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Image 1: www.hamadaya.info
This historic geisha house is where the famous geisha Madame Sadayakko lived.
Image 3: This is the place to experience a Kaiseki cuisine (懐石料理), the most elaborate preparation and presentation of a meal consisted of numerous courses.
Image 4: We went there for lunch to avoid the room hiring fee as it is an all-private-room restaurant.
Look at this huge tatami room for just four of us!
By the way, we had to remove our shoes before entering the restaurant.
Feel the Japanese art here: Pure and Elegant.
Image 9: While we were still exploring and absorbing the Japanese culture here, our kaiseki meal has already begun.
Image 10: Sakizuke: Delicacies
Eggplant and sea urchin
Creamy, silky, along with an intense fresh-sweetness without any bitter after-taste... Wow, truely top-notch sea urchin here!
Image 11: Zensai: Appetizer
This stunning piece of artwork resting on a big lotus leaf composed of six types of jelly: prawn, lily bulb, okra (often known as gumbo or ladyfinger), wakame seaweed with herring roe, egg custard, and foie gras. What a colourful masterpiece!
How can a Japanese culinary journey be complete without sake?!
Image 13: Wan: Clear Soup
Sesame tofu, clam dumpling, melon and matsutake mushroom
This unique tofu had a mild sesame flavour with a sticky texture unlike any tofu that we had before. Very interesting!
Image 14: Tsukuri: Sashimi
Black porgy (Japanese sea bream), flathead, and Japanese oval squid.
Raw fish, with just a touch of soy sauce, it's simply a gift from heaven!
Image 15: Aizakana: Relish
Broiled eel sushi.
It was nice, but the rice was a bit too gluey and we prefer the eel at Chikuyotei.
Image 16: Yakimono: Grilled plate
Even though the plating seemed a bit westernised, the food remained truely Japanese.
Image 17: Barracuda flavored with yuzu citron, horned turban (turbo), a cheese ball covered with mashed green soy beans, and a cube of deep fried persimmon topped with sesame miso paste.
Image 18: Nimono: Simmered plate
Taro, octopus, lotus root and vegetable
Image 19: Shokuji: Rice and Soup
Kaiseki must contain a rice course with miso soup.
Brown miso soup with tofu
Image 22: Simmered pork with miso paste on rice.
Oh my god!!! The pork simply melted in our mouth! The rich miso sweetness brightened the dish further. Impressive stuff!
Image 23: Dessert
Getting close to the end of this wonderful journey. Very sad!
Sweet red bean soup
Image 25: Japanese water pear
Even the fruit here was superior -- sweet, crunchy, and juicy! Knowing that we are from overseas, Ms. Mita (the proprietress) came in to have some conversation with us. She was very friendly and even gave us more details on this tasty fruit.
Image 26: papaya, grapefruit, grape, apple jelly
Image 27: Maybe because of the spacious private tatami room overlooking a traditional garden, or the flawless service adhering to the strict Japanese etiquette, or the beautiful work of art on each plate, or simply tasty food... Basically, we didn't want to leave this place!
Fine DIning Explorer
Thanks for the comments. Yes, it was fresh wasabi. It was milder with a bit of fine fibrous texture than the usual powdered wasabi.
Sake, yes, I did request them to write down the name in English. It is from the region Gifu, Kozaemon junmai ginjo.
No offense taken… for uni… during winter season in London, I do buy fresh sea urchin from Borough Market and cut them open myself, but it tasted nothing like the uni in any Japanese restaurant. The uni at Hamadaya was superb already in comparison, but no, it definitely wasn’t the best uni we ever had! But it is on par with the expensive uni I had in Grand Hyatt Hong Kong (about USD$30 per piece) two years ago!
Our Japanese colleagues mentioned the best Uni are from Hokkaido, which we may be visiting this year.
Hiroyuki (Niigata, Japan)
Thanks for sharing all those impressive photos!
I’m amused to see a picture in a frame on the wall in a space that seems to be a tokonoma (alcove).
Sashimi plate: Was the wasabi real wasabi, or was it made from powdered wasabi (I mean, horse radish)?
(I, for one, was a little disappoited to see no tuna in the plate.)
Do you remember what brand of sake you had?
The uni looks fresh, but it also looks slightly out of shape. It may be not as fresh as the fresh uni that I previously had. No intention to offend you in any way; I just wanted you to see one of the freshest uni you can have.