As Restaurant Manager, Jonathan Montolieu sets the keynote for the dining experience. Brimming with energy, his young and dynamic team is poised to shake up Tokyo’s French gastronomy scene. “We’re breaking the old rules of fine dining. No stuffy service or hushed silences here…it’s not a library!” says Jonathan. “We’re keeping it lively, approachable and fun.”
With an impressive track record in Paris and Tokyo, Jonathan’s innovative approach rests on a strong foundation. Most recently, he managed a well-known French restaurant at a luxury hotel in Tokyo, prior to which he honed his supervisory abilities at the famed L’Orangerie at Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris.
Born in France’s beautiful Basque region, Jonathan spent his childhood surrounded by good food and wine. As he notes, “My career was shaped by both my grandfathers, one after the other. My father’s father, with whom I grew up, was a farmer. From him I got my love of plants and gardens, which inspired me to study landscape architecture.” His studies eventually led him to Paris, where he started working at a restaurant and bar to earn some extra money, just like his other grandfather had in the past. “It was a revelation,” Jonathan says with a smile.
Now, at est, Jonathan combines his inherent passion with his Michelin-sharpened credentials to infuse the guest experience with warmth and excitement. The moment diners arrive, the team initiates a signature welcome experience: swing by the kitchen to meet Chef Guillaume, followed by cocktails and a casual chat out on the panoramic terrace. Guests are then escorted to their table, relaxed and ready to enjoy the incredible meal in store. Thoughtful interactions elevate the entire culinary journey, with the service team creating a dynamic ambience and revealing the story behind each plate. As Jonathan explains, “We play music through service. My team members are the musicians, I’m the conductor. And together we create a symphony for our guests.”