Food

Kichisen – Kaiseki meal

Kichisen was an amazing meal, perhaps best of my life. I’m still debating if it’s displaced French Laundry but it is definitely the best Asian meal I’ve had. The staff were very nice, although a bit too over the top with formalities, and spoke a decent amount of English. I was sitting in the counter room that was just four seats with a Japanese family. The son looked about 13, quite a lucky guy to be having meals like this. Great way to end the trip to Japan.

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Welcome drink – it was viscous as honey and almost as sweet

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Presentation would be a theme of the meal along with the amazing tastes

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Three pieces of fried clam and deep fried yuzu

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Sake just chillin’

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Four servings – family of Japanese next to me at the counter

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Very precise where they placed dishes

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Soy beans with tiny shrimp

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Chives on top of egg white custard and a small piece of uni

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Just to show how small the shrimp were

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Soup course

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In a very cool kettle

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Mochi ball and some pork inside

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Sashimi course – by far the best of the trip

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Shrimp – chef was funny and later picked up the leaf with his chopsticks and told me to eat it

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Squid

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Tiny eels with some rice noodles

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Flatfish – maybe flounder?

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Toro – wow…

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Clam

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More amazing presentation

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Rice wrapped in what I think was a thin fungus

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Art or food?

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Sea cucumber with an egg

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Veggies, potato (red thing), and roe with chicken egg (yellow rectangle)

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Crab, mixed with a dipping sauce that was very gingery. This almost made me cry it was so good.

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Turnip and fish with many other things including wasabi at the top. Mix up then eat

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Grilled course

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Kingfish on top of pineapple on top of a hot stone, the sizzling sound added to the dish.

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Rice course

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Rice soup with uni and seaweed

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Presentation continues with dessert

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Orange jelly that I tasted first then was told to add Cointreau and squeeze some juice out of the lid that still had meat in it.

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Mochi ball covered in peanut powder around a sweet bean paste along with a jelly cube

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Chef Yoshimi Tanigawa

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Tokyo Day 2

Today was more low-key for us and didn’t really get going until noon when we went to Roppongi Hills to have a look around the expensive shops then on to Shibuya and their famous pedestrian crossing and some ramen from a shop under the train tracks. From there walked to the Meiji Jengu shrine. Finished the day at Ginza Tenkuni for tempura.

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Aussie last day in Niseko

Final day was bluebird with a foot of powder on top the peak. We hit some epic lines on a day we didn’t expect anything and revisited a couple of old favorites before a perfect corn and powder run back through no mans’ land to the lodge. Then dinner at A-Bu-Cha for one of the biggest best and most expensive of the trip.

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Sushi Daiwa

The guys loved the meal here, Al said it was the best sushi of his life. We had the set menu for $35 and each added a piece of horse mackerel at the end.

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Patiently waiting at 6:30am.

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Chefs in one half

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The other half that we sat in

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Toro

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Uni

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Tuna and salmon roe rolls

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Shrimp

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Chu-toro

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Tamago

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Grilled shirmp head

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Hamachi (yellowtail)

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Squid

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Sea eel

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Chef cutting the mackerel

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Horse mackerel

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Big vat of rice

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Grilling shrimp heads

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Tsukiji market

We woke up really early to go see the tuna auction and get some sushi for breakfast as Daiwa Sushi. The auction was crazy, will post photos and video later. On our way to the Tokyo Sky Tree now, hopefully be able to see Mt Fuji.

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Wasabi

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Sushi Kanesaka

For my first night in Tokyo I went to the Michelin one-star Sushi Kanesaka. It’s in the Ginza district in a basement on a side street, thankfully took a cab as unlikely would have found it had I taken the subway and walked the few blocks to the restaurant. His English was quite good and learned he’s been a sushi chef for 12 years after apprenticing for six. He was quite impressed that we did eight days of skiing in Hokkaido all at different resorts.

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Entrance on left and elevator to offices on right.

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Chef Takashi Usuba

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Chef’s beautiful knife

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Short-spinned uni with ebi shrimp

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Hairy crab

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chu-toro

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Hokkaido oysters

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Smoked monkfish liver

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Dried roe

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Smoke abalone

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Nodoguro, like rock fish but fattier. Very tasty!

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Amber jack

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Tuna (maguro)

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chu-toro

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o-toro

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squid with sea salt and lime – very good combo

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Ebi shrimp

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Horse mackerel

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Clam

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Long-spine uni

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Seared tuna cheek – this was amazing

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Two types of anago (sea eel): salt & yuzu, sweet soy & lime

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Tamago

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Airport food

Airports in Japan just do it better. Had time to grab a tempura meal that featured crab, shrimp, fish, and some veggies. Also some sashimi and miso soup.

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Soga

Finished our last day with a great BBQ. Had sashimi, many types of beef, veggies, gyoza, pork belly, fried seafood, and snails. Finished it off with ice cream from 7-11 across the street. Ran into some friends I met over Christmas skiing in BC, they arrived today but didn’t know where they were so it was a great surprise to see them when they walked in with a BD guide who will be showing them around tomorrow.

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Pension Brook dinner

We had dinner at the pension since we’re going on an early mission to tour up Shiribetsu. It was fantastic: shabu shabu with some premium beef, sashimi, tempura, and Japanese “risotto.”

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Otsukisama

I was too hungry to remember to take pictures of all the food. Great meal with a mix of small plates and sashimi/sushi

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Chicken in ponzu sauce

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Hokkaido oysters, they’re massive (3″ long or 7.6cm)

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Gyoza

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Chicken karaage (quickly became the empanada of this trip – this was one of the best versions yet)

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Yellowtail – much richer color than what you get in the US

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Seared salmon

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Grilled snow crab

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