Recently, The Toronto Star published two articles about the Japanese cuisine known as kaiseki. Kaiseki, it seems, is becoming an ever more popular dining experience in Toronto.
Traditionally, kaiseki involves a multi-course meal where each of the dishes is served in small portions. Kaiseki chefs, meanwhile, take as much care in planning artistic presentations of the food as they do in preparing tasty, diverse dishes. Only fresh, seasonal ingredients are used.
The latest Star article by food editor Jennifer Bain features Mina Makamine, the personal chef of the consul-general of Japan in Toronto. In this article Bain notes that Makamine shops at Taro’s Fish on Sheppard Avenue East and describes several of Makamine’s kaiseki specialties including bamboo shoots prepared with miso, mirin, sake sauceand sancho.
The earlier article from April 9 penned by restaurant critic Amy Pataki is a review of Hashimoto East in Don Mills where award-winning chef Masaki Hashimoto offers a nine course meal. The price tag: $300 per person, the most expensive restaurant meal in the GTA.
Those unable to afford Hashimoto East may want to check out Kaiseki Sekura at 556 Church Street downtown. There a seven course meals costs about $120 per person.
While it takes little time to master the art of making great home-made sushi, would-be kaiseki cooks need to understand that such is not the case in learning how to creat a great home-made version of this culinary experience.
Although there are several Toronto cooking schools offering Japanese cooking classes, none seem to offer specific kaiseki lessons. Similarly, if you google “kaiseki recipes” there is a dearth of material available on line. The Cookbook Store at 850 Yonge Street, however, carries a kaiseki manual, Kaiseki, written by Yoshihiro Murata.
As noted above, sushi, which is sometimes served at a kaiseki meal, is relatively easy to prepare. To receive an email alert regarding an upcoming article on how to prepare this popular Japanese treat, click on the Subscribe button above. No cost, no spam.