This is a gem of a recommendation! It truly deserves to be no.1 on all the eatery lists.
It’s a small quaint place in an unassuming residential building. The lovely waitress was waiting outside the door for me which made it easier to identify the place.
Very friendly and approachable staff.
Welcome sake was sweet and crisp.
The chef and the rest of the staff were helpful and explained things in English. You get a little menu leaflet about Kaiseki cuisine course structure and the corresponding dishes for the night. Chef also dishes out a book of where he sourced his ingredients complete with his pictures with the local farmers/suppliers from Ise which is where the cuisine is based from.
First up is called Yememi-gusa (old name for Sakura): it consists of Sakura shrimps, Sakura sea bream, Sakura jelly and Brussels sprouts served in a martini glass- looks good and tastes good!
Second course the “Hassun” is a looker! Comes in a bento box and immaculately decorated with cutout butterflies and fresh flowers are butterflies of Chinese yam, rainbow carrots, boiled octopus, pickled avocado, boiled prawn and urui leaves! The taste combinations work just right!
3rd course is Mukou-zuke: sashimi of the day but mine was specifically grilled as per requested and the freshness of the fish really shone through - just dipping it with shoyu or salt and it melts in your mouth.
This course also comes with Kumano chicken, Irizake sauce and steamed wasabi stems.
Next is called Sakura-Mushi: a bowl of dashi broth within which sits a pickled Sakura leaf wrapped steamed fish seasoned with Domyouji powder. The dashi broth had a yuzu tinge to it too! And under the fish are some red rice. One of my favourites!
The next two are tempura fish followed by a sorbet of Nihime citrus which looks like an avocado but tastes like a punchy cousin of Yuzu. The tempura is light and crisp yet the fresh fish within retains its original texture!
Subsequently, this is my favorite savory dish of the night: Gusoku-ni ie boiled Ise-ebi lobster (only found in Ise Japan and they don’t have pincers!) with miso and wheat gluten cake! There is something sweet and crisp and golden about the taste pallet that this dish presents! You can’t describe it until you actually taste it. Lobster cooked perfectly!
After that, you get a clay pot worth of seasoned rice with Ise Sea bream and picked vegetables accompanied by red miso soup. Tastes great, generous portions so much so the leftover rice was made into onigiri and wrapped in bamboo leaves for me to take home for breakfast.
Dessert is crowned by this Matcha chocolate fondant. It comes in a soufflé pot and looks like crime brûlée but it is some matcha chocolate heaven you’re diving into. Match in general just tastes so much richer and cleaner in japan and the chocolate wasn’t too sweet, it lets the matcha in all its rich glory hero the dish. This is a must have!
The poor second dessert dish very quaintly served on a Sakura decorated porcelain square of Kuri-yokan chestnut and black bean jelly though lovely in itself has to settle as supporting cast in this category.
Finally, match tea of high caliber served in a small ceremony expertly tutored by head chef on how best to take the bowl and how to drink it and how best to express with loud last slurp/gulp to show your appreciation!
Just before the experience draws to a close, you get a picture taken with the chef and receives the said Polaroid in a thank you envelope with personalized message!
Chef then sees you off with the deepest of bows and I am ever so delighted and grateful for such an exquisite evening with Ise Sueyoshi!
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