Monday, January 16, 2006

Japan (9) - Nagano visit part 6

Here are the food pictures that I promised yesterday. These pictures were taken at restaurant Sakura (Japanese for cherry blossom) in Nagano during lunch last Friday after our visit to Zenko-ji temple (see my two previous posts). As some of the pics hopefully will show, it proves that often with Japanese dishes presentation and composition make up half of the dish. Eye for detail and esthetics always form an important part of Japanese culture. You can see this in many Japanese artforms, but also in the way Japanese food sometimes is presented. I'm not sure if I remember all the things that I've been eating, but I will do my best.
The starter was a small bowl with some root vegetable comparable with potato (the white stuff) with some sweet beans
The box in which the next course was presented looked simple but gorgeous.
On top of some sashimi (raw fresh fish), forgot te name of the fish, but it tasted a bit like trout, you see some pickles, sweet fruits and seeweed. On the right you see some deepfried thin noodle with inside the noodlenest some shrimp.
The next dish was some miso-soup with tofu, carrot, kind of cabage and sticky rice.
The next course was presented in three bamboopipes. You can't see what was in the left one on top, but in there there were some dark sweet beans. In the bigger pipe on the right there was a slice of minced chicken with special herbs and some pickles and rice wind up in a piece of eel. There was also some oyster on a stick. This was the only thing that I didn't eat (I don't like oysters). In the small pipe on the bottom in the middle you see a sweet round carrot.
The contents of this dish was some hollowed rootvegetable with inside some kind of minced meat and on top a bit of sharp mustard and some spinach
The last dish before dessert was some rice with sesame seeds and some seasoning, pickles and a different kind of miso-soup.
And finally some dessert. This was miso taste icecream with some sweet fruits and raisins and green tea. During all the courses I drank a very nice cold and fresh sake that was brewed by the restaurant themself. This sake was very yummy.

It was an interesting and mostly tasty experience. I never been and I never will be a big fish eater, but this food was very fresh and of high quality and it was presented in a gorgeous way. This experience showed to me that food and cooking can be art or close to art.


Bert said...

It all looks so beautiful.

Nevertheless, Philistine that I am, next time that I visit you I still will prefer a broodje kroket, bamihap or nasi goreng with sate over these edible pieces of art. :-)

The two of you enjoy the rest of your stay!

B_ForeverYoung said...

You're a barbarian indeed :-). But trust me that there are a lot of tasty foods here in Japan, that you also would love. Maybe not the foods that are displayed on this pics, but even if you don't like fish there is plenty of other yummy foods over here. Even for a barbarian like you ;-)