To start, crab meat in rice vinegar with first round of Yamazaki 12 year single malt whiskey, which was ubiquitous on our trip. The Baccarat crystal glass with the jagged chunk of ice in there really makes the whiskey experience truly unique in Japan. You can see from an angle the bowl used by the chef to make his tempura by hand from scratch. True craftsmanship.
Followed by dried fish and edemame appetizer.
First tempura dish, shrimp paste sandwich, like grilled cheese sandwich but with shrimp paste inside, and powdered salt. I have never seen this before, like the powdered sugar for donuts.
Tempura shrimp, pretty standard.
Tempura lotus root, some of the crunchiest and starchiest we’ve had, almost potato like. The lotus root in Japan was so nice, in at least three places, hands down, best substitute over potatoes. OMG, the combo of this with his fermented bitter radish sauce made us so giddy we started giggling to each other.
Kissfish tempura lived up to it’s name. I wanted to kiss the chef for introducing me to all of this masterful tempura.
Tempura fava beans, Erika says these are Habas, common dish in Mexico. Came out of a giant bean pod.
Tempura giant purple artichoke, so amazing, have never seen this in the US, like an heirloom asparagus on steroids. It was huge.
Tempura sea eel, nothing in the US compares to this eel. Our number two favorite after the quail egg at this restaurant. Hard to transport quality sea eel like this to US, maybe doesn’t survive the flash freeze?
Tempura quail egg, so far the best thing we have put in my mouth in Japan, egg yolk explosion, never knew you could tempura a quail egg. It’s like taking our favorite thing and amplifying it by ten. After the A5 Kobe beef at Aragawa, which I will get to on another post, probably the most profoundly shocking response on our faces to this dish. Both Erika and my favorite of the trip, hands down.
Tempura ginger, so floral and effervescent, no harshness to it at all. Tempura baby corn, so sweet.
Tempura onion shoots, the original onion ring, omg, it was so sweet and caramelized. The petite size of the onion probably concentrated the flavor profile. Again, powdered salt, why don’t they have this in the US?
Tempura konjac. It is typically a mottled grey and firmer in consistency than most gelatins. It is usually valued more for its texture than flavor. Amazing, another exotic item I have never tasted before.
Tempura fig, salty and mildly sweet, truly the fruit in the Garden of Eden.
Tempura kobe beef, damn, that’s all I have to say. Never thought it was possible, like discovering the existence of deep-fried Twinkies. Mind bending double debauchery.
Tempura fishcake with amazingly soft and aromatic rice in a matcha green tea soup, matcha broth with shrimp, next level shit..match broth? damn
Amazing green tea palate cleanser.
Mango soaking in coconut water, heavenly.
Though the pictures seem very simple and plain, the quality of the ingredients here makes the flavor profile so great. Warning, the amount of money for this meal may be obscenely vulgar to people, like it was to Erika, but you must take into consideration that this type of cooking is truly an art form and valuable cultural tradition that is sadly fading with the advert of technology, increased restaurant efficiency, and instant gratification. To have a 2 star Michelin chef serve lunch to you and your wife with only one other couple in the room for three hours, and make all the batter from scratch, and literally with hand to mouth service, this is worth $350 per person.