Monday, April 18, 2011

Trip to Taiwan-Japan Day 10 (京都 (Kyoto))

今夜は祇園にしかわさんへ家族で夕食にお邪魔しました。楽しみ~。入り口はちょっとわかりにくいかも。写真左側の小さい引き戸のところから入っていきます (ポスターの貼ってあるところ)。

Tonight we (my parents, husband and me) came to Gion Nishikawa for dinner.  I was really looking for this dinner.  The entrance is a bit difficult to find - the small door on the left side of this picture.

Passing the entrance the narrow corridor continues to the entrance of the restaurant itself.

Since we were a group of 4, we reserved a private room.  Our room was faced to a small courtyard.

Although it was the tatami room, the table and chairs were set up so that we didn't have to sit on the floor.

As soon as we arrived, the aperitif (yuzu flavored sake) was served. 

It was well chilled and very refreshing.
Everyone (except me) started with the glass of beer. This glass was extremely thin and light-weighted.  At a glance, it looked like the plastic but it was actually made of glass. 

The first dish was the whelk and young shoot of ostrich fern with strawberry sauce.  The whelk was so fresh and had amaizing crunchy bite to it.  At first I was shocked the unusual use of strawberry in Japanese dish, but its acidity and fragrance actually enhanced the flavor of whelk.

The second dish is the soup with red snapper and a kind of sticky rice cake.  Beautiful colors (although the picture did not capture them) - so spring-like!

The soup was very light yet had an excellent aroma. It was just gorgeous.

The third dish was octopus and fava beans.  octopus was unbelievably soft.  My mother was shocked and wanted to know how to cook it so softly.

And the next was the sushi with mackerel marinated in vinegar.  

The meat was very thick.  I don't like this type of sushi very much, but this one was good - no fishy smell at all.  

The next one was the sashimi.  The presentation was so beautiful that all we could say was "wow!" when this dish was served.  The sparkling enope squids and tuna were in the Japanese lantern shaped containers.

And the red snapper on the bamboo shoot skin.

In this small container was a few slices of abalone.  This was amaizing - I have never had such good abalones before.  It was so crunchy and good.

By then, we switched to sake (and already consumed a several small bottles).  Here you can choose your own sake glass. 

The next dish was grilled lake fish (I don't know the English name) and shiitake mushroom.

The mushroom was so thick and juicy.  The fish was also very flavorful.  My parents were very happy with this dish.

The dish was kept warm because of a tiny piece of charcoal at the bottom.

What's next?  So exciting to open the cover!

The bamboo shoots and wakame seaweed.  Underneath was also red snapper roes (can't see it in the picture, though) .  The soup was very clear.  It is impossible to recreate such soup at home.

The next one was the fried flounder cartilage.  But it was not just a fried dish - the powdered dried shrimp and dried scallops were added into the batter.

It was just so good and I didn't want to swallow it...

By this time, we were quite full, but our meal still continued...

Here, we had big clams, kimmedai (a kind of fish), and rock seaweed.  Although we were full, we finished it all (including the soup).  We didn't want to waste any of it.

And finally the rice (with bracken).

And the pickles.

I could eat it only one bite.  Even my husband was very full.

And the dessert - green tea sorbet and warabi-mochi (a jelly-like confection made from bracken starch).

At the very end, a little nice surprise - kompeito ("kompeito" comes from the Portuguese word "confeito", which means a sugar candy).

We enjoyed every single dish we had - they all were not only tasty but beautiful to look at.  This was the time when I really felt lucky to be a Japanese!

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