Japanese Haute Cuisine
Well, if we talk about Japanese cuisine, maybe all of us will say sushi, ramen, and any kind of those foods, which use raw fish as the main ingredients. Do you ever know about the Japanese Haute Cuisine? It is known as “Kaiseki” in Japanese. It is written 懐石 in Japanese Kanji. “Kai” (懐) means bossom, and “seki” (石) means stone. It is indicate the frugal meal served in Japanese. Not only that, but because it is known that this meal is served before a ceremonial tea party, it is also known as Cha-Kaiseki. “Cha” means tea in Japanese.
Photo: Shoko Muraguchi on Flickr
Kaiseki is a traditional multi-course Japanese dinner. Surprisingly, one kaiseki dinner can consist of 6 to 15 different kinds of food. The presentation of kaiseki is guided by Japanese aesthetics. No wonder that it is known as the most expensive type of Japanese meals.
Kaiseki is from two words, “Kai”, which means a fold in Kimono, and “seki”, which means stone. So, “Kaiseki” means hot stone in a Kimono fold.
It is known that Zen priests would tuck hot stones wrapped in towels next to their stomach to cure their hunger during the morning and afternoon prayers.
At first, they will serve “Shokuzen-shu”, which is a small glass of sweet wine or local alcohol. After drinking the alcohol, you will get the first appetizer, “Hassun”. It consists of sushi and several small side dishes.
For the main courses, you will get so many dishes such as sashimi, “Suimono” (soup), “Yakimono” (grilled dish), “Agemono” (deep fried dish), “Mushimono” (steamed dish), “Nimono” (boiled dish), and “Sunomono” (vinegared dish). Not only that, but you will also get rice, miso soup, and “Tsukemono” (Japanese pickles).
Photo of Agemono (fried food)
Photo of Mushimono (steamed food), which contains Asari clams in creamy egg custard, bacon and potatoes.
For the dessert, you will get a seasonal fresh fruit, or sorbet.
Hashiyasume (Plum sake jelly with fresh plum)
It is about 15,000 yen to 40,000 yen (180 USD to 480 USD) per person, not including the drinks.
Unfortunately, you still can enjoy that sophisticated dish for only 3,000 yen to 10,000 yen per person at cheaper restaurants in Japan.
WHERE TO EAT
The most well known place to eat Kaiseki is Ryokan at Kyoto (traditional Japanese Inn). Strangely, many people think that Ryokan is a place to dine on Kaiseki rather than a place for accommodation.
Here is the website that you can check for more details about Ryokan, Kyoto.
I have gone to there (Ryokan, Kyoto) once for my summer holiday trip. I can say that it is really amazing and unbelievable to have such a great Japanese Haute Cuisine. At first, I felt not sure to go to eat or not, because of the price. But, I thought that it is okay for once in your life to have such a good experience. And, at last, I can say that it was really such a worth experience in Japan. You also can relax there, and enjoy the delicacy of the Japanese Cuisine. From this article, I recommend to all of you to try this Japanese Haute Cuisine once in your life. I can bet that it will be such a worth experience that you ever had.