Kaiseki, a traditional multi-course Japanese dinner
Kaiseki is a traditional multi-course Japanese dinner. My family wanted to experience one while in Tokyo and selected Rakushokushu Maru Restaurant (Maru) because it was recommended by a guide book as a reasonably priced place – about 8,000 yen per person.
We went with the 5,000 yen 8-course set menu recommended by the restaurant staff. My dad said this is not his favourite type of dinner because everything comes in small portions. My mum loved the Japanese Style Seasonal Fish and Vegetable Pilaf best. They served us such a big pot that they had to pack the leftover for us to bring back to the hotel. We had them for breakfast the following day and it tasted delicious straight out of the fridge. My favourites were Japanese Style Seasonal Fish and Vegetable Pilaf and the Grilled Wild Duck with New Onion.
Our final bill did come to about 8,000 yen per person because we ordered green tea which came in cups, and was charged for every fresh cup. Other Japanese restaurants that we have been to serve green tea in a pot and do not charge for refill.
The first course was a combination of Poached Peach topped with Tofu Cream, Horse Mackerel Sushi wrapped by Bamboo Leaf and Simmered Vegetables & Japanese Ratatouille.
The Sashimi course consisted of fresh, raw fish served with small slices of onion, accompanied by a dab of wasabi, soy sauce and a lime wedge. Also included was eel in a soy sauce based sauce. Raw fish is not my mum's favourite but she decided she would give it a try in Tokyo to see if it is any different than in Adelaide. She commented that Maru's Sashimi was way better than what we ate at Tsukiji Fish Market. The fish was sliced so thin it was almost transparent.
Following this was a course of deep-fried food consisting of a Pea Green Croquette and a Kakiage Style Fresh Corn Tempura. We have tried lots of tempura dishes but this is the first we come across a Corn Tempura. My sister loves corn and she was over the moon.
Pea Green Croquette and a Kakiage Style Fresh Corn Tempura
The highlight of the kaiseki course for me was the Japanese Style Seasonal Fish and Vegetable Pilaf. It consisted of Japanese rice cooked with tender fish, seaweed and slices of spring onion. Also served with it was daikon pickles and tofu soup. The restaurant staff brought a huge pot to the table. When she lifted the lid up, we could only see the fish, vegetable, seaweed and other toppings. She then stirred the dish to mix the toppings into the rice.
Dessert was a choice between Steamed Pudding and Banana Ice Cream with Tapioca Sauce. I chose the second option and it had soft ice cream in which the banana flavouring was not too overpowering, set off perfectly by the tapioca sauce. The Steam Pudding was soft with a lovely surprise provided by the caramel sauce at the bottom.