Tokyo: Narisawa** [2016.01.28]

This was an amazing meal. Amazingly delicious. Amazingly satisfying. Amazingly expensive. This was definitely a splurge. And totally pushed my Japan spend way over the edge. But. Worth. Every. Penny.

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Met 2 Aussie foodies that were staying at the same hostel and we totally bonded over being food nerds. D. and Z. would constantly taunt me with the fact that they managed to snag a reso at Narisawa (Named the best restaurant in Japan | No. 2 in Asia | No.8 in the world by The World’s 50 Best) so I’d always joke that I was just going to crash their fancy bro-date.

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I don’t think I meant it when I first said it but after a few days, I was like…why not?

  1. The boys were totally opened to it,
  2. The restaurant had no problem adding a seat to their reso,
  3. was going to drop a bunch of dough at Jiro anyways if I managed to somehow get a reso (a big fat nope),
  4. It’s expensive enough of a restaurant that not everyone would be keen to visit…and a restaurant like this totally calls for company that would appreciate the experience…which I would have in this case,
  5. I had to come back to Tokyo after my Mt. Fuji trip to catch my bus to Hakuba anyways, so I’d be in town the night of their reso, and
  6. …That was pretty much it.

I’m pretty easily convinced for things involving food, or experiences, or food experiences. #whatbudget

The theme of chef Yoshihiro Narisawa is that of sustainability and gastronomy. The philosophy behind Narisawa is to bring nature to the plate.

“For my fellow men, I dream of reviving and resuscitating natural landscapes desecrated by men.”

Narisawa looks at how one would interact with his creations, through smell, sight, touch, and chooses carefully the ingredients that graces each plate. Inspired by the landscape and the season but constructed only with what is necessary.

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I’m, by no means, a for realsies food blogger. I don’t go prepared with pen and notepad in sight, ready to jot down every thought. If I were, I would totes try to get paid for it. So, disclaimer: if that’s what you’re looking for, I’m not it. If you’re looking for some pretty amazing pictures and memories from a human with a goldfish brain, than I’m your gal.

Also disclaimer #2, this will be a long ass post, it was a long ass meal (in the bestest way possible).

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The menu changes every day, so my experience is not going to be your experience. Though there are probably some overlap (signature dishes and what not). Meal is served omakase-style. And we splurged on the wine and sake pairing…because… #winenot.

“Bread of the Forest 2010” Kumquat and Walnut

Chef Narisawa is knowwwwn for his “Bread of the Forest”. The dough is brought to the table at the beginning and allowed to rise over the amuse-bouche and first course. After the dough had grown enough, the waiter than plops it in a stone pot and it’s allowed to bake at the table. The smell of the sourdough was very prominent throughout the whole process. And daaaaayum, I’m not even a fan of sourdough, but this bread was the bomb. I could eat this all day err’day. The bread was accompanied by a “surprise bomb” – butter coated with dehydrated black olive and spinach powder. The butter was also like whoa. We got several rounds of non-theatrical bread to polish off the lovely nugget. #whatcarbs

Essence of the Forest and Satoyama Scenery

While this was interesting to look at, it was confusing as hell to eat. There was oak infused water in the cedar “cup”. The rest…I’m not even going to try to describe. Beyond my pay grade.

Soft Shelled Turtle, Saga

There was an amuse bouche (middle) of a sweet onion dumpling – onions from Kyoto coated with carbonized leek. The soft shelled turtle was meaty but wasn’t much of a distinct taste. It does allow me to say I’ve eating turtle doe. Turtle – check, whale – check.

Kobe Beef, Hyogo, Spiny Lobster, Shizuoka, Sea Snake, Okinawa

Akashi Sea Bream, Hyogo | Botan Shrimp, Ishikawa

This was the most delicious sake. Someone get me a bottle – Yuze Sake, Ume no Yado, Nara, Japan. Pretty please.

Konagai Oyster, Nagasaki

Oyster is steamed for 10 minutes with tade, a red water pepper used to balance acidity in a dish.

Langoustine Shrimp, Shizuoka

I’ve never had langoustine before, but apparently it’s the new foie gras.

Alfonsino, Kanagawa | Horsehair Crab, Ishikawa

A fillet of alfonsino atop a white wine reduced snow crab base.

“Luxury Essence 2007” Abalone, Yamaguchi

I’m a big sucker for abalone. This was no exception – meaty chucks of abalone meat  and radish swimming in a chicken and pork consommé, cooked at 96° for 6 hours.

Blowfish, Yamaguchi | Lindera, Gifu

Kobe Beef, Hyogo “Sumi 2009”

This is, hands down, the best bite of beef that has ever graced my mouth. And, this mouth has housed quite a number of beefy bites #thatswhatshesaid. Kobe beef, coated in carbonized onion. Satoimo, cooked perfectly at 55°. Bordelaise, red wine rendered with the juice of the beef.

Much tender. Such moist.

Matcha, Fukuoka

Matcha panna cotta with arrowroot.

Strawberry, Nagasaki | Anise Magnolia, Gifu

Petit Fours | The Dessert Cart

Our waiter wheeled out the spectacle that is the petit fours dessert cart. Overflowing with tiny dessert bites, we definitely ignored the “fours” part and got one of each to sample.

“Guests should fall under the spell of the season”

Boy, did we ever.

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Be still, my beating heart spoiled tummy.

Oh, for reference:

  • Cocktail: ¥2,250
  • Menu Collection: ¥25,000
  • Menu Dégustation (fancy word for booze): ¥18,000
  • Tax + Services: 8,507
  • Total in CAD: More than I care to recall.

If I ever have kids, I will totally eat their inheritance away.

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Also, side note, the boozy pairing is totally wasted on me. 11 wine + sake pairings got me way drunky pants. I totally didn’t even finish (don’t worry, D. and Z. made sure they were not wasted). I wish I could have the option to pay half the amount and they just pour me half as much.

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Total star count: 8

NARISAWA
Address: 2 Chome-6-15 Minamiaoyama, Minato, Tokyo 107-0062, Japan
Telephone: 03(5785)0799
Hours: Tues – Sat 12:oop –3:oop, 6:30p–11:00p | Sun + Mon CLOSED

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