Sant Pau Tokio, the branch of Carme Ruscalleda's haute cuisine gastronomic proposal in the Japanese capital, will close its doors on September 2. This has been announced in an Instagram post published on the restaurant's account, in which a door is left for a future collaboration with this chef with whom the property maintains great complicity.
The establishment located in The Kitano hotel will say goodbye after 19 years and as the chef explained to La Vanguardia, starting in June it will offer "a special tasting menu with a selection of some of the Catalan cuisine dishes that we have prepared during these almost twenty years"; Dishes that have marked the career of the chef with the most Michelin stars on the planet.
On September 2, the owner, the hospitality businessman Yuji Shimoyama, wants to say goodbye with a dinner to thank the suppliers, the team, the clients and the media for the long journey they have traveled together. Ruscalleda, who explained that she will travel to Tokyo with her husband, Toni Balam, the first week of September. "It has been more than a business, we have learned a lot and we have made friends forever," said the chef.
The almost two decades of Ruscalleda's presence in the Japanese country are due to the insistence of Shimoyama, who approached her and her husband, Toni Balam, to propose opening a copy of his restaurant Sant Pau de Sant Pol de Mar in Tokyo ( Barcelona) after being impressed by the sensitivity of the cook's dishes that they tried on her Sant Pol menu.
Although Ruscalleda initially found it very difficult to replicate the style of her cuisine so far from home and in another culture, she soon found that the reception was extraordinary and she was fascinated by the respect for the ingredients and the culinary tradition of a gastronomy that would end up influencing her own work wherever he went, both in Catalonia and in Tokyo.
The restaurant, which was first located in a small palace in the Nihonbashi neighborhood, once had two Michelin stars and experienced difficult times when the team was affected by the pandemic. According to Ruscalleda, "after Covid, many gastronomic restaurants in the city have closed.
The three-star restaurant run by Carme Ruscalleda and her husband Toni Balam in Sant Pol de Mar closed in September 2018 and is currently run by her son Raül Balam with his partner Murilo Rodrigues with an informal proposal, which includes nods to his mother's cuisine, under the name of Kitchen Sant Pau.