Saturday, March 28, 2009
The Equisite Art of Kaiseiki
I thought I would start posting a few things from our trip to Thailand and Japan! We have been super busy with the house and for those of you that don't know I am two days away from being 9 months pregnant so that's been on our minds as well....
Let me start with the exquisite art of kaiseiki - a million course meal served by a charming kimonoed waitress. We had our concierge make special arrangements for a vegan kaiseiki meal- what a treat!
After a taxi ride there - our hotel made up a special map with directions to the cabdriver - and a nice stranger putting us in the right spot we finally made it to the restaurant. Then we were stowed away in a nice little room with a sliding wood/paper door.
Here is how the kaiseiki meal went down:
Moshimo (this is what our waitress says before coming into the room and I have no idea what it means. Each time she does this she is kneeling outside the door, opens the door, gracefully stands up, takes about two steps into the room and kneels down again):
Soy three ways! Our concierge requested Natto for us. Thanks...
What is it? It is beautiful!
Oh it is soup!
Moshimo: (At each course we get more tea and water...)
Wow this is so good! Eggplant, Tofu and Mushroom in sweet soy sauce!
Oh my this is better than the last course! Roasted eggplant with a soy bean paste reduction on top. I wonder how many more courses there are... this has to be the last one it was so good...
Special Japanese potato and other veggies. Plus a cubist carrot. Also about here I think another tea was introduced...
Moshimo: (I think at this point in the meal we were becoming like Pavlov's dogs - salivation and pain all at the same time...)
Veggie tempura! With lemon and salt it is really really tasty. Also natto tempura - I have a sneaky suspicion it was my previous natto coming back in fried form. Those Americans will eat anything if fried! Not fried natto my friends. Good try.
Moshimo: (Oh dear...)
Oh brown rice! How filling! Also pickles and shitaake mushroom broth.
Oh dessert - melon and something else I did not quite catch the name of. And more green tea of course.
So now we are here in our kaiseiki room - wondering what the proper etiquette for leaving is. But finally we crawl out (it's a little room sunken into the floor a bit) pay our bill, receive our gifts (yes gifts.... maybe they were prizes for finishing?), put on our shoes and then have a bowing showdown with just about the entire staff who has followed us out into the street and ends only when we back around the corner while waving and bowing and smiling like maniacs.