Opening Shot

A Temple to 680-Year-Old Kaiseki Tradition Debuts in New York

Modellus Novus's sleek design scheme sets the stage for Hakubai's choreographic Japanese tasting menu inside Murray Hill's newly revamped Prince Kitano Hotel.

Food photos by Evan Sung. Interior photos by Kathryn Sheldon.


Location: New York City

Designer: Modellus Novus

On Offer: Tucked in the lower level of the recently refreshed Prince Kitano Hotel, Manhattan’s new 71-seat Kaiseki spot approaches traditional techniques with a contemporary sensibility. Local firm Modellus Novus (Tatiana, COTE Singapore) outfitted the modernist space with polished sapele walls, unfilled travertine floors reflecting the glow of the metal grille ceiling, and sculptural floral arrangements that pop against the reverent backdrop.

Standout Features: Boasting four award-winning chefs hand-selected by the Japanese-owned Seibu Prince Hotels Worldwide, Hakubai guides guests through 11 courses dedicated to hyper seasonality and the philosophy of “shun,” meaning every ingredient is served at the peak of its flavor. Hokkaido snow crab miso is topped with blush-toned finger lime pearls and sweet alyssum flowers; turnips are lovingly hand-carved into chrysanthemums, Japan’s national flower; and Yamagata-sourced Tsuyahime rice is tossed with grilled eel and bathed in sencha flushed dashi broth. To finish, a gluten-free rice flower cake is crowned with Oiishi strawberries.

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