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  • 22 HOTELS September 2015 www.hotelsmag.com

    When it comes to defining HOTELS’ 2015 Great Hotel Restaurants, what stands out most is a lack of definition.

    This year’s honorees share the expected commonalities such as menus featuring the highest-quality ingredi- ents, striking design details and service that goes beyond expectations. Yet in terms of specifics, the latest crop of out- standing F&B destinations serve every- thing from simply grilled local seafood to authentic Thai cuisine to incompa- rable sushi. Their spaces range from buildings filled with history to rooms

    that highlight the great outdoors, and while some exude a formal vibe, others take pride in their relaxed ambiance.

    Whatever the details, it is important to note that all this year’s winners have accomplished an impressive feat. “In a hugely competitive environment, with loads of excellent independent restau- rants, it is not easy to do a successful hotel restaurant,” notes MPS Puri, chief executive of Nira Hotels & Resorts and one of this year’s judges.

    “First and foremost, a great hotel restaurant has to be a great restaurant in and of itself,” adds New York City- based consultant Arlene Spiegel, who

    also judged this year’s entries. That emphasis on standalone great-

    ness is not new, but Geneva-based consultant and judge Stephane Bellon expands on the point and identifies a future goal for hotel F&B. “We have kept escaping the fact we were in hotels to create great restaurants,” Bellon says. “Now, I believe we will create great restaurants proud to be in a hotel. The greatest hotel restaurant doesn’t deny being in a hotel, but there is a sub- tle, balanced ballet between the two.”

    HOTELS and Villeroy & Boch are proud to continue the tradition of hon- oring these Great Hotel Restaurants.

    Whatever their menus or settings, this year’s Great Hotel Restaurants must stand out while complementing the broader hotel environment.

    by Ann BAgEL STOrck, mAnAging EdiTOr

    El Farallon at The resort at Pedregal in cabo San Lucas,

    mexico, serves a private dinner with the Sea of

    cortez providing an impressive


    crowd Apart from the

  • www.hotelsmag.com September 2015 HOTELS 23

    F&B: Great Hotel restaurants

    Operated by a hotel (of any size and with or without a brand) or with minimal assistance from a consultant or celebrity chef

    Meets its intent (if it is called a steakhouse, it must not be all-Italian)

    Busy, with outside as well as in-house diners

    “Suitable” (a bistro should not try to be Michelin three-star establishment) welcome, service, food, drink, décor, lighting and noise level

    Great overall ambience and experience

    Value for the price A viable investment concern Prompts diners to return Winners from the past three

    years not eligible

    Average dinner check: US$81 Menu focus: Modern, high-end sushi, sashimi and bento Signature dishes: Sushi items includ- ing gravlax, scallops and grilled beef; a

    bento box for lunch featuring a two-tier wooden box served on a custom tray

    Standout design features: Japanese design firm Tofu Inc. designed 88 Sushi Bento Bar to embody the spirit of Japan.

    Located in the steel cocoon above Andaz Lounge, the restau- rant features two striking paintings — “Crane,” which represents good luck and happiness, and a depiction of the Jin Li fish, which

    represents success.

    What makes it great: 88 Sushi Bento Bar combines cool and clever design, exquisite food and amazing attention to detail to seamlessly deliver a great experience.

    88 Sushi Bento Bar Andaz Xintiandi, Shanghai

    Executive chef: Takayuki Takeda

    Year opened: 2015 Meals served:

    Lunch and dinner Seats: 43

    ?RestaurantGreat Hotel What makes a


    for signature dishes from this year’s great Hotel restaurants, visit hotelsm.ag/2015greatHotelrestaurants

  • 24 HOTELS September 2015 www.hotelsmag.com

    F&B: Great Hotel restaurants

    Average din- ner check: US$93-US$156 (including drinks) Menu focus: Contemporary, ingre- dient-focused cooking with an underlying

    American accent Signature dishes: Chargrilled Iberico pork; crab-stuffed doughnuts Standout design features: The restaurant, with its

    large open kitchen, is at the heart of Chiltern Firehouse. The former fire car- riage entrances of the restaurant open onto the restored double- wide sidewalk.

    What makes it great: Chiltern Firehouse marries old with new and Hollywood with London tradition. The look is great, and the food and service is equally impressive.

