Cherry blossom time is an extraordinarily beautiful time in Japan where Japanese people from all over Japan travel to follow the best of the season all up and down the country.
Seiju is a highly rated tempura restaurant in both the Michelin Guide (1*) and Tabelog (4.!!).
Clam in clam broth topped with a shiso leaf.
Presentation for the following tempura.
Big fin reef squid.
Ice fish from Shinji Lake.
Baby ayu from Hamana Lake.
Marbled sole sashimi.
Shiso roll with prawn.
Mozuku seaweed and blue crab marinated with vinegar.
At Aragawa, sirloin beef is cut 2 or 3 cm thick and tenderloin either 5 or 6 cm thick. The beef is only seasoned with salt and pepper and cooked on metal skewers in a special oven fired with binchotan hardwood charcoal from Wakayama prefecture.
As one can see, these extraordinary steaks are all about the great attention to details of origin of every element, cooking style, etc.
Because of the very special meal we were having, we began with:
And, the wine we enjoyed was:
Wild shrimp, Hokkaido.
The remarkable house smoked salmon. I order this every time i come here. Beautifully subtle smokey flavours and fabulous texture.
The presentation of the raw steak.
The steak, beautifully seared to medium rare (a must with beef with such a high degree of intramuscular marbling).
KohakuKohaku, a kaiseki restaurant, is very highly rated on tabelog and has 3 Michelin stars.
The luxury of service: the small cut glass for saki retails for $600.00 (I went to the "factory", actually located in a house in the suburbs to buy some of their glass and was remarkably surprised at the cost). The silver laminated ewer was to hold our saki.
Steamed kichiji rock fish and wasabi flower dressed with egg yolk vinegar.
Deep fried baby ayu, previously lightly smoked in bamboo leaf, with sweet fish and bamboo shoot with homemade blended salt.
Grilled firefly squid with sticky rice topped with fresh salted sea urchin.
More sea urchin at our request, this urchin served was quite exceptional.
On left, Japanese prawn dumpling in clear soup (on the right, the inside of the soup cover is revealed).
Kinme snapper covered with chef's secret jelly, all topped with daikon and shiso flowers.
Scallops with it's ovary.
Charcoal grilled black throat sea perch marinated in saikyo miso, all topped with the flowers of sansho peppers. On right, Mashed fried udo plant (a mountain veg) and lotus roots.
Shiitake mushroom, quail's egg and canola flowers (slightly bitter like rapini).
Simmered hairy crab with baby turnip, sugar snap peas, giant butterroot and shiso leaf.
Jellied soft-shelled turtle.
Chopped wagyu beef and chopped broad beens for the rice below.
Steamed rice with beef and broad beans.
Pickled veg (yam and cabbage) and miso soup (no photo).
Hassaku orange ice cream, crushed walnut and walnut agar, garnished with monaka.
This group of 12 strawberries cost $102.00, that is $8.50 EACH!!
This bunch of grapes cost $164.00.
This watermelon is $127.00.
This cantaloupe is $317.00!! So, you get the idea!
Our personal server in our private tatami matte room.
The first presentation, chawanmushi.
The chawanmushi (egg custard) with clam.
Bamboo shoot topped with sansho leaves (the leaves have a peppery taste).
Sesame custard topped with sea urchin.
On the far right, bottom, firefly squids; left bottom, eggplant topped with sea urchin; top left, white asparagus mixed with soy bean curd; top right, ebi yam.
Sashimi of ark shell clam (akagai) and red snapper.
Greenling and plum in soup, topped with sansho leaves.
Ohmi beef, one of the top 3 types of wagyu beef in Japan (the others are Kobe and matsusaka ushi), accompanied by Akaza prawn.
Kuze egg plant simmered in its own broth. The technique in making this sublime version is to deep fry the eggplant, remove from the oil and then simmer it in eggplant broth with sugar and soy sauce, then keep it in the broth for a while before serving.
Presentation of the noodle soup accompanied by pickled veg.
Wheat noodle (nyumen) with clear hot broth.
Lotus mochi and black sugar syrup, accompanied by soy bean powder (flour) (below), for dusting.
This was a truly unique experience: sashimi of 5 different kinds of sea urchin.
In the centre, greenling sashimi (udo) (aralia cordata); bottom right, dried sea cucumber ovaries.
Lobster dumpling in soup, topped with shiso and pine needles.
Soy bean curd topped with sansho leaves paste on skewers (tofu dengaku).
On left, prawn steamed with sake; top, raw wheat gluten mochi with yuzu paste wrapped in cherry leaf; baby ayu simmered in sweet broth; roasted duck marinated in soy bean paste.
Bamboo shoot, snapper roe and giant butterbur.
Trout grilled in yuan style (soy sauce, sake, mirin and yuzu).
Simmered abalone topped with sea urchin.
Tempura of bamboo shoot, prawn and green pepper.
Chicken filet with sesame paste with hamabofu (a Japanese veg).
Bamboo shoot rice serve with pickles accopanied by a bowl of miso soup with clams and wakame seaweed.
Naval orange and strawberry.
Cherry blossom shaped sweet filled with white red bean paste.
From the left, baby ayu; prawn sushi; snapper; butterbar.
Usui beans simmered in veg broth.
Snapper milt (sperm).
Sea urchin with snapper bone broth jelly and lily bulb.
Soy bean curd topped with sansho leaf paste with skewers (tofu dengaku).
Tempura of clam ligament and auralia sprouts.
Greenling and bracken in soup.
Vinegared crab, ocellated octopus all topped with crab meat (no photo).
Rice with beans.
Rice with salmon.
Mochi surrounded by warabi flour.
Sweet adzuki bean soup (no photo).