Thursday, January 22, 2015

Kyoto Fukujuen in Tokyo: Ocha Kaiseki 

If you have tried Kaiseki once before, how about trying some Tea Kaiseki next time? Kyoto Fukujuen has opened a modern Kaiseki restaurant right at Tokyo Station Granroof. The concept is really interesting as it firstly incorporates all kinds of tea into traditional Kaiseki dishes and injects the style with a touch of French. 

Lunches are always the best choice for those on a budget and I picked the ¥2800 lunch course. It started with a pre-top grade "Ama-cha" with gyokuro leaves (bottom left of pic). As the name implies, it is a sweet tea. Three different kinds of tea leaves (Tencha, matcha, houjicha) are meant to be paired with the main course later as condiments.
Instead of having rice and soup towards the end of the meal, the two items are served together with the amuse bouche-pork rilette houjicha cream puff. The soup item is a sweet potato cold cream soup with matcha olive oil while the rice item is a Sencha smoked rice ball. 



The French baguette is served with three kinds of butter--matcha/sencha/houjicha. It was intriguing to know that tea can be churned with into butter. There was no taste but only tea fragrance to speak of.
The main course is a choice of two kinds of fish. Instead of the breadcrumb battered Saba fish with Sencha sauce, I picked the sea bass. It might looked plain but the fish itself is well seasoned and complemented with the bright white Balsamic vinegar and Gyokuro sauce. It is served with an array of seasonal Kyoto vegetables. 
Dessert was a platter of traditional and modern Wagashi. Needless to say, the matcha orange stood out from the crowd as the mini peach Wagashi filled with koshi-an was too sweet and there is nothing spectacular with a piece of butter cake.

The restaurant is also a tea house so one can enjoy authentic Ocha together with matcha sweets. Come during summer and there is this beautiful kakigori, or my best matcha kakigori this year. It does not have any red beans, but semi-cooked Tanba black beans draped in some golden flakes. The sweetness comes from the matcha red bean mochi and the matcha syrup.

The cuisine is refined, delicate and surprising. Plus, the service here is excellent and it's situated just right at Tokyo Station. But, I guess it's time to head to its main shop in Kyoto. 
French Cha Kaiseki by Kyoto Fukujuen Charyo
ふれんち茶懐石 by 京都福寿園茶寮 
Tokyo Station GranRoof
Chiyoda Ku Marunouchi 1-9-1GranRoof 3F
Access: 2 min walk from Tokyo Station Yaesu Minami-guchi (South Exit)
Lunch 11am-2pm
Tea 2pm-5pm
Dinner 5pm-9.30pm

1 comment:

  1. We just had an event at this place and it was amazing! It was lovely, the staff at meeting rooms was great, and it was the perfect size for our gathering (50 people).

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