China Blue, Shiodome

Three of the golden rules that have stood me in good stead over the years are:
a) don't expect great food if the view is great
b) don't eat at hotels unless you have to because you're staying there
c) don't pay for expensive Chinese food

When I booked at China Blue I knew I was breaking all three rules, but I thought that the Michelin star that has been bestowed upon it was a guarantee of experiencing something out of the ordinary. I'm afraid the only extraordinary experience was an extraordinary rip-off. Sure, the setting at the top of the Conrad hotel in Shidome is spectacular, but there is little pizazz in the "over-seasoned" food and the service is decidedly lacklustre. Things like mumbling out what each dish is and leaving before we had properly understood, failing to show the way to the bathroom until I had to track someone down, and having to ask for my jacket at the end of the evening. Or to top it off, the chef coming out to speak loudly to a group of Chinese visitors and completely ignoring us as we left. I could understand it at the local chukka joint, but when you pay around 45,000 yen for dinner including one very standard bottle of Cloudy Bay you kind of expect a minimal level of regard.

For 15,800 yen each my dining partner and I opted for the unremarkable Menu Fuki, all of which are pictured below. The most interesting part about the food was the fake prawn konnyaku vegetarian dish at the end but, hey, for that money I think they could afford real prawns. 

Every dish served tasted OK and was of reasonable quality, but fine dining this is not. I have no idea what the Michelin guide is thinking, but I can easily get better food and eat like a king at some local Chinese places for a TINY fraction of the price. 

Amuse of radish cake

Steamed dumplings

Deep fried steak with lettuce and tomato

Shark fin soup

Fish with coconut sauce

Stir fried vegies and konyakku "prawns"

Fruit dessert with a bit of fairy floss

The last course was not on the menu, but necessary nonetheless...

Tel: 03-6388-8745


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