Dinner at Hijikata (土方)
- Photo Views
- Meal Views
If you like L’Ambroise in Paris, Hijikata is the place for you to eat Washoku. Steeped deep in tradition, this place creates a wonderful experience. It starts with the ingredients he sources, the gentleness with which he prepares them, the faultless instinct with which he combines them and the flawless execution of the cooking. It creates a dreamlike, subtle while fragrant dish which is pure pleasure in your mouth. Hijikata-san is a hands-on chef who cooks the entire meal with the help of only two assistants while his wife runs the front of the house. They have an eclectic sake collection which they prominently display in a special temperature controlled sake room.
The sashimi course consisted of Tai (sea bream) and Ika (squid). The Tai had the perfect consistency, not too chewy with a wonderful taste while the Ika released loads of sweetness in the mouth. You cannot get a better product in a high end sushi place. The soup course was 蝦 Ebi (shrimp) served on a cube of starchy root vegetable, very delicious, but the fragrance of the dashi was just stunning.
However the piece de resistance was the ご飯 (rice dish). Hijikata-san offered two completely different options. One donabe with oysters and the other with Kuri (chestnuts). The oysters were huge which sometimes leads to a slimy texture in the mouth, but not these ones. Light, easy to bite into releasing ocean flavors in the mouth. They also added acidity to the rice which perfectly balanced the oyster. The chestnuts were kept for two months in the refrigerator in order to increase their natural sweetness. Fantastic and so flavorful.
Hijikata san is one of the impossible to book restaurants in Japan. Search far and wide to find somebody who can book and beg them to bring you. Trust me it is worth it.