It has been a busy year for Mauro Colagreco. The Argentine chef – best known for the three-Michelin-starred Mirazur in Menton, France – was the culinary star of the show at the new Raffles at the OWO (which went down as London’s biggest hotel opening in decades when it launched this fall) opening not one, not two but three restaurants in its hallowed halls.
Clearly not one to rest on his laurels though, following the Raffles opening, Colagreco was straight over to Tokyo for the launch of Cycle by Mauro Colagreco – his first restaurant in Japan. As the name not-so-subtly suggests, the restaurant is an ode to the cyclical nature of both life itself and the natural world that governs what we eat.
Located in Tokyo’s Otemachi District, it feels like a natural progression in Colagreco’s journey to apparent worldwide dominance, with the nation’s revered culinary traditions and respect for ingredients closely mirroring that which the chef has cultivated in Europe.
Colagreco is the top name on the bill, but naturally, the rest of his expansive restaurant empire still needs tending. When he’s back in France manning his flagship Mirazur, he has entrusted Japanese chef Yuhei Miyamoto with charge of Cycle’s kitchens.
Chiba-born Miyamoto is a long-term lover of fine French cuisine – it was at a dinner at Mirazur in 2018 that he had the chance to hand his CV directly to Colagreco.
Over four years, he worked his way up from apprentice, to chef de partie and to sous chef, before being tasked with opening Colagreco’s first restaurant in Japan.
While Cycle may have only opened in October, the restaurant’s story goes back far further than this. It was over a year ago that the team began to cultivate vegetables in the restaurant’s share of Naeme Farm, where they prioritize biodynamic and organic growing methods.
What the team doesn’t grow themselves, they procure from trusted local purveyors, all of which share Cycle’s steadfast focus on environmental preservation. “Listening to nature allows us to understand it as a living being, respect it, and take care of it, through conscious choices and the protection of our environment,” said Colagreco.
Once the ingredients get to the kitchen, the hard work isn’t done, either. Cycle’s chefs are committed to continuing each ingredient’s life cycle for as long as possible, implementing smart zero-waste practices.
This respect for nature interweaves itself into every element of the gastronomic journey, with Colagreco having worked painstakingly to ensure his environmental principles translate into the dishes in front of guests – not just at Cycle, but at all of his restaurants. As is now the chef’s signature style, the menu is vegetable-forward; highlights include Kyoto carrots, turmeric, clementine and sea urchin, and the Meadowsweet, sho goin turnip and yuriné.
Diners have a choice between set menus of varying extravagance, from a modest three-course lunch through to a six-course evening extravaganza with wine pairing. Not drinking? A softs pairing features kobuchas and teas.
The restaurant itself reflects the clean, refined ethos that the menu exudes. The dining room is cavernous with double-, nay triple-height ceilings creating the impression of seemingly infinite space.
Full-height windows flood the room with natural light, while earthy textures, unadorned wood tables and plenty of greenery anchor guests within Colagreco’s environmentally-friendly utopia.
Cycle by Mauro Colagreco, Otemachi One 1F, 1-2-1 Otemachi, Chiyoda-ku Tokyo Japan, 100-0004, cyclerestaurant.com