I sat at the bar looking into the kitchen as the elderly Japanese chef carefully dipped the vegetables into the batter before frying them on the stove. He repeated this step no more than thirty times, turning the pieces over before pulling them out. He then gently placed them on a plate before serving them to each of the nine guests including myself. I use the word guest for although this was a restaurant it felt almost as if we had been invited into his home to share his meal.
I later learned that this dish was in fact tempura, and it would be just one of three famous dishes that would have a chance to taste during the meal. Of the other two dishes one was Soba noodles which are a kind of pasta made with buckwheat. As a fellow food lover mentions they were first created around the turn of the 17 century, and are now common food fare all over Japan. However before I tasted either of those dishes I was presented with sashimi, which is quite possibly the most famous dish in Japanese cuisine.
Imperial Japan has been mentioned a few times on this site including on my most recent blog post, but for this post I wanted to step back and talk about cuisine in Japan today. Hirosaku is an amazing restaurant that well deserves its place on the Michelin Guide. The four course meal served as an excellent introduction to Japanese food for me as this was my first meal in Tokyo, and I must say it set the bar high for the restaurants I visited thereafter.
This restaurant easily earned a perfect five star rating from me as in all this was the best culinary experience during my week in Japan, though you can find photos and brief descriptions of other meals and experiences I had HERE. I would strongly recommend making a stop at Hirosaku though be prepared to be set back a fair bit if you decide to come for dinner.