Haute Dining: Michelin-Star Rated Hakubai Serves Up Heart-Healthy Menu

A girl’s got to eat… and look good while doing it! Executive Chef Yukihiro Sato of the Michelin-rated Hakubai Restaurant at The Kitano New York Hotel has created a menu that will accomplish both, at the same time.

The Kenbi menu is based on a Japanese culinary tradition which aims to be heart healthy, prevent diseases and slow the aging process. When I walked into the restaurant, the manager assured me that eating this multi-course lunch would not only be good for me (at only 475 calories!), but also would brighten up my skin and make me feel healthier.

The menu incorporates naturally grown foods using local seasonal ingredients. Your healthy first course is full of veggies like boiled green vegetables and shitake mushroom with fish broth, jellyfish and cucumber with ginger. The main course is a soba noodle salad with organic vegetables which tastes refreshing, but is still filling. It comes with a root vegetable soup, which had a deep, nutty taste. And you even get to eat dessert, organic yogurt with fruit and gelatin.

I was surprised to be full after less than 500 calories, but the lunch, along with plentiful green tea ended up being more than enough to sustain me through the day. And after the meal, the restaurant gives their Kenbi menu diners a golden baggie full of skin care samples, keeping the health and beauty motif going.

The Kenbi Lunch at Hakubai is $39. Hakubai is located in the Kitano Hotel on Park Avenue at 38th Street, 212.885.7111.