Capella Hanoi proudly announced Koki to the world with their Grand Opening Ceremony conducted on July 21st and hosted by Junichi Yoshida, Masterchef of Tokyo’s popular teppanyaki restaurant, Ishigaki Yoshida, which was the first ever teppanyaki restaurant to be awarded one Michelin star in 2017.
Chef Yoshida has worked closely with the team at Capella Hanoi to design a world-class concept for Koki Hanoi and will regularly visit to mentor Koki’s team of Japanese and local chefs and ensure its high standards are maintained.
The opening ceremony was attended by leading luminaries of the Hanoi hospitality scene, including William Haandrikman, the General Manager of the Metropole Hanoi, Vietcetera’s Chef of the Year Hoang Tung, and mixology maestro Richard McDonough aka the Mood Therapist.
General Manager of Capella Hanoi, Christoph Strahm, was also joined by Ms. Nguyen Vu Quynh Anh, the CEO of owning company Sun Hospitality Group to welcome guests who were refreshed with lovely libations from Bar Manager Sean Halse.
Chef Yoshida actually stayed in Hanoi for one week after the opening ceremony delighting diners by personally cooking at Koki’s exclusive chef’s table teppanyaki private dining room named Hibana (meaning flames).
Junichi Yoshida is the man who placed teppanyaki on the culinary map
The world did not consider teppanyaki to be a Michelin-caliber food until Junichi Yoshida used his sublime talents to highlight the great potential of this type of cuisine.
Today, Chef Yoshida is intrinsically linked with this cuisine as the first chef to be awarded a Michelin star for a teppanyaki restaurant. He has elevated teppanyaki in the eyes of the culinary world and established Ishigaki Yoshida, his intimate restaurant in Tokyo, as one of the most sought-after tables in Japan.
Chef Yoshida has traveled a long road to get to where he is today. From Okinawa to luxury hotels in Tokyo, he has honed his craft over the years and developed "shuhari," a cooking philosophy that maintains Japanese traditions while also incorporating innovation to produce breakthroughs that are at once familiar and revolutionary.
Sourcing only the best ingredients for diners in Hanoi
Chef Yoshida uses good ingredients coupled with excellent techniques.
At Koki, diners can expect top-quality ingredients, such as the prized Yaeyama Kyori beef, which is sourced from the Yaeyama Islands in Okinawa. There, the cattle graze freely on sunny plains. They are then selected individually for the butchers.
Sourcing of produce and seafood is just as exacting, with sea perch from the Sea of Japan and crab from the cold waters of Hokkaido. Chef Yoshida and the team have curated a list of quality suppliers to bring the best and freshest produce to Koki.
A House of Senses, below Capella Hanoi
Koki restaurant sits beneath the stunning Capella Hanoi. It has been described as a House of Senses, where guests will be delighted not just by flavors but also by Japan's textures, sounds, and scents. That includes a sake library with exclusive bottles, a selection of teas fit for royalty, and a range of cocktails that will simultaneously transport you to the deep forests and clouded mountains of Japan.
Vietcetera spoke with MasterChef Yoshida just after the Opening Ceremony to see how he felt about this exciting new venture.
His initial impression was about the beauty of Hanoi, which he described as “a wonderful city, full of greenery and fabulous architecture with very kind and friendly people.”
When asked about his vision for Koki, he declared,“We want to continue to be a symbol of the new era of teppanyaki, consistently delivering high standards of aroma and temperature from our cooking with our customary friendly and interactive performance at the tableside.”
According to the chef, the three unique features that guests can look forward to are “the chance to enjoy the world's best Wagyu steak without going to Japan” as well as the “finest imported Japanese ingredients at Capella Hanoi” with “an exciting new menu that perfectly combines Vietnamese and Japanese food culture.”
Chef Yoshida will return regularly to Hanoi to oversee the development of the menu, ensure that ingredients used continue to be of the highest quality, and work with Koki’s Japanese and Vietnamese chefs to continuously improve standards.
Koki’s resident Japanese Head Chef Hiroshi Yamaguchi has worked with Chef Yoshida at Wynn Palace in Macau and is very happy to be working with him at Koki in Hanoi.
Chef Yamaguchi was happy to tell us that Chef Yoshida will soon return to Hanoi again in October, and he said, “being able to co-star with Chef Yoshida at the Capella Hotel was a dream come true. He always puts his heart and soul into his team and his cooking and always refuses to compromise to ensure that he delivers the highest standards.”
According to Capella Hanoi’s debonair General Manager Christoph Strahm, Koki is all set to “perfectly compliment Capella Hanoi’s celebration of opera with their kaleidoscope of culture, heritage, and people.”
The final word on this exciting new concept to arrive in Hanoi should go to Sean Halse, the dashing Bar Manager of Capella Hanoi who promised guests that “Koki will represent the true taste of Japan.”