeat Roe
- Braised Imperial Bird’s Nest with Whole Crab Claw and Crabmeat Roe
- Steamed Garoupa Fillet with Mandarin Zest and Red Dates
- Chilled Taro Pudding with Diced Purple Sweet Potatoes
The Gala Dinner will begin at 7:00pm with a welcome reception with NV Perrier Jouët, Blason, Rosé, Brut Épernay served in the Yan Toh Heen wine area.
Inclusive in the Gala Dinner will be a California wine pairing featuring:
- 2014 Sauvignon Blanc, Heitz Cellar, Napa Valley, California
- 2011 Pinot Noir, Freeman, Russian River Valley, California
- 2011 Merlot, Star Lane Vineyard, Santa Berbara, California
About Yuji Wakiya
Chef Yuji Wakiya first began his culinary training under a Chinese chef over forty years ago. Over all these years, Chinese food has commanded an extraordinary influence in Wakiya’s unique cuisine. There are certain principles to which he adheres in his approach to cooking. First, he uses seasonal ingredients that revitalize the body and spirit. Secondly, he creates a harmony, almost like that of a musical composition, between the five dimensions of taste, sourness, saltiness, bitterness, sweetness and fullness of flavour.
It is in this spirit that Wakiya takes the greatest care in selecting and presenting on a single plate an assortment of items, so that even a solitary guest can enjoy a variety of flavours.
His passion and life’s motivation is conveying the delights of Chinese cooking and paying homage to the subtleties of flavours refined over centuries of tradition, and then weaving in amongst these, the essences of Japanese-style, and in particular his unique Wakiya-style, cooking.
Yuji Wakiya’s Career Path
Born in 1958 in Sapporo, Hokkaido, Yuji Wakiya began his career in 1973 as a young chef at the Sanno Restaurant in Akasaka and went on to gain experience at various establishments such as the Tokyo Hilton Hotel and the Capitol Tokyu Hotel. At the age of 27, he worked as Head Chef at a metropolitan hotel and became Executive Chef at the same hotel in 1992. As Managing Director & Executive Chef at Turandot, he has been orchestrating openings in Yokohama, Akasaka, and Roppongi since 1996. In 1997, Yuji became the Executive Chef of Chinese cuisine at the Pan Pacific Hotel and in 1998, was appointed Head Chef to the Crown Prince and Princess at the same hotel. In 2001, he opened Wakiya in Akasaka and assumed the position of Owner Chef. In 2007, he opened Wakiya at Gramercy Park Hotel in New York, USA. In 2003 - 2007, Yuji participated in the annual ‘American Wine & Food Festival’ held in Los Angeles, USA. He also participated in the “Madrid Fusion 2005” in Madrid, Spain and in the "World Gourmet Summit 2011" in Singapore. In 2012 he was awarded the Food Master Bronze Prize by Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fishery. In 2014, Chef Wakiya received the prestigious Ojuhosho Medal (which has a yellow ribbon) by the Emperor of Japan.
Today, in addition to overseeing the cuisine at his four restaurants in Tokyo and Yokohama, Yuji makes appearances on NHK cooking shows and speaks regularly at culinary schools with the aim of fostering the next generation of young talent. Also a connoisseur of Chinese tea, Yuji strives to share the joy of tea-drinking through various forms of media. He is also the author of 13 culinary books. His new book is Haute Chinese Cuisine from the Kitchen of Wakiya in English (published by Kodansha International.)
With scenic views of Minato Mirai, Turandot offers set courses of assorted items delicately arranged on a single plate to suit each guest’s individual preference. Also available is an à-la-carte menu of traditional Chinese dishes.
In the "Garden" room, guests are invited to experience Wakiya-style multi-course menus, while the more casual space offers a variety of homey delights—seasonal appetizers and sautéed vegetables, noodles served piping hot and fried rice. Here all-day long, guests can enjoy Chinese cuisine as they like it.
A self-contained building that evokes an auberge, planted in the heart of the city, this location boasts a wide array of delights. A terrace area bathed in sunlight, Japanese and western style private rooms with sunken “kotatsu”-style tables, an upscale bar, “Piano”, with its air of elegant maturity. A place where guests can delight in the Chinese experience to their heart’s content.
Here, cuisine is served Wakiya-style, ie: Chinese cuisine that is gentle on the body. Wakiya happily accepts special requests to create personalized menus. From creating a menu based on vegetables guests bring from their garden to cooking fish that guests have caught, or even pairing guests’ special wines with a Wakiya’s multi-course menu.
Reservations and Enquiries
For further information and restaurant reservations, please contact:
Restaurant Reservations Centre
Tel: +852 2313 2323
Monday – Saturday
For further press information, please contact:
Carole L Klein
Executive Director of PR & Communications
InterContinental Hong Kong
Tel : (852) 2313 2335
Fax : (852) 2721 5964
E-mail : email@example.com