On the other side of the world from Rome, in Tokyo there is a place where you can enjoy the typical Roman-style pizza, that is, “alla pala”. The Pizza Bar on 38th, which was awarded Michelin Guide Tokyo 2023 Bib Gourmand dining. The restaurant is led by chef Daniele Cason, who has brought one of the typical dishes from his hometown of Rome.
Daniele Cason has a prestigious career, which has led him to work in the kitchen of the highly-acclaimed La Pergola, in Rome, and in luxury hotels around the world in Italy, England, Egypt, and Thailand. Since joining the Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo in July 2013 as Executive Sous Chef, he has made a tremendous contribution to the development of the hotel restaurants, particularly in K’shiki where he also oversaw the opening of The Pizza Bar on 38th, one of the hotel’s signature restaurants. In 2016 he was appointed as the hotel’s Executive Chef.
Japan, moreover, is a country rich in quality products, with which Daniele Cason enjoys working. “I source seasonal luxury ingredients from Italy and Japan, such as white/black truffles, porcini mushrooms and radicchio from Italy, white/green asparagus, radicchio. But also Japanese mountain vegetables, mushrooms and other vegetables, Japanese premium fruit – “Amao” strawberry, organic mango and passion fruit from Okinawa. I look for seasonal, sustainable and organic products wherever possible”, the Chef explains.
A LIGHT AND CRISPY PIZZA
Pizza served at The Pizza Bar on 38th is the result of Chef Daniele childhood memories, with great attention to detail, to yield a dough that is as fluffy, and airy as possible. Topped with high quality ingredients, the handful of pizzas offered at the pizza bar come in a slightly different style of pizza than one commonly finds.
“A conscious decision was made not to imitate Neapolitan pizza, but rather opt for the “pala” style, which is sold in Rome by meter or by square with different flavors. The dough is made with only 1g of yeast per kilo of Italian organic flours and contains as much as 80% water. After a fermentation of 48 hours, its texture, even in the raw state is remarkable, and as soft, and bouncy as a pillow. Instead of having the pizza baked in advance and eating it lukewarm as per tradition, the Pizza Bar on the 38th serves it straight out of the oven, resulting in a crisp and fragrant base, and a very airy crust. The flours blend are all from Mulino Marino, Italy, some of the cheeses are produced in Japan”.
Executive Chef Daniele Cason creates two types of pizza dough that maximizes fusion with ingredients: “Regero”, which has a light taste and excellent compatibility with tomatoes, and “Saporito”, which has a rich flavour that enhances the taste of cheese.
Highlights include classic Bufala, a celebration of simple traditional flavours made with fresh Buffalo mozzarella, tomato and basil atop a perfectly baked pizza crust. Pizzas are served at an exclusive 8-seat marble top bar.
A SCENIC LOCATION
The location, besides, is one of the best. The Pizza Bar on 38th is one of 12 restaurants and bars at the Mandarin Oriental, ten of which are located on the uppermost two floors of the 38-storey Nihonbashi Mitsui Tower, offering guests stunning views of the city and beyond, including Tokyo Skytree to the east, and the Mount Fuji to the west. The Pizza Bar on 38th is within K’shiki, the Italian Dining where chefs craft Italian special cuisine into contemporary creations that celebrate classic Italian flavours; alternatively, you can choose from the menu’s selection of antipasti, pasta and the freshest fish and meats.
On the first floor of the building is The Mandarin Oriental Gourmet Shop, on the second Ventaglio Dining, while between the 37th and 38th floors the other venues of the Mandarin Oriental: Signature (French Fine Dining), Sense (Cantonese Dining), Sushi Shin by Miyakawa, K’shiki, The Pizza Bar on 38th, Oriental Lounge, Tapas Molecular Bar (Michelin Guide Tokyo 2022 one-star dining), Mandarin Bar, Sense Tea Corner, The Cellar.