Sino-Japanese relations may be speckled with dissension, but rather than zoom in on the differences between China and Japan, perhaps it is better to celebrate both countries' shared pleasures, including the social glue of food. Japan began adopting Chinese traditions from as early as the Han dynasty (206 BC–220 AD), especially language- (Kanji and Hanzi characters are inextricable) and religion-wise (as are Shintoism and Daoism), and has taken a shining to its neighbour's diverse styles of cooking as evidenced by the birth of Chuka cuisine.
Cue Chef Tokukatsu Toh, who counts Cantonese cuisine among his specialities. Toh's short-term presence at Lai Po Heen is a treat for both diners and kitchen staff who are hoping to learn a thing or two from the illustrious master chef.
Besides brief stints at The Westin Beijing, The Westin Guangzhou, The Westin Chosun and Le Meridien Hong Kong, Tokukatsu Toh has served at:
- Kokiden Chinese Restaurant at the Sunshine Prince Hotel
- Kokyu Chinese Restaurant at the Shin Yokohama Prince Hotel
- Ryutenmon at The Westin Tokyo
- Sense Restaurant at the Mandarin Oriental Tokyo (1 Michelin star)
- Kiseki Japan in the Kanagawa prefecture.