Sunday, June 9, 2013

Back in Japan (Kyoto - June 2013)...Dinner at Kikunoi

(Tuesday, June 4)

Our second night in Kyoto was a special dinner at Kikunoi.

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At the foot of Higashiyama Mountain Range, this world-famous Kyoto kaiseki cuisine restaurant has its main house.

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We were escorted to a beautiful private room with a wide window. The owner chef, Murata-san, came to our room to personally welcome us! He is a very good friend with Kyle and also his mentor. Kyle gave a gift, which is a beautiful yuzu chocolate by Hudoson Chocolates. Murata-san loved it. He sat with us to chat before dinner. He was so sweet, funny, and charismatic.

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Our special seasonal kaiseki dinner began.

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Assortment of appetizers: glazed Kamo river goby; flowering cucumber, barley miso; egg yolk pickled in white miso; octopus roe; brook shrimp; Wakasa tilefish and cucumber roll; jade eggplant

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Wine-poached green ume plum, white wine sorbet

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Sashimi of tai snapper and prawn, yellow Chinese chive, curled cucumber, wasabi
Sashimi of blanched hamo (pike conger eel), pickled ume puree

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Hiryozu (tofu dumpling) stuffed with anago (sea eel), lily bulb, wood ear mushroom and carrot, green beans, kinome herb sauce
Tomato sorbet, aloe

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Live ayu (sweetfish) was brought to us before they were going to be grilled. They were jumping around in a basket and so pretty. After a while, it was Mrs. Murata (she's also the madam of Kikunoi) who came to bring us the just cooked fish. Salt-grilled ayu (sweetfish), sauteed fuki (coltsfoot stalk), water grass vinegar. She was so elegant and sweet. We enjoyed chatting with her so much.

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Duck breast, taro, blanched taro stalk, baby okra, mustard

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Chilled turtle custard, turtle soup gelee, poached shrimp, cucumber, thread-cut green onion, thread-cut fresh ginger

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Abalone, uni, and wakame seaweed baked in salt, abalone liver sauce, salted sudachi lime juice

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New ginger rice with fried tofu and mitsuba herb; pickled radish and sesame seeds, cucumber and eggplant pickled in rice bran; new onion soup, red Manganji pepper, baby onion, shichimi togarashi (seven spice) powder

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Agar jelly, rice flour dumplings, azuki beans, musk melon, pelican mango, cherries

The real elegant kaiseki cuisine...we enjoyed every moment.

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Walking after dinner felt so nice.