JR News: TOHOKU EMOTION's new chef debuts with refreshed menu
Despite a challenging year of uncertainties due to the COVID-19 pandemic, rail fans will be assured to hear that the TOHOKU EMOTION's operation schedule for October 2021 to March 2022 has been announced, with a new seasonal menu to boot.
What is the TOHOKU EMOTION?
(Image credit: JR East)
Affectionately known as the “Tohoku Restaurant Railway”, the TOHOKU EMOTION is part of JR East’s fleet of Joyful Trains that was introduced to support the reconstruction and revitalisation of the Tohoku region. Featuring a menu that spotlights locally-produced Tohoku ingredients in all of its dishes, this fine dining restaurant train brings “local” and “luxury” together in every culinary voyage.
New chef onboard: Tashiro Kazuhisa
From October 2021 to May 2022, Chef Tashiro Kazuhisa from fine dining French restaurant La Blanche in Omotesando (表参道), Tokyo, will join TOHOKU EMOTION as their new Supervising Chef. At age 29, Chef Tashiro moved to France and trained in several restaurants before returning to Japan to open his own restaurant in Ginza. Following his return, he opened La Blanche in February 1986 and the establishment has been serving immaculate French cuisine ever since.
Chef Tashiro Kazuhisa from the renowned French restaurant, La Blanche, located near Omotesando Station in Tokyo. (Image credit: JR East Morioka Branch)
As a member of the Fukushima Chefs Support Group (ふくしま応援シェフ fukushima ōen shefu) for the recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake, Chef Tashiro’s new appointment in the TOHOKU EMOTION makes it an especially meaningful one. Combining his passion to "make more delicious food" and TOHOKU EMOTION’s mission in using locally-sourced food to introduce Tohoku to the riders, passengers can look forward to an unforgettable journey that fills both the heart and the tummy.
First glimpse: The new menu
The first course, Amuse-bouches, includes five items: grilled cabbage with salted malt and honey, a “gentle” scallop flan, deep-fried salted mackerel and purple cabbage with sherry vinegar, persimmon and radish with sweet mustard, and lastly, smoked duck with two kinds of grapes. (Image credit: JR East Morioka Branch)
Next, comes the fish: flounder vapor with shallot sauce, seaweed, and red radish in sweet vinegar. (Image credit: JR East Morioka Branch)
The main course is a tantalising Rôti of roasted Kawamata Shamo chicken stuffed with black rice, served with Gobo burdock sauce. (Image credit: JR East Morioka Branch)
Lastly, the petits fours of mushroom brûlée, apple compote jelly with plum wine, truffle au chocolat is served to conclude your meal. (Image credit: JR East Morioka Branch)
An assortment of beverages are available, including but not limited to beer, white wine, red wine, soft drinks, and coffee or tea. Passengers who have booked for the return trip can look forward to an original dessert made by the Chef Patissier of HOTEL METROPOLITAN MORIOKA.
(Image credit: JR East Morioka Branch)
TOHOKU EMOTION will run for a total of 51 days between 3 October 2021 (Sun) and 27 March 2022 (Sun). Passengers can choose between a one-way or two-way package that includes a meal on the TOHOKU EMOTION, as well as a train ticket between Hachinohe Station and Kuji Station. All bookings require a minimum of two people, including one adult. Read more information on the TOHOKU EMOTION here.
Note: The information provided above is limited to October–December 2021 only. All photos and menus are for illustration purposes, and are subject to change without notice.
Header image credit: JR East