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« Illy - Helping my soul find a long supressed or forgotten indulgence or love... | Main | A home for retired priests, for plum bonsais, and a garden of peace »

Saturday, February 13, 2010

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May

I can't believe you have jet set yourself to japan and are eating okonomiyaki! you need to eat that in kansai region = osaka as well. okonomiyaki and ramen have regional differences so it depends on what you like!

Make sure you go to Kyoto and have French Kaiseki (the opposite of the street food you've been enjoying) - i've eaten everywhere and this was one of my most memorable meals:

Misogi-gawa Frommer's Exceptional

Cuisine FRENCH KAISEKI

Hours Tues-Sun 11:30-1:30pm and 5:30-8:30pm (last order)

Location Sanjo-sagaru, Pontocho. on Pontocho, north of the playground, Central Kyoto

Transportation Bus: 5, 17, or 205 to Kawaramachi Sanjo (5 min.)

Reservations Reservations required

Phone 075/221-2270

Prices Set dinners ¥13,230-¥21,000 ($110-$175/£55-£88); set lunches ¥4,935-¥10,500 ($41-$88/£20-£44)

Frommer's Review

Dining here could well be the culinary highlight of your trip. For more than 25 years -- long before fusion cuisine burst onto the scene -- this lovely and exclusive restaurant has been serving nouvelle French cuisine that utilizes the best of Japanese style and ingredients in what could be called French kaiseki. It's located on narrow Pontocho, which parallels the Kamo River and is one of Kyoto's most famous nightlife districts, in a century-old renovated wooden building that once belonged to a geisha. Dishes are the creations of owner/master-chef Teruo Inoue, who trained with a three-star Michelin chef and successfully blends the two cuisines into dishes that are arranged like a work of art and served on Japanese tableware.

Although four set meals are offered, diners are often asked for their preferences and dislikes, with favorite foods incorporated into at least one dish. The dining experience is enhanced by an English-speaking staff, who explain the ingredients of each dish as it's presented, and by an extensive wine list, culled from Inoue's annual visits to France. Seating options include an L-shaped counter with tatami seating and leg wells; an informal counter for customers who prefer to order a la carte dishes (written in French and changing regularly) while watching chefs at work; private tatami rooms; and my favorite, an outdoor summer veranda overlooking the river. Note that the L-shaped counter and veranda add a 10% service charge and private rooms add a 15% service charge, but no service charge is added for the a la carte counter. This is a great place for a splurge.

Read more: http://www.frommers.com/destinations/kyoto/D71951.html#ixzz0fVgVjqgD

Paula

Here in Hebron my daughter and I are modestly attempting to perfect our technique for making rice balls. Do try to bring home a few pointers for us.

Stacey

This lunch sounds like a religious experience, Suvir. Thanks for transporting me to another place. I'm making a note to try mixed Okonomiyaki and Tompeiyaki if I ever do make it to Japan.
Signed,
Mouthwatering in the Frigid Adirondacks

Sally

Thank you first for seeing the beauty in a small, well used kitchen and the charming couple who cook there, and thanks again for sending us photos that make us feel as though we are right there. If I am not mistaken, Chef Lee Ann is from the Albany area?

Suvir

Paula, what kind of rice balls are you all making? How wonderful that someone in Hebron is making something Japanese, or foreign. Gives me another reason to love our lovely charming community. You are too good to be true.

Mouthwatering in the Frigid Adirondacks - We miss you and are sad you are not enjoying these foods with us. And of course the moments too. Chef Lee Anne is from Troy and quite energetic and relentless a foodie. Do you know her?

Judy Short

Oooooh, I'm in a swoon over your mouth-watering descriptions of the Okonomiyaki. In Japan in '07 with friends on a tour with fabric as a basis (Tokyo Quilt Show, shibori dying, private collections of antique kimonos and hundred's years old indigo dyed fabrics) we discovered Okonomiyaki quite by accident, having been directed to a nearby noodle shop, which had 6 tables, all full, and there were 7 of us.
Going back toward hotel,there was a sandwich board style sign on the sidewalk, with a picture, but where was the restaurant? Three stories up, via an outside, steep and twisty staircase. So worth the hike up--we had the most hilarious evening sitting at the counter and trying to figure out what to order. No English spoken there and about all we could do was ask for Kirin beero. Lots of looking over the counter to see what was cooking, pointing to adjacent diner's meals and holding up 1,2 or more fingers to indicate how many orders. The 2 guys at the grill got a big kick out of us. The next time when we came in they had great big grins for us and somebody had taught them to say "good evening" in English (sort of) in responce to out "kom-ban wa". I didn't know until I read this that Okonomiyaki is only for one dish and that if it has pork or beef it has a different name. But we definitely most loved the egg, cabbage (maybe bacon) "pancake". I would love to try to make okonomyaki--any recipe to share?

suvir saran

Judy, how wonderful to read your comment. Did you check out the other Japan posts?
Would love to hear your feedback on those.
Lucky you that you were able to enjoy textiles, kimonos and indigo dyed antique fabrics - WOW! I was so keen to see these myself, but the focus was FOOD, and I lost out on this part of my Japan dream. Another trip.

Buy the two books written by Hiroko Shimbo, and you will find yourself feeling lucky and blessed. I have done a couple of blog posts on Hiroko as well, and you can read them, and learn more about her. You can go to her blog at www.hirokoskitchen.com

She is an amazing writer, authoritative voice on Japanese cuisine, and my teacher for all things Japanese food related.

Her books are phenomenal and very detailed.

Suvir

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