While planning our meals in Japan, I wanted us to try most types of Japanese cuisine, but there was definitely a heavy emphasis on kaiseki because it is a style that is especially difficult to find in the US. In every city, especially Tokyo, there was no shortage of options, which made choosing all the more difficult. One of the reasons why I settled on Hirosaku was their availability at lunchtime, and with dinner starting at 450USD but lunch hovering around 27USD, it was an unbelievable steal that we couldn't pass up.
With so many meals, by the end of the trip, we were beginning to pick up on the patterns and rules regarding composition and progression. Although each chef's cuisine was both personal and highly individual, deviations were especially delightful. At Hirosaku, this came at the end when they brought out homemade soba, served cold with a dipping sauce. With it came some of the water used to boil the noodles, which, after eating, was to be poured into the dipping sauce and sipped. Another sauce (soy?) was also provided for each person to be able to adjust it to their taste. This was something that I had never before and have never since experienced. While the idea of drinking hot noodle water sounds incredibly bizarre - and admittedly, we were pretty skeptical at the time - it had this rich, broth-like quality to it and was a warm and comforting way to take us into the end of the meal.
Date: March 2015
Camera: Canon 6D