Started with a seared abalone topped with tempura crab guts/claw meat on top, with an egg yolky/bechamel type sauce, escorted by a boiled Sancho pepper garnish. As you will see later, they nuked us with a laurel of this stuff, almost like a hyperalgesic, provides this burning/numbing pain in your mouth like you ate Vicks and everything is amplified, hot/cold. This is an amazing pepper plant that I have never in my life eaten or experienced before.
Then came some pickled veggies, since the staff spoke little English, I am at a loss for
descriptors on this. Looks like asparagus or burdock root and green onion shoots.
Then thick slabs of Bonito in a ponzu sauce lathered in a dijon mustard, that almost was sweet. This is the third time we had Bonito in Japan, and all places make it the same way. They sear the fish, cool it down and steam/smoke it for hours with dried rice husk baskets. The flavor is almost like smoked ribs, but the sushi version, I’m getting memories of this smell and the hairs on my arms are standing up. It was topped with a sour fermented radish. Very tasty appetizer to start with.
Then a pickled aubergine (baby eggplant), with tempura tofu and bamboo shoots, followed by more tempura crab bits, mushroom, and pumpkin.
Followed by a miso soup with chopped green onion and boiled then seared conger eel, which was in contrast to the white fluffy conger eel soup we saw at other kaiseki places.
Sweet fish (ayu) cooked over charcoal.
Kyoto style pressed fermented mackerel sushi, then wrapped in crispy smoked seaweed, eaten like a sandwich. We learned that this style of sushi was popular in Kyoto due to the fact that they could not deliver fish inland before a dam was built connecting Kyoto to a water sources, so they had to pickle/cure the fish like this, and saba/mackerel was the best suited for this, and so it became associated with Kyoto style zushi.
This was my favorite dish this night. It was amazing. Buckwheat soba noodles, covered with dried egg-yolk and roe which was fermented and desiccated into a flakey parmesan cheese-like substance which they drenched over the noodles.
Again, due to the language barrier, not sure about what is in the soup, other than it is a potato soup with water shield, which is an aloe jelly kind of vegetable that grows on lily pads, with grated yuzu on top. Accomodated the grilled blood cockle very well.
Then came the shabu dish with simply Ome beef and pork as well as mountainous piles of the Sancho pepper which just desquamates your mouth, we ate all the peppers whole since we are masochists. Now, Ome beef, some people say is the ultimate cut of Japanese beef, which is what they served here. Purists know that Sanda, Kobe, and Ome beef are the best from the research I have done.
The cutlery was all from Aritsu gu in Kyoto. We loved the bronze/gold bowl they served the shabu in so much we bought it at the main store in Kyoto. All sorts of hipster beardo chefs from all over the world were coming here to buy knives and utensils for their restaurants.
Finished off with Kyoto style jelly inside a bamboo leaf. Then an amazing coconut ice cream on top of grapefruit; so refreshing.
Whatever rice they make that you did not finish they wrap in a bamboo bowl and put in the cutest take-home bag I have ever seen. This was the most food we had in one sitting in all of Japan.