Portugal is a treasure-house of slow food.
Please enjoy the nostalgia of eating from small plates – Petiscos - and carefully selected wines from all over the world.
My name is Koji Sato, the owner of Cristiano’s.
In 1995, with a love for art and paintings, I visited Italy to see Venezia. So, I started working in the food industry to earn a living.
From that time, I found myself living an international lifestyle for the next 6 years, in such places as Italy’s various regions, London and Bangkok and met many people and experienced plenty of food culture.
Drawing upon that experience, over the last 7 years since I came back to Tokyo, I have been sharing this international cultural experience through cooking in AROSSA, Shoto, Shibuya. I had the great pleasure and opportunity to meet wonderful customers from all around the world and learnt lots of things from them.
And now here, with my new partners, is my new challenge - Cristiano’s Portuguese Dining & Wine Bar.
Most Western countries’ food culture consists primarily of wheat and meat, whereas in Portugal, like in Japan, a lot of rice and fish is eaten. (Even though Portugal is a very small country, it consumes the largest amount of rice in Europe.)
Portugal and Japan started trading in the 16th Century and have developed a very deep relationship such that some Portuguese words have become common Japanese words. Nobunaga Oda is known as the first person to have tasted wine in Japan – which was Port wine from Portugal.
2010 marks 150 years since Japan and Portugal normalized trade with each other. To be able to open Cristiano’s at this auspicious time, I wish to thank all of the customers, farmers, fishermen, wine porters, businesses, mentors and friends I have worked with, and finally my family.
I would like to offer a new style of Portuguese cuisine that blends the very important traditions with wonderful Japanese ingredients and cooking methods.
Cristiano’s Owner Koji Sato
Yoyogi Park’s, “Cristiano's”
Casually drinking, relaxed eating Portuguese Dining and Wine Bar.
There are some classic Portugal wines, such as Vinho Verde (green wine). Unlike the usual wines, the lower 9 to 10 percent alcohol level makes it a better wine to drink and is characterized by its fine sparkling.
Cristiano's is a restaurant that provides reasonable wines, particularly Vinho Verde, with a menu that is a collection of Portuguese tapas style dishes – Petiscos – that can be enjoyed for 3,000 to 5,000 yen.
Portugal and its neighbour, Spain, have markedly contrasting natures. Unlike the Spanish passion, Portugal is characterized by a calm and relaxed atmosphere. We would be happy for Cristiano's to also be a restaurant with such an atmosphere.
Homely and simple. A familiar Western cuisine for Japanese.
To hear, “Portuguese cuisine,” most wouldn’t have much idea what it is. However Japan had been introduced to many Portuguese dishes in Nagasaki, such as “Castela” sponge cake, tempura, Kinshi Egg, and recently with egg tart and “Castela” sponge cake having become a boom.
Originally when Japanese started eating European dishes, many of them were Portuguese, and in fact what is known as home-cooked Italian cuisine in Japan is very similar to Portuguese cuisine.
So, if asked what Portuguese cuisine is?
Recently, food that has been a familiar ingredient in Japan - fresh coriander - also from Portugal, has been taken to China, Cambodia and Thailand. Easy to fit to the Japanese palate, being a rustic homely Western food, this is Portuguese cuisine.
Aiming to have 365 different Bacalhau dishes, we have built a homemade Bacalhau-curing room.
Speaking of Portuguese cuisine essential ingredients, Bacalhau is definitely one. With a unique method of rubbing salt into the cod, the Bacalhau is dried slowly and thoroughly during the curing process. Bacalhau has an addictive taste and a feel characterized by a firm fibrous flesh and flavor of mature fish. Bacalhau dishes in Portugal seem to have endless numbers of recipes for all year long.
At Cristiano's, we want to offer a variety of Bacalhau dishes from fried and char-grilled to simmered, steamed as well as salads. As it would require a number of different Bacalhau types, we decided to build a curing room in the restaurant.
Thick, plump Bacalhau is good for grilling whereas well-matured Bacalhau adds flavour to tasty stews, and those rubbed with herb salt are perfect for salads. The curing room must provide for 365 different Bacalhau365.
Delicious vegetable dishes anyone can enjoy
Portugal is a country with many vegetable dishes on the menu of which a lot will be provided in Christiano’s menu. From the experience learnt and expertise gained from the Natural Cuisine restaurant in JOIA, Chef Sato has taken ingredients such as Tenpe, Seitan, Ikofu, Kikurage, Okara, etc., as well as various beans to make tasty, satisfying vegetarian dishes that anyone can enjoy –making it enjoyable to cook Portuguese cuisine. We think it is great that those with normal tastes, who do not know the deliciousness of vegetarian menus, can enjoy a satisfying meal.
Because it’s unfamiliar food, we made it so people can enjoy variety.Being unfamiliar food, and thinking that one can casually enjoy, bit by bit, many dishes, we provide the Petiscos style that is a large part of Cristiano's cuisine. As in Portugal, we cook with rice and cast-iron pots, that can be enjoyed in small amounts.
Christiano’s thinks it is great to be able to feel the seasons
From homemade Bacalhau, fresh chicken from Tsukiji market that is simply char-grilled (Frango Asado), thick and juicy clams from Lake Hamana, homemade cured pork stew dishes, clam rice using big, juicy clams from Yanagawa fish store, grilled bacon (matured | covered with white mold) like Camembert cheese to organic vegetables delivered direct, we offer these with selected cooking ingredients based on the free-flowing of ideas of Chef Sato. Also, from spring to fall, we get fresh sardines delivered directly from Yamaguchi with which we provide grilled sardines - Assada Sardinian –a standard Portugal dish – grilled upon beech and oak tree charcoal.