October 1, 2013

Kaiseki bento like a treasure box at Kikunoi Akasaka

Kikunoi (菊乃井), one of the big names of Japanese ryotei, is located in Kyoto. They have run ryotei for 100 years providing delicious Japanese kaiseki meal and sophisticated service. When I was a university student, I visited the ryotei. Even for such a young first-time customer, they provided good service and dishes and I have kept it as a wonderful memory. Now, Kikunoi has a branch in Akasaka (赤坂), Tokyo where you can enjoy their essence without going Kyoto. One day, I visited Akasaka branch with my sister.
Gate for Kikunoi Akasaka
Counter seats
Japanese sake and iced roasted green tea
Kaiseki bento
Clear soup with shrimp cake
rice with porgy flakes
Sesame pudding with bean ice cream
Even at lunch time, their kaiseki set meal is JPY10,500 (expensive!). But if you choose kaiseki bento, semi-prepared meal, the price is JPY5,250. Though all customers other than us tasted the kaiseki set meal, we tried the bento. As a result, it was more than enough! Kaiseki bento contained in a Japanese lacqer box was like a treasure box! Around eight different dishes are prepared in each small box, and each taste and texture was different and very tasty. 

In addition, dellicate sashimi, clear soup with shrimp cake, and rice with porgy flakes were served. All of which were very delicious.  As the whole portion was much more than seeing the above pictures, we could be fully satisfied. Service is good. There was no waiter and waitress, but young chefs under training took care of customers. Some of them were not so used to providing elegant service, but their do-it-all-the-way attitude was favorable.When leaving the Kikunoi, a master chef kindly saw us off until the gate and chatting with him was nice. 

As a first step to Kikunoi, why don't you try the kaiseki bento at lunch? If you go Kikunoi Akasaka at night, only kaikeki set meals are available at JPY15,750, 18,900 or 21,000 excluding service charge. Lunch is much reasonable. My rating is 4.6 out of 5. Gochiso-samadeshita!

Kikunoi (菊乃井) http://kikunoi.jp/

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