Of all the restaurants from my 2013 Japan trip featured on my blog, this was the only one which I decided on the last minute. I decided to go to Nara to check out the deer park, and since the Michelin Guide has listings for Nara too, I thought I should have a meal there. This restaurant was awarded 1 star.
This restaurant is located near Shinomiya station on the Kintestu Line, which is only 1 stop away from Kintestu Nara station. Do not confuse the Kintestu line with the JR Line.
I went on a Saturday evening and thankfully there was vacancy for us.
What they offered was Kaiseki and for dinner, the options are 花 (¥6300/ $78.75), 風 (¥9450/ $118.13) and 月 (¥12600/ $157.50). The last option requires advance notice. For this meal, we went for花, Hana.
This was our first Kaiseki meal after being in Japan for 4 days. Kaiseki is still pretty uncommon in Singapore, but I can understand why. The beauty lies in the fresh seasonal ingredients, and it is up to the chef ‘s creativity and talent to make the best out of it. I doubt you can get these seasonal ingredients as cheap and in abundance in Singapore, so I guess it’s quite hard to bring this culture here.
Following this experience, I had other Kaiseki meals in Japan subsequently and it’s interesting to note that most of the ingredients (Spring ingredients) are repeated but could turn out totally different due to different cooking techniques.
To start of the meal, we ordered sake. I’m not sure how much this was but I think it was ¥950 ($11.90). Sake is very affordable in Japan, even in restaurants, so whenever you have traditional Japanese food, do order sake to go along.
Although it’s predominately Kaiseki style here, I wouldn’t say that it’s entirely traditional. We had appetizer of sesame tofu, clear soup with anago fish cake, raw dish of katsuo and hirame sashimi with okura and ume, grilled fish, simmered dish of tako and pumpkin, rice and pickles, dessert of konnyaku jelly as well a beautiful platter for 2 containing duck, corn with fish cake, noodles, anago zushi, (box sushi), tamago, bean, and a few others which I was unable to identify. I am unsure which course of Kaiseki this platter falls under. I really liked everything I had, though I wouldn’t say this is a MUST try in Japan. The konnyaku jelly served for dessert was particularly memorable. It was beautiful.
Who is this for:
If you wish to have a meal in Nara you can consider this. It’s pretty convenient.
You can never get such food for such price in Singapore so I found it very reasonable.
It was pretty comfortable. Nothing too shabby but yet not too posh. However, they allow smoking indoors.
The experience here was pleasant and I enjoyed it pretty much.
Shibatsujicho 4-5-6 Nara city