Not so far from the Imperial Palace, and in the middle of the prime office district of Tokyo, is a “forest”. A forest named Otemachi Forest, and this is the location where Aman opened its first ever café, “The Café by Aman”.
Aman Tokyo is spread across the top six floors of the Otemachi Tower, and the café is on the ground floor of this tower. The little forest makes up for 1/3 of the premises or 3,600 square meters, and has become an oasis for people working in the area. Walking into the area gave me a nostalgic feeling of the woods in Karuizawa, and I later understood why this was when I learned that the idea was to create an authentic forest in the middle of Tokyo. The forest felt “real” and being surrounded by the trees took me away from the concrete jungle of Tokyo.
The quest for an authentic forest started out almost 10 years before the completion of the tower, and the trees that are planted at Otemachi Forest today were planted and farmed in Chiba prefecture, where they made mini version of what would become the Otemachi Forest, by copying the shape of the land and type of soil. Here, they farmed the trees for 3 years, and together with the 56,000 individually selected plants that were brought mainly from forests in the Kanto region, were planted to create the forest in the middle of Tokyo.
Floor to ceiling windows at the café provide a great view of the greenery and the open kitchen gives the café a very lively vibe. They serve casual French cuisine, and offer two types of prefix menus for lunch (3,400 or 4,200 JPY) and two for dinner (4,500 or 5,500 JPY), but you can also choose from their a la carte menu.
I went with the 3,400 JPY lunch which comes with an appetizer, a galette as the main dish and tea or coffee as I am a galette lover! Although it is a prefix menu, you can choose from a variety of appetizers and 3 types of galettes of the season. I like the thin and somewhat crispy galettes, so the soft galette that they served could have been crispier on the edges for me, but still the juicy salmon and the citrus flavored pickles were a great match.
No matter what the occasion, from business lunch with your client to an afternoon tea with friends or drinks before dinner by the candlelight, The Café by Aman will take you away from hectic “Tokyo time” and let your eyes and taste buds indulge into a peaceful and delightful time in the “forest”.
The Café by Aman
Address: Otemachi Tower 1F, 1-5-6 Otemachi, Chiyoda-ku
Opening Hours: 11:00-22:00 on weekdays and 11:00-21:00 on weekends and national holidays (Lunch 11:00-14:30, Café 14:30-17:00, Dinner 17:00-22:00 or 21:00 )
Accress: Direct access from Otemachi station, 5 minute walk from Marunouchi-kita exit Tokyo station
You can also walk from Hbiya/Yurakucho district, along the Marunouchi Naka-dori. The shopping street hosts many stylish shops and cozy cafes.