024 The Taste of “Nan-En” – Traditional & Innovative Cantonese Cuisine

2018.6.04 Mon.

On the 2nd floor of the main building is the Chinese restaurant “Nan-En”, which opened together with Keio Plaza Hotel’s official opening in 1971. Created from innovative recipes and unique ways of bringing out the characteristics of each ingredient, the elegance, distinct flavors and depth of Nan-En’s exquisite cuisine gained public attention, in an era where the concept of “Cantonese Cuisine” was still unclear in Japan.
Knowing all about its history is current Head Chef, Li Guo Chao, who grew together with Nan-En from a cook to a culinary chef. He started right from the bottom, doing kitchen prep work in his younger days, training and working with famous chefs such as Zhou Fu De and Tan Yan Bin. Under established seniors, Li learnt things like the “sense” of cooking and the “strict” attitude towards cooking.
Preserving the taste of Nan-En while creating innovative dishes that are pleasing to customers, he now manages and directs a big group of kitchen staff. Incorporating authentic cooking methods from Hong Kong, Li focuses on strictly selected fine ingredients and cherishing the importance of tradition. In recognition of his outstanding culinary skills and accomplishments, Li received the “Contemporary Master Craftsman” award in 2011, and the “Medal with Yellow Ribbon” award in 2014 from the Japanese government. Li Guo Chao, culinary chef since the opening of Nan-En, today he still stands in the kitchen creating yet another page in the book of culinary history.