Monday, November 15, 2010

Back in Japan (Kyoto - November 2010)...Dinner at Shojoan

We walked around all day visiting different places.

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Chion-in temple was very impressive.

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For dinner, we had a reservation at my favorite Shojoan! I was so excited to meet Matsumoto-san (the owner/ chef) and taste his dishes again. This is another exclusive restaurant with the very homey ambience.

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We started the night with his 12-year-old ume-shu (plum liquor) Just like the last time, Matsumoto-san took care of us with a omakase course. He said he put together the course just for sweet. Our dinner started with a seasonal appetizer plate (matsutake & mitsuba salad, sake-simmered oysters, persimmon and maitake). It was followed by assorted sashimi, then a soup of isaki fish and matsutake.

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In fact, tonight was a big matsutake night!! He served different dishes of matsutake, which was just harvested yesterday in Noto Peninsula!! The domestic matsutake was just so aromatic, firm, and very very special. Grilled matsutake was so special, too. I kept saying "oh my god" as I had each bite.

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So many more dishes...Moroko (freshwater) from Lake Biwa, braised octpus, Kamo eggplant yuzu miso gratin, nama-fu (wheat gluten) agedashi, etc. etc. I love his "obanzai" (Kyoto-style homey small dishes), too.

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Zosui (soupy rice) with crab broth, and Kyoto black bean ice cream.

Matsumoto-san is the best! I not only enjoy his delectable dishes so much, but I also learn about cooking so much from him.

Every dish was a miracle. I drank a lot of sake, too. His sake list is very impressive. I'm already looking forward to my next meal at Shojoan.