Lunch at Sazenka (茶禅華)
- Photo Views
- Meal Views
Any food in Japan which is labeled ethnically is far from what you get locally. The strong influence of Japan always overpowers everything. So it is with this newly minted three star restaurant which is labeled ‘Chinese”.
Chef Tomoya Kawata started his cooking career at 16 at a Chinese restaurant in Tokyo, but then spent long years studying Japanese cooking at Nihonryori Ryugi.
Thus all my Chinese friends would start laughing about the “Chinese” label, but they all would love his food.
His tasting menu is filled with great ingredients, expertly executed with some Chinese flavor profile for reference. Despite going for the normal, cheaper menu with some added courses, this menu was full of highlights. Like the barbecued pork served on the grill. Succulent, slightly smoky and melting on the palate. Or the Chicken Wings, served hidden in a pile of chilies, filled with shark fin, exquisite. However the simple rice with mapo tofu was the star of the evening. “Mapo tofu (Chinese: 麻婆豆腐) is a popular Chinese dish from Sichuan province.It consists of tofu set in a spicy sauce, typically a thin, oily, and bright red suspension, based on douban (fermented broad bean and chilli paste) and douchi (fermented black beans), along with minced meat, traditionally beef.” (Definition from Wikipedia).
It was so good, we had to order seconds and a portion to bring home.
Overall a fantastic meal, very enjoyable which was expertly complimented by the deep wine list.