Friday, January 03, 2014

Kaiseki Dinner at GoraKadan Day 1

We stayed at this beautiful Ryokan for 2 nights in Gora. It was a beautiful experience but most of all our first time in a Ryokan. Ryokan is basically a japanese inn with tatami mat rooms, sliding doors made from papers???? *okie we broke 2 doors during our stay coz fingers were too long and poke straight into those thick papers*

All ryokans have got communal bath places featuring stones bath or cypress wood baths....Most rooms also have got their own baths. Guests are served dinners and breakfasts in their own room, sleep on futons which are laid on the tatami mat floor at night....also all guests wear Yukata in Ryokans...from communal baths to reading rooms to common areas and inside the room.

After my hot onsen bath of spring water....JS was calling Monkey to prepare for dinner.
JS: "Ah Moi ah!!! faster come, dinner will be served soon."
yeah so much so of me being Ah Moi in my Yukata....JS isn't too bad himself.

JS was beaming proud bcoz he knew how to wear his yukata and tied it correctly - slightly below the waist.

Monkey: "Ah Lung ah....u sit down now.....dinner is on its way."

Arigatoo arigatoooooo *bow bow bow*

It was pretty uncomfortable to sit this way on the tatami mat...we couldn't straighten our legs and after 2 minutes...we relaxed our legs and straighten it with feet pointed at each other....this is definitely a NO-NO so dear readers, pls do not do this. In Japanese culture, this is considered rude to point ur feet to the other person.

our appetizer - Snow Crab meat marinated with brown meat crab, japanese yam and lettuce stem
it was so fine!!! Japanese food has alwiz been fine showcasing the ingredients of the season.

Hors d'Oeuvre of Autumn Macakerel Sushi, deep fried kuwai arrowhead (those round like pringles chips thingy), Japanese thick omelette (made with mirin and was so sweet), japanese foie-gras wrapped with spinach, shittake mushroom jelly (which was very very fine), eggplants marinated with sesame topped with a fat juicy wolfberry (OMG didn't know eggplants could be this good), deep fried shrimp dumpling sanded with lotus root (this gave me an idea to use lotus root for yong toufu next time)

everything was so decadent and delicious!!!!!!
I couldn't decide which was my favourite

I think in the end it was either the eggplant or the shitake mushroom jelly.
While Monkey was pondering on each taste palate, JS mopped clean his platter
eh eat slowly la, the chef used so much of efforts and passion to create the hors d'oeuvre

Course after course was presented with a lovely surprise...and each time our Room Attendant Rena. She slided and glided into the room in stealth mode without us realising all the time...Such graceful movements. Everything when she glided in...both JS and Monkey re-positioned ourselves and sat in proper manners again. :P

What's next? :)))))
a White Miso soup served with Ginkgo toufu, king prawn, spring onions and a really small dollop of japanese mustard on top of the toufu.

The creamie white miso soup was so tantalizing...while the ginkgo toufu added to the nutty-ness of this soup. Somehow the japanese mustard wasn't that pungent but just added some kick to this soup. Very very satisfying soup :))))))))

Aiks...wat's hiding underneath?

Sashimi with catch of the day!!!

Sashimi quality in Japan is definitely top notch and so different from wat we get. Oh well after being transported by plane, everything would have been decrease in terms of quality. Somehow traveling by plane aged meat and it loses its firmness...same goes with wines that traveled via air.

So the meat here is really firm, juicy, sweetness with the occasional crunch to it.

Next the grilled dish was presented of a Spanish Mackerel gripped with the beautiful yuzu sauce, sweet potatoes on the side, and a pickled dried japanese radish in vinegar.

It was really extremely sweet and fresh :)))))))) Lurve it!!!

I simple enjoy using all their cutlery and tableware...mostly are handmade
and they changed it accordingly to seasons. During our stay at GoraKadan it was autumn, hence the autumn set of tableware was used. Look at all the autumn leaves on this bowl :)

when it was opened and unveiled....the nose insinuated and blew our mind.

What is this?
The boiled dish of Japanese Turnip, fried bean curd, garland chrysanthemum from Kyoto, toufu skin all combined in a starchy dashi sauce and yuzu.

It was like a bouquet of flowers....such beautiful nose and even better on the palate. The ingredients were so simple but yet the taste profile was complex. Different texture then began to play a movement on your tongue, from the soft turnip to the silky-ness of toufu skin, the crunchy garland chrysanthemum and fried bean curd and finally velvety starchy dashi sauce which was quite smoky thanks to the infusion of bonito innit.

Finally our Meat course came in a really ornate plate.

It was wagyu beef roasted on iron griddle, served with abalone mushrooms, fushimi sweet pepper, egg york radish and horse radish with some soy sauce on the side./


Our Room attendant throughout our stay - Ms Rena is very knowledgeable in terms of culture, food, and wines. When she opened our bottle of Krug Champagne, I bet u I can't even do wat she did. From the way she held it at the right the way she opened it with an elegant pppppppppssssssssssssttttttttttttt sound. That's how sommeliers open champagnes...not popping them.

and finally our Rice fish came
I was extremely full by then but..............

when the lid was unveiled...OMG
I couldn't resist this beautiful boiled Oyster Rice

Served on the side were homemade assorted japanese pickles and a dollop of almost jelly liked soy sauce. This dish was served with a dark miso soup.

I was holding my white flag, waiting to waved it into the air to give up on eating such a luxurious and beautiful Kaiseki dinner, when Rena served our dessert

a simple Compote of Pear with Chestnuts Ice cream.
Autumn is also the seasons of pear and chestnuts. So u see Chef has incorporated all the seasonal ingredients into his dishes right till the end. The sweetness from the pear and chestnuts were paired very well. I never had something like this before. Simple, Fresh, Perfect Combo and seasonal.

After this dinner and a bottle of wine, I wanted to dip myself into the Onsen again. AaaaaaAAAAAAaaaaaaaaa. We stayed 2 nites here and had 2 beautiful Kaiseki dinner, I could have stayed longer if the pockets were deep enough :P hehehehe.

JS we come back here again ok?
Thank you to MW Maho for recommending this beautiful Ryokan to us :)

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Chasing Food Dreams said...

holy moly... that is just one awesome gastronomic experience...

but the I like the photo of you both best together (photo#3) with a very happy JS in yukata (photo#2)!

CHER-RY said...

Food Dreams: Hehehe thank you. Very rare to capture him in happy mood :P coz afterall he's the most feared Shogun