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Image 1: 075-463-0221 28-3 Teranomaemachi, Hanazono
Closed on Wednesday.
This is a Shojin restaurant, a Buddhist cuisine.
Image 2: Located right across from Myoshin-ji Temple, this is a vegetarian restaurant where the chef used to cook in a temple.
Image 4: They have a board at the entrance with the names of reservation for that night. Apparently, one of these boards has my name in Japanese!
Image 5: The only server here that night was a friendly senior lady without any knowledge of English! Glad that we pre-ordered a USD$80 menu. We got a private room for two.
Image 7: We didn't remember when was the last time we had a vegetarian meal. We couldn't wait to experience the cooking here. On the top left, there were three dark soy sauces and one light soy sauce. Also, a warm plum water drink as a palate cleaner.
Image 8: She then pour in a white mixture into this 2X2 heater thing?! She continued to explain something to us in Japanese. All we guessed was that she wanted us to wait.
Image 9: And she pointed us to these condiments: wasabi, mustard, ginger, and lime juice. The first three are to be combined with the three dark soy sauces and the lime is for the light soy sauce. These will be used later with the white mixture?!
Image 10: She then brought us some amuse bouche along with a tiny cup of sake. Sweet almond paste with bean and dried tofu skin. It was odd to begin a meal with something that sweet, but it was tasty, very tasty.
Image 11: A dumpling wrapped in tofu skin topped with a Japanese vegetable delicacy kogomi. It is from the sprout of fern.
Image 12: The dumpling consisted of lotus seed, egg white, and seaweed.
Image 13: Then a cube of sesame and herb custard.
Image 14: Now, we noticed that white mixture formed a layer of skin. Our server then directed us to pick it up with our chopsticks and dip it into one of those four soy sauce condiments!
SEE VIDEO HERE!!!
It is freshly made yuba (tofu skin). Very interesting!
Image 16: A beautiful box of appetizers. Starting on the left was a bowl of mushroom salad with mustard dressing.
A bowl of tofu roll with yam.
No fish here, a crunchy bamboo shoot sushi instead.
A unique looking vegetable. I couldn't guess what it was from its look.
It was just a tiny tomato without skin, but the shape was a bit unusual.
Image 21: A warm noodle with an interesting texture in a good way. It was crispy outside and soft inside!
Grilled bamboo shoot with sweet soy sauce.
Some kind of deep fried wheat cake.
Soft tofu with kogomi at the bottom.
Image 26: This is tsukushi, an ugly looking vegetable. I think it is called horsetail in English. It didn't even taste good at all.
Green asparagus, white asparagus, kogomi, and potato.
Rice course with beans
Served with pickles.
Image 31: I called this white thing a "vegetarian squid" because it looked like squid and it felt like squid in the mouth but tasteless. It is Konnyaku, or devil's tongue, a kind of yam, tasteless but a strong elastic texture! Very popular throughout Japan.
A thick white miso soup with tofu.
Image 33: Hot water infused with roasted rice that formed at the bottom of the rice cooker. An intense rice aroma to finish the meal.
Fruit plate consisted of orange jelly and strawberry.
Traditional sweet rice with red bean wrapped in sakura leaf.
Image 36: Of course, a high quality bitter frothy matcha to accompany the sweets. As expected, the tea was perfectly whisked without lumps at the bottom or powder on the side.
A souvenir of edible dried seaweed.