Arva is Aman's new Italian Restaurant concept, originating at Aman Venice but also now at Aman Tokyo. While seemingly an anomaly, given the zen-like simplicity and clean lines of Aman Tokyo, Aman Tokyo's Executive Chef Masakazu Hiraki spent 13 years in Venice honing his mastery of Italian cuisine, and the restaurant is assiduous about sourcing as many fresh ingredients as possible from local farms and purveyors.
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Arva at Aman Tokyo Location, Hours and Reservations
Arva is located off of Aman Tokyo's soaring lobby, on the 33rd floor of the Otemachi Tower. It's open daily for lunch from 11:30am-2:30pm, and for dinner from 5:30-10pm. I made a reservation by phone, at +81 (0)3-5224-3339 a couple days before we dined.
We dined early, at 6pm on a Monday evening, so there were few other guests. I'd expect the restaurant to be busier on weekends and during peak season, such as late March-mid-April, when cherry trees are in bloom. We were seated by the window, where we had a superb view of Tokyo city lights:
Arva at Aman Tokyo Menu and Food
Arva offers several tasting menus, a 7 course Stagione menu for JPY 17,000; a 5 course Coltivare menu for JPY 9000, and a 7 course Raccolta menu for JPY 14,000 per person where the antipasto and main course are shared family style.
There's also an extensive a la carte menu:
Since we were still somewhat jetlagged and wanted to get to sleep early, we opted for a simple pasta dinner, selecting a main course serving size of the Tagiolini Carbonara with white asparagus and black truffle, and also a Wild Boar Ragu with black truffle that at the time was on the tasting menu, and that the chef kindly agreed to prepare for us on an a la carte basis.
The restaurant kindly split the Carbonara pasta into two half size portions for my husband and son, and literally within 5 minutes of my taking a photo, my husband had polished off his portion of the pasta and was sopping up the last bits of sauce with bread. Usually he leaves a bite or two of food on his plate, but not this time.
Meanwhile, my Wild Boar Ragu had freshly grated parmesan:
Black truffle was sliced over it tableside, and enhanced the earthy flavor of an already luscious dish:
I was just thinking to myself that we probably should have ordered a vegetable of some kind, when the food and beverage manager seemingly read my mind, and brought a complimentary salad of Italian red radicchio and beets to the table. I loved the combination of the crunchy, slightly bitter radicchio and sweet beets, tempered by freshly shaved cheese.
Here's the uncut red radicchio, which is a late variety, typically in season November-March:
I rarely get excited about going out for Italian food, because I feel much of it is something I could make myself at home. But I have to admit that the carbonara and wild boar pastas that we tried at Arva were fantastic, and easily as good or better than the best I've had in Italy. And the radicchio salad, while shunned by our son, was also superb–my husband and I really enjoyed it. It provided the perfect fresh, crunchy and slightly bitter counterpoint to our rich pastas.
Based on the dishes we tried, Arva is a winner in terms of its cuisine. That said, it's still a bit incongruous in the context of Aman Tokyo's spare and modern design aesthetic, and this was heightened given our early dining time as there were few other guests. Somehow both my husband and I associate this kind of hearty, satisfying Italian cuisine with a warmer, more convivial environment.
If you've dined at Arva either at Aman Tokyo or Aman Venice, what was your experience?
Disclosure: We paid for our own pasta dishes at Arva, although we were treated to the radicchio salad on the house.
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