Bill of Fare. Grand Hotel Ltd., Yokohama, Japan. Louis Eppinger, Manager.Wednesday, 23rd August, 1899.

[Yokohama, Japan: the hotel, 1899.

Bi-fold menu (24 x 17 cm.), [4] pages. Chromolithograph illustration on all panels, with the text letterpress printed on the two interior panels. A bill of fare and wine list for Yokohama's Grand Hotel, the first of the hotels to appear as Japan opened itself to the arrival of the West on its shores (1873). Identified on the front panel of this menu, Manager Louis Eppinger was recently arrived from San Francisco. Simon Difford explains his ascension to the position, " acclaimed German bartender who made his name tending a small bar on Halleck Street, San Francisco, [Eppinger] was brought to Japan in 1889 to manage the bar at Grand Hotel by a group of American naval officers stationed in Yokohama with an interest in the hotel. They sought to import U.S. cocktail culture to Japan, a desire Eppinger fulfilled at the Grand Yokohama until just months before his death in 1907" ( Eppinger is credited by "Cocktail Bill Boothby with the creation of the Bamboo Cocktail, although alternate origin stories are offered in Diffords. ~ The "Grand" was just two stories tall, with thirty rooms, a dining room, and a library. The menu contains classic western hotel fare, without a single nod to any of the food traditions of Japan. Dishes include Rizotte a la Milanaise, Chicken Curry with Rice, Mutton with Mint Sauce, Pine Apple Ice, Roquefort Cheese, etc. The wine menu features the classic wine categories of the period, including Burgundies, Bordeaux, Rhine wines, Champagne, and Hungarian wines. Sherry, Port, and Madeira are included in a short section titled Vins Liquoreux. The list also has some surprises, including a few California wines (Cresta Blanca is named). A cognac and whisky section includes Canadian Club Whisky, A. No. 1 Cutter Whisky, O.K. Cutter Whisky, Cutter Rye Whisky, and some Scotches. Finally, a seer selection offers Milwaukee's Schlitz, Pabst, Bass Pale Ale, Guiness Stout, as well as Yokohoma Bock Beer, and Tokio Beer. The rear panel of the menu posts the Meal Hours for Breakfast, Tiffin, and Dinner. ~ "The Grand Hotel opened on August 16, 1873, on the Yokohama Bund, overlooking the harbor, and was soon considered the height of Western culture and elegance in Japan; “the place to stay” for well-monied travelers. It can no longer be determined with certainty who designed the Grand Hotel but the architecture has occasionally been attributed to R. P. Bridgens, the American architect who designed both of Japan's first railway stations at Yokohama (Sakuragicho) and Shimbashi. Among the Grand Hotel’s illustrious guests, English author Rudyard Kipling was a visitor and was amazed by the printed menus (handwritten menus at the time were the norm), and by the customers ordering food by citing the number assigned to dishes listed on the menu" ( ~ The menu has a single vertical crease down the front and rear panels of the bi-fold (likely to fit it into an envelope); some light wear to edges, otherwise the menu is bright and clean. Near very good.

Price: $500.00