    Chiltern Firehouse Restaurant Chiltern Firehouse London

    Executive chef: Nuno Mendes Year opened: 2014 Meals served: Breakfast, lunch, dinner and weekend brunch Seats: 124

    Average dinner check: US$50 (food only) Menu focus: Fresh fish caught daily from local waters Signature dishes: Whatever seafood is

    caught fresh that day grilled simply Standout design features: El Farallon is characterized by its al fresco setting overlooking the Sea of Cortez. New in

    2015 is the picturesque Champagne Terrace, which allows guests to explore and discover champagne.

    What makes it great: With its dramatic setting next to the

    Sea of Cortez as well as a bounty of fresh local fish displayed on ice and grilled over charcoal, El Farallon promises a truly world-class dining experience.

    El Farallon The Resort at Pedregal Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

    Executive chef: Yvan Mucharraz

    Year opened: 2009 Meals served: Dinner

    Seats: 90

  • CONGRATULATIONS Villeroy & Boch salutes the 10 Great Hotel Restaurant Award Winners 2015

    Villeroy & Boch Tableware Division 3A South Middlesex Avenue Monroe Twp., NJ 08831 Tel.: + (1) 609 578 4300 Fax: + (1) 609 655 2405 E-mail: hotel-r@villeroy-boch-usa.com


    88 SUSHI BENTO BAR Andaz Xintiandi, Shanghai, China

    ASIATE Mandarin Oriental, New York, USA

    CAFÉ GRAY DELUXE The Upper House, Hong Kong, China

    CHILTERN FIREHOUSE Hotel Chiltern Firehouse, London, UK

    EL FARALLON The Resort at Pedregal, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

    LACUNA BISTRO The Maslow Hotel, Sandton, South Africa

    NAHM Metropolitan by Como, Bangkok, Thailand

    RESTAURANT VINKELES The Dylan, Amsterdam, Netherlands

    SIERRA MAR Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur, California, USA

    ZIJIN MANSION Waldorf Astoria, Beijing, China

  • 26 HOTELS September 2015 www.hotelsmag.com

    F&B: Great Hotel restaurants

    Average dinner check: US$180 Menu focus: Inquisitive, seasonal creations focused on a sense of place and the culture of Big Sur

    Signature dishes: Local red abalone in preparations including an abalone-miso broth poured over hot jade stones and a classic- style heirloom tomato- abalone doree with brown butter, Meyer lemon and basil

    Standout design fea- tures: The restaurant sits atop the cliffs of Big Sur, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Guests approaching Sierra Mar are greeted

    by the restaurant’s liv- ing roof, which merges into the cliffs. Its artistically sculptured interior architecture provides an infinite vista, embracing the coastline and its surrounding natural landscape. Floor-to- ceiling windows bring the outdoors in, and a contemporary palette of wood, slate and steel reflect the changes in weather and time of day.

    What makes it great: The room is nothing less than stunning, and the food perfectly echoes the romance of Big Sur while still retaining a laid-back vibe.

    Sierra Mar

    Post Ranch Inn Big Sur, California

    Zijin Mansion Waldorf Astoria Beijing

    Executive chef: John Cox

    Year opened: 1992 Meals served:

    Lunch and dinner Seats: 50

    Average dinner check: US$72 Menu focus: Cantonese Signature dishes: Diced spicy Wagyu Beef; crispy rice in tomato seafood broth; Cantonese-style suckling pig Standout design features:

    Zijin Mansion showcases decorations with a tra- ditional Chinese pattern and a persimmon color scheme. Canary paintings bring in the beauty of spring blossoms, summer shades, autumn leaves and winter snows. Legle design

    plates and red sandalwood chopsticks are custom-made while French-designed por- celain represents the blend of East and West.

    What makes it great: Old and new come together in cuisine and design in a distinctive way.

    Executive chef: Menex Cheung Year opened: 2014 Meals served: Lunch and dinner Seats: 114

  • Average dinner check: US$164-US$175 Menu focus: French cuisine with a mixture of classic and contem- porary styles Signature dishes: Anjou Pigeon Imperial with five spices, young carrots, horseradish and a sauce made with the bird’s bones and dried apricots; Japanese Joshu Wagyu Gunma A5 beef with pointed cabbage, Jerusalem artichoke, Shimeji mushrooms, jus of dashi vinegar and fermented garlic

    Standout design features: Restaurant Vinkeles is set in a sunken dining room surrounded by original 18th-century ovens that once served as a bakery for the Catholic Poor People’s Office. The restaurant also offers a beautiful view into The Dylan’s secluded garden.

    What makes