During my trip to Tokyo, Japan, E & I had the opportunity to experience kaiseki dining experience at Soujuan Kaiseki, Keio Plaza Hotel. My last visit to Keio Plaza Hotel was 2 years back where we experienced the Japanese Tea Ceremony session. Time flies indeed!
Keio Plaza Hotel has more than 20 restaurants and bars but too bad we do not have the time to check out every single one. If only we have more time in Japan….
So, what is Kaiseki?
Kaiseki (懐石) or kaiseki-ryōri (懐石料理) is a traditional multi-course Japanese dinner. The term also refers to the collection of skills and techniques that allow the preparation of such meals. It emphasises from fresh seasonal ingredients to tableware and quite similar to the traditional Japanese tea ceremony.
The menu changes and for this month menu, we had 懐石料理 ふじなみ Kaiseki Course “FUJINAMI” ￥15,500++per pax ~S$187.60++ per pax. And we did state our dietary requirements; the chef replaced the beef to chicken instead on one of the dish. You can also state your requirements accordingly when you make the reservation. The chef will make adjustment accordingly.
Small Dish (Appertizer)
Three kinds of seasonal ingredients include the homemade pumpkin and sesame tofu, kombu seaweed with herring roe and vegetables and Angler fish dressed with its liver. It was light, refreshing especially the homemade pumpkin and sesame tofu followed by the rich taste from the Angler fish.
The actual dish is the grilled wagyu beef with scallion but chef replaced it to grilled rockfish with dried mullet roe for us instead and served along with steamed egg, yam flavoured with plum ginger. The rockfish has mild flavour by its own thus with the dried mullet roe added to enhance the flavour of the fish. We enjoyed it!
This dish comes with simmered turnip, Maitake mushroom, Yuba prawn, abalone and carrot. Each individual ingredient has its own texture and taste and can taste the freshness of it.
This dish is simmered in grapefruit vinegar consists of grilled hen clam, cucumber, daikon radish and bonito flavour.
And specially prepared steamed rice in a pot with crab meat served with red miso soup and Japanese pickles. This usually takes approximately 20mins of waiting time as the chef prepared it in individual claypot for each table. The service staff will present it in front of us before they scooped and serve individually.
Next, we were served with fresh green tea and snack. We were told to enjoy the snack first then sip with the drink. The sweetness of the snack blends it well with the rich green tea taste.
Lastly, we ended the meal with fruit and Japanese sweets.
Kaiseki dining experience allows you to experience dishes to be prepared and cook in various ways. And if you look into the tableware used to serve for each dishes, it symbols a meaning to it. We had zen feeling throughout the night dining in one of the private rooms. They have a total of 5 private rooms so be sure you make your reservation earlier. It is advisable to make prior reservation to avoid any disappointment.
Their website is constantly updated and menus are available on the respective links. You can click here to read more.
Soujuan ( Kaiseki Cuisine ), 懐石 ＜ 蒼樹庵 ＞
Address: Keio Plaza Hotel
Main Tower 2F
Tel:+81-3 3344 0111