Our room at ryokan Asunaro
See the previous post for more information about kaiseki dining and details about a previous dinner and breakfast.
We were fortunate enough to have a second dinner at the ryokan in Takayama. Just like the previous night it was fantastic.
On offer again was Hilda beef, this time sukiyaki style with tofu, taro noodles and enoki. This was cooked at our table in a small burner.
It was so tasty - here it is cooked!
This mayo looking sauce is actually made out of tofu. The yellow pieces are actually made out of fish, and there were a couple of different pickles in the bowl. It was all mixed up before eating.
Doesn't this look beautiful! Here we had a little plum lollipop, a piece of sweet potato, and at the back was some cold pork.
Inside this bowl is yuba. Yuba is made from boiled soy milk – thin films of tofu form at the top of the milk and are scooped off. Here it was served with a little soy sauce. It's quite interesting - it's soft and tastes faintly of soy.
There was a small bowl of fried whitebait.
And here was white fish with moss. Another interesting item, it was quite citrusy.
I have to be honest here and tell you that my notes on this bowl don't make much sense! From what I can make out, I believe the white objects are fu, and the yellow items are shrimp covered with egg. (You may remember from the last post that fu is wheat gluten, and is often used as a meat substitute.)
There was some rather salty smoked salmon.
On this plate was grilled saury (a type of fish), served with teriyaki sauce and sprinkled with sesame seeds. Delicious. Apparently saury is a common autumn fish, and we saw it a lot during our trip.
At the back of this plate was a tempura prawn that was covered with shredded burdock root. At the front was a shrimp coated with mochi and yuba, and beside it was the teeniest, tiniest eggplant I've ever seen!
There was rice, clear soup, and pickles.
And finally, for dessert was persimmon and persimmon agar agar jelly.
Dinner was just incredible. Like the previous night, everything was delicious and beautifully, beautifully presented. Alastair and I only had a very small lunch, but even so couldn't manage to finish everything. We were still full from breakfast!
The following day, we were up early and had breakfast at the ryokan before we left Takayama. On this plate was (clockwise from the front) egg in deep fried bean curd, shredded ginger, potato salad, seaweed/hijiki, boiled squash and carrots, and sweet beans. In the middle was a bowl containing fu and deep fried soy bean curd.
In addition, there was a piece of fish that was seasoned with sake remains. This was surprisingly sweet and fishy, but very nice.
In another small bowl was pork with mushrooms. The pork was really tender and creamy.
Cooking away in a small burner, was a little plate of egg and ham.
And of course, there was rice, soup and pickles.
After the brilliant meals we had eaten, we were rather sad to be leaving Takayama. On the other hand, if we had stayed much longer we may have left several kilos heavier so it may have been a good thing. We certainly detoxed on our next stop..... coming up shortly!
Gifu-ken 506-0008, Japan