A journey through the culinary history of Japan
Set along the peaceful Hozu River, an authentic Japanese-style experience awaits at Suiran, a Luxury Collection Hotel. Even though I didn’t have the opportunity to stay at the hotel I wanted to try the lunch menu I heard so much about.
The hotel opened in 2015 but the history of Suiran or better the house dates back to 1899 when its was the summer-house of Baron Shozo Kawasaki. Today it gives me the chance to see how the seasonal menu they offer tastes like.
Sitting down at the table I am surrounded by minimalistic interior but but with the right hand for detail reflecting the original theme of the house with a modern twist and vaulted ceilings with exposed beams crafted of entire tree trunks demonstrate a reverence for natural timber. After my trip through the hills of Arashiyama this is where my heart relaxes.
But let’s get to the important things:
Starter – Pike Conger, Kelp, Eggplant Perilla, Plum Dressing
Assorted Appetizer – Watershield, Seaweed, Lemon simmered Sweetfish with Miso
Eel and Cheese Spring Roll, Soft Boiled Egg with Black Sesame, Boiled Red Konjac and Wheat Gluten,
Asparagus and Prosciutto Roll, Simmered Shrimp, Green Soy Beans
Simmered Dish – Grilled Eggplant with Sweet Miso, Black Sesame, Fig, Poppy Seeds
Rice & Soup – “Tanba” Rice, Miso, Grated Yam, Red Miso Soup with Japanese Pepper, Winter Melon,
Dessert – Japanese Confectionery – Daifuku
That’s a lot information I know, but each dish was thoughtfully put together to not only represent the season (summer) but represent the traditional Kyoto cuisine. The Pike Conger with the sweet sour Plum Dressing and a crunchy citrus note was inspiring. The assorted appetizers were a journey through the country with the hits being the Wheat Gluten and the simmered shrimp. From there we go to my favorite dish – the eggplant that melts in your mouth and has an intense nutty aroma – delectable indeed. The Tanba rice represents the whole menu because Tanba is a region in Japan famous for its high quality produce and the place where a lot of the ingredients come from and especially the Miso soup with the Kyoto Japanese Pepper takes the spotlight on this plate. The last dish – Daifuku is a variation on the classic Mochi and a soft goodbye to a lunch that I will definitely remember for a long time.
For everyone who visits Arashiyama when in Kyoto and that is basically everyone this is the place to go afterwards for an amazing lunch or dinner.