Sunday, August 23, 2009

Japanese mini "Kaiseki"

Kaiseki Ryori (meal) is an multi-course Japanese cusine consisting of a number of small dishes. Since Aug 16 was my father's birthday, we went to eat mini-Kaiseki for dinner in Shizuoka. Why mini? Nope we didn't lose our appetites. We decided to go with the mini course, as my father eats like a bird. And we didn't want to eat different dishes on his birthday :-) Overall, we were satisfied with the quantity as well as the quality.

Kaiseki uses fresh seasonal ingredients, and the dishes are presented so that you can feel the season by looking at them, too. Each dish is simply seasoned, so that you can enjoy the pure palate of each ingredient, and presented beautifully in nice dinnerware. Kaiseki is vegetarian in origin, but modern Kaiseki meals may include meat and seafood.

The mini course started out with appetizers in five different small dishes. The menu said 8 ingredients, and as you can see in each individual dish, some of them contained several ingredients.







And then, you were served a soup with simple broth probably made with bonito and Konbu. It looked very pretty and tasted very easy on your palate.


Then we were given a choice between steak and sashimi. All but my father chose steak. The servings were so tiny that I would imagine most American would be surprised.


Then for the fried course, you are given a choice between Sakura-ebi (cherry shrimp) Kakiage (mixed tempura), and Shrimp Shinjo-age. All of us chose Kakiage, as Sakura-ebi is a noted Shizuoka delicacy.


After all that, you get to choose between steam rice topped with Maguro (tuna) sashimi, or with Ikura (salmon roe). My father and I chose Maguro, and my sister, my neices, and Bob chose Ikura. I forgot to take pictures :-(

And finally your choice of desert was served. I got a mousse with Matcha, and some got sherbet or fruit.



All in all, this meal was very good on both eyes and tummy! And, I was happy to see my father being happy to see all of us together dining with him.

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