It was a sunny day, and our private room had a very nice view of the quiet Japanese garden.
First a little sip of plum wine is served as aperitif.
Everyone's tray had a printed paper mat, all with different design (featuring ink drawings/writinf by the restaurant owner.) This one (my counsin's) with a fugu fish as motif, mine had daikon & lotus root on it.
First course was a kind of steamed custard made of soy milk, with a hint of uni and yuzu, as well as sweet potatoes inside. The jug contains my cold sake, the red bottle behind it my father's warm sake. My cousin's on beer.
Next, a soft cake made of prawns & yam, in a clear soup with some greens, yuzu, mushrooms.
...followed by sashimi...
...then a box containing (clockwise from top): anago (sea eel) sushi, vinegared daikon trimmed like a chrysanthemum flower, half a kinkan (another kind of citrus fruit) peel filled with grated daikon & salmon roe (you can eat the whole thing), dices of naturally purple coloured potato & normal potato dyed green with tea, omlette. The thing in the middle is burdock wrapped with beef, which I gave to my father (and got his anago sushi in return :-)
Fried course was green tea flavoured soba noodles wrapped in nori (seaweed) and deep fried in egg-yolk batter, a small dried fig deep fried, and... I didn't get what the two round things in the foreground were, but some kind of veg anyway (and delicious too - again the stem and everything was edible.)
Then another soft cake made of pumpkin and yam??? In a thicker soup than the earlier dish.
After this rice (sticky rice with azuki beans, which makes the rice pink, mixed with black Chinese wild rice) was served with pickled daikon & shallots, but I forgot to photograph those!
The dessert was zennzai, a warm dish of sweet azuki beans, with millet at the bottom. Served with salty seaweed (in the small dish on the right, it enhances the sweet flavour if you nibble something salty inbetween.)
|We then moved to the room next door - a traditional living room with a fireplace - for tea. Well, apart from tea, amazake (a hot drink made from sakekasu, a side product that's made in the process of sake brewing) with a lot of ginger - the white stuff in the cup is it. And then they served us small pieces of aloe vera jelly (on the red plate), which had a very nice consistency and didn't feel like jelly at all! BTW, this "tea after the meal" was a free service. (The lunch itself cost about 25 pounds per head without drinks - very reasonable for the quality and quantity of the food.)|
But then one of my aunts desperately wanted some coffee, so we moved again to
the coffee room - a recently converted old storage house behind the main building,
furnished in early 20th century style (when the house was built, I believe.)
I had green tea (pretty diluted), which was served with yet another sweet dish - sweet purple yam cake with soya powder. Downstairs they had an open kitchen, where they normally steam cakes (for take-away), but today they were busy preparing special New Year stuff. (The big wooden thing in the foreground, below right, is a grinder for making mochi, rice cake.)