This week I'm honoured to be helping the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and Tokyo Convention and Visitors Bureau to promote Tokyo Travel and Food. Proceedings kicked off in Melbourne last night and will continue until Saturday afternoon - concluding with a "stage performance" at Darling Harbour during Japan Expo. I had to ask whether I was required to sing or dance but it turns out it is more of a Q&A and my mate Shaun Presland from Sake Restaurant will be joining me too.
In my chats with tourism and media peeps I'll be giving a brief overview of the Tokyo food world offerings from high end down to the most affordable and quick dining options - basically something to suit every taste and budget. What to expect, where to find it etc.
One of the wonderfully fancy places I mention is Les Creations de Narisawa or more affectionately known as "Narisawa" - the chef's surname. No.1 on the San Pellegrino Top 50 Asian Restaurants.
If you are in Tokyo and looking to splash out on what will be an incredible demonstration of service and hospitality (or Omotenashi) alongside spectacular food - go here! A visual and sensory extravaganza. I highly recommend it.
I'm waiting to hop on a plane back to Sydney as I type this so I shall be brief. Please find a few snaps and captions which should put you in the picture. If you like the look of it - do check it out - but do be aware it is 4 hour commitment! Worth every cent.
This will be on your left - what an awesome foyer!?
Place setting to remind you where you are eating..
Oshiboshi - a damp cloth to wipe your hands clean before eating. A very civilised Japanese custom.
Chestnut Bread proving at my table
one half of Narisawa....
Bread ready to go, the hot bowl gets wheeled over.
Bread is scooped in and chestnut powder and yuzu is added.
Okinawa. Broth of sea snake from Okinawa - apparently in court times the original source of seafood in dashi (ie pre katsuo) was sea snake. According to Okinawans at least!
More bread is brought was also brought out - made with Hokkaido flour - the green version contains yomogi ( mugwort)
Eggplant, fried and pureed, Shiitake, flowers, tomato jelly.
Above - preparations for the next dish.
Ash 2009. Scenes of the sea shore.
Squid with paprika ash. A vinaigrette turned to "ash" in liquid nitrogen. Wonderful grilled squid with a dressing that had the aroma of bbq's paprika peppers. The ash melting into liquid.
Next course. Hagi (autumn garment). A big chunk of fugu (blowfish) with sansho pepper and sudachi lime zest over the top. I was requested to eat with my fingers.
Followed by deep fried, soft-shell turtle. Also instructed to eat with my hands.
Shiga leek charcoal over the beef. Bordelaise sauce and also black fermented garlic sauce. Peppers, sweet onion. The beef is cooked by continually pouring over warm oil.
Yoghurt Sake - from Miyagi prefecture - just yoghurt, sugar, sake
Strawberry sorbet, Kuzu mochi made from real kuzu - dug up by the chef himself and made into just 2kg of kuzu flour. Sauce made from sake kasu ( lees), milk, cream and sugar.
Chestnut cream puree, yellow chestnuts, warabi mochi, chestnut sauce, rum raisin ice cream, salted chestnut chips
The Petis fours trolley
No wasn't mesmerised by it at all... as you can see
I wasn't greedy... I didn't try one of EVERYTHING on the trolley
And then there was a whole tray of mini macarons... from bitter chocolate to salted caramel to rose