Sunday, February 27, 2011

Kayotei Ryokan, Kaga: The Food

This had to be a post all by itself because the food provided at The Kayotei Ryokan was everything I dreamed and hoped for with authentic Japanese cuisine. I do not want this experience - the words and pictures, to be buried or lost on this blog.

As mentioned before, The Kayotei Ryokan is a traditional Japanese Ryokan in every sense of the word. And as I previously mentioned, everything you eat and drink is brought to your room. There is no communal dining room, which I have to admit I really liked. Sometimes when you're dining alone, it can be, well, a lonely experience. Knowing there is no option but to eat by yourself in your own room can be a relief.

The attendant brings every dish directly from the kitchen to your table. It is VERY traditional Japanese service, and it is an experience that you must do if you come here – you MUST!! On my first night I had a fourteen (14!!) course Japanese gastronomic adventure. I really didn't think, after the first couple of dishes appeared, that it was going to be a lot of food because it was served as very small portions. Oh was i ever wrong, but so what? It was the BEST meal I've had, if not the most memorable so far on my travels. Everything was prepared meticulously, presented beautifully and the taste and flavours were just mind-bogglingly good…look.

Dinner: Night One

See what I mean? I did not believe I'd be full after the first two courses. I thought to myself that these small portions would be no trouble at all. I was completely stuffed twelve courses. I kept thinking - as I rolled around my bed clutching my full stomach, that if I was to die, this would be place to do it. And then it's off to gastronomic heaven where the same incredible dining experience would be given to me every day.

Dinner: Night 2

It must be noted that the first dish I ate for dinner on night two, was a lobster shell stuffed with this creamy, mouth-watering egg sauce with freshly chopped lobster meat, and also had this bubbly, custard crust, and oh my God it was ecstasy in my mouth. This is the type of dish that Chefs kill for - that look in the eyes of someone who is absolutely devouring every morsel of a dish they created, and beg for more. They watch as your body just sighs with happiness when you bite into a dish they created, and love every single second of it. That was me with the stuffed lobster shell. I ate, and then slurped that dish in five seconds!! It was, and is, the best thing I have ever tasted. EVER (editor note: it's 2012, a year later, and I still believe that was the best dish I've ever tasted). It has beat out all the curry dishes in India and I just didn't want to eat anything else afterwards, but I did!

I can't remember half the names of these dishes, and I wish I could, but if prompted I could describe the tastes and flavours of each of them. If I wrote it out, you'd be reading a novel! I remember one of the soups having real gold leaves in it. See what I mean? Just speechless by the food. God it was so good. and I would kill, KILL I tell you, to go back in time just to have that moment with lobster again - yes it was THAT good.

What a fabulous way to end my time in Kaga. I was so happy and content in Kaga, but the culinary fun was just beginning because my next stop was Tokyo!

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