Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Yasai Kaseki Nagamine 八彩懐石 長峰: Tokyo's First Vegetable Kaiseki Restaurant

This Tokyo's first Vegetable Kaiseki restaurant is not to be mistaken as a vegetarian restaurant. It has a reputable credential because its parent company has been a produce wholesaler based in Tsukiji, which is just within walking distance from Higashi Ginza where this place is located. It's been accredited with as a 5-star hotel restaurant for incorporating vegetables into kaiseki menu by Japan Produce Alliance.

Upgrade to the more expensive kaiseki meals and one can find protein such as fish and chicken.But I see no point in choosing the pricier courses since Nagamine's signature dish--vegetable sushi platter can be found in the most economical set lunch(¥2310). And it was meaningless to stuff myself silly with so many courses. 

And so, I sat alone at the counter table, with the chef standing in front preparing other people's course as well.  

Unless you popped up in a restaurant alone randomly like what I did, chances are you will be ushered into the private rooms.

The atmosphere was no doubt, very chilly. And the amuse bouche of a cold tomato drink did not help to break the ice. Nonetheless, it was really delicious and I was tempted to buy the whole bottle that they are retailing at the counter.

After the salad, the much anticipated two-tier kaiseki lunch box was served. 


The top tier resembled a jewellery box segregated into eight compartments. Everything was simple but profound, from gelatinous white sesame tofu to the Enoki and broccoli in creamy sesame style . The only fried items were the Okara croquette and eggplant steak soaked in dark brown sauce.

 Enoki and broccoli in creamy sesame style
Sweetness Level: Super High (X100)What stood out among the rest was the Hokkaido Kabocha, which was simmered without any dashi and additional flavoring according to chef. Yet the sweetness is something that I would remember for the rest of my life.

And similarly to the Pumpkin miso soup that taste totally like anything but miso. If only more places could serve this......

Signature Sushi Platter (Pink Ginger, Ladyfingers, Mushroom, Eggplant and T******)
For the Sushi, I could not find fault in any piece. 

But the tastiest one was the caviar-lookalike sushi. The glossy, greenish black seeds are called TONBURI, from Akita. 
I asked the chef more about this TONBURI and he showed me his encyclopedia! It has earned the nickname of "Caviar of the Land" Amazingly they have been used in traditional Chinese medicine to regulate disorders such as hypertension and obesity and also treat the "yin" bodies or people who are prone to coldness.

Dessert was fruits anmitsu and green tea. 
Other people's food, not mine :(
The restaurant sits discreetly at the basement of an office building and I thought a secret code was required before I could gain access pass the doors. But don't give up because the place is just right next to the stairs and is identifiable with a carefully arranged vegetables display outside the noren curtain.
1 minute walk from Exit A2 Higashi Ginza Station Hibiya Line and spot the long signboard and walk towards it. Alternatively, take Tokyo Metro Ginza Line Ginza Station Exit B1 (Walk 3 min)

Slide the black door on the right ( no need password)
Go down the stairs

Nagamine八彩懐石 長峰
Ginsho Bldg. B1, 4-9-5 Ginza, Chuo-ku
Tel: (03) 3547-8083
〒104-0061 東京都中央区銀座4-9-5 銀昭ビルB1F
Lunch 11am-5pm
Dinner 5pm-10.30pm

Lunch: 2,310 yen to 10,500 yen
Dinner: 8,400 yen to 18, 900 yen

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  1. Replies
    1. haha yeah lorh...nearly wanted to give up man....cos i visited alone :P

    2. keke, at least now we know got vegetable kaiseki.. thanks to you!


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