Michelin-starred Chef Jun Tanaka is the brains behind the new dining concept Salisterra at The Upper House
The Style Sheet: Congrats on your first project in Asia! How did you get involved?
Jun: I heard about the opportunity back in November 2019. The hotel invited me to visit and stay a night to have a look at the rooms and the restaurants — and I was blown away by the service, the design and just the quality of everything. Then I came up with the concept for Salisterra and pitched it. And luckily, they chose me!
Salisterra means ‘salt of the earth’ in Latin. Why this concept?
The idea takes inspiration from the coastal regions of France and Italy, along the Mediterranean. I felt this style of cuisine would make sense for The Upper House, because it’s all about sharing, family and bringing people together through food and wine. Mediterranean cuisine embodies this warm feeling, which I think reflects the familiar, friendly, engaging service that The Upper House is known for.
These are by no means traditional Italian or French recipes. We just draw inspiration from the Mediterranean area — the produce, the colours, the flavours. Our bold, vivid, vibrant dishes are elegantly simple, sometimes just three things on a plate.
How do the design and food go hand-in-hand?
Actually, André comes into it as well. We worked separately on new concept ideas and we both came to ‘Mediterranean’ without even speaking. So it was always meant to be! André’s design transports our guests into this world of earthy, bold Mediterranean colours — burgundy, turquoise, terracotta orange, blue and caramel. There are also striking geometrical elements within the design, which represent the Hong Kong skyline. I think it's a perfect balance.