Akasaka Tantei

Kaiseki. What I know about it is a traditional Japanese degustation meal that emphasize on the whole dining experience such as attention to details, balance of flavor, presentation, and even the plate plays important role as the previous factors.  I would say that Kaiseki is the Haute Japanese cuisine.

Honestly, I have zero knowledge about Kaiseki. I know nothing. Even my knowledge about Japanese food is very little. I can’t really figure out the different types of ramen, how to determine good soba, tempura, or even unagi.

I had a good time so far by eating delicious food in Japan. But I quite curious about what Kaiseki is all about, so I decided to buy a Japan Michelin guide. I found out that Kaiseki meal is…. Expensive. Very expensive indeed. Especially if you want to experience the whole thing by staying at Ryokan. Most people will choose Kyoto to experience the ultimate Kaiseki, but the price is relatively expensive. One single meal can cost you up to $600.

I found one restaurant in Tokyo Michelin guide 2012 named Akasaka Tan-tei. The restaurant just got their first star by serving Okinawan produces that arranged in Kaiseki style. So just call this Okinawan Kaiseki. The restaurant is located in the middle of Roppongi area in Tokyo.

All tables are in private rooms, so you can have a good time enjoying your meal with your partner. The only let down is that the staffs speak very little English, so I had difficulty in getting explanation and information about the dish.

IMG_3529

These are what they have

IMG_3407Ramen with Mushroom tempura

The ramen served with a light broth. This is a good start for the meal. It was light but tasty.

IMG_3521From left to right: Mashed Okinawan Vegetables, Japanese Sweet Potato, Pig Ear Jelly, Okinawan young Papaya Salad, Scallop with Tofu sauce with Sake Infusion.

The pig ear jelly was interesting because you get different texture from the jelly and the crunchiness from the pig ear. The Jelly tasted like a pork broth to me. Everything is good on this plate, from the scallop to the salad, you get different texture and flavor.

IMG_3412Pan fried Okinawan fish, Winged bean, Grated turnip broth.

The fish was perfectly cooked, and paired beautifully with the light broth of grated turnip, the winged bean gives extra flavor and texture to the dish.

IMG_3413Kampachi Sashimi, Squid Sushi.

The fish is fresh, and also the squid, but the squid sushi was a complete disaster for me. The wasabi was far too overpowering. It’s just destroy the whole dish.

IMG_3414Pork Belly with white miso sauce.

This is the signature dish from Akasaka Tantei, and also the star of the night. The pork was just unbelievable. It’s incredibly tasty, juicy, tender, and packed with flavor. It was so tender until it was felt like eating a chunk of pork butter. The white miso sauce goes really well with the pork belly.

IMG_3415Okinawan vegetables

Here you get yellow carrot, radish, taro, and other vegetable that cooked beautifully, and topped with vegetable puree.

IMG_3525Okinawan Beef, Chives, Grilled Ginko Nut, Mushroom Tofu Salad

The beef was mind blowing. It was just what you want to get from a piece of meat, but this was like eating chives with beef, not eating beef chives. The grilled ginko and the tofu salad were just fine.

IMG_3418Rice with Dashi Broth

This is a humble bowl of rice with a light touch of dashi soup. Pour the Dashi soup to the rice, and you will have like a rice soup. It was so simple but delicious.

IMG_3419Okinawan Fruits with Yuzu Sorbet.

This is a simple, yet a perfect dessert to close the meal. Selections of fresh fruits such as starfruit, strawberry, grape, kiwi, dragon fruit, served with Yuzu ice cream with passion fruit sauce.

Akasaka Tantei was an up and down experience for me. Honestly it’s quite tough to judge because I have no clue about a proper Kaiseki meal, nor Okinawan cuisine. Plus with so little explanation from the staff left me trying to figure out some of the ingredients that I might not known before, nor how suppose they should taste.

Overall it was a great experience. Akasaka Tantei might not the best meal in Tokyo, but I had a good time there, and the price is quite reasonable. So far, my conclusion is they’re able to show the beauty behind simplicity.

Akasaka Tan-tei

 

http://www.akasakatantei.com/en.html

tel: 03-3584-6646

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4 Comments

  1. Apparently, this is very different from Kyoto’s kaisekis. Okinawa style in his case. What have been the other kaisekis that have impressed you in Tokyo? I know, it’s more of a Kyoto thing, but still, did you have some kaisekis meals that have impressed you there. Thanks for sharing

    Reply
    • Hi, sorry for the very late reply, it’s been awhile since I opened this blog. No, I haven’t been to ANY kaisekis before. That’s why I try to explain early in this post that I have zero knowledge about it. And knowing that the cost of “true” Kaiseki is relatively high, I chose to take Akasaka as a start, since the price is very reasonable. I hope that you can share more about Kaiseki to me. Thanks for visiting my blog.

      Reply
  2. Thanks for your reply. Sure, I’ll gladly share about any findings.

    Reply
  1. Takazawa | yogimagination

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