Dinner at SOWER

Dinner at SOWER

at SOWER on 11 September 2022
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Coleman Griffin, a young American Chef with stints at The Restaurant at Meadowood and benu in California, had his first job in Japan at Inua, the spin-off of Noma in Tokyo. After Inua closed he had a few short term projects before starting to work on the Sower/Hotel du Lac project. There he created with his partners in a former retreat for NTT employees a wonderful oasis on the shores of Biwako, the largest lake in Japan. There are rooms in the main building but also some individual cottages a short walk from it.
The restaurant is mainly a counter seating set up with 2-3 tables for up to four people. The open kitchen has a big open fire pit. The ingredients are sourced mostly local, the restaurant provides you with a detailed map showing all suppliers and partners.
The food follows roughly the Kaiseki sequence of dishes, but always adds a modern twist to it. The flavors are delicious and the execution expertly. The kitchen team seems to work silently in a well rehearsed choregraphie with Chef Coleman often putting the finishing touches to the plating.
Given that this place is open for 6 months and it is the first head chef position for Coleman, the result is extraordinary. I am sure this place is going to be a destination restaurant which will require long term planning for a reservation.
Well done! Kudos to Coleman and his team.

Modern Kaiseki
8 / 10

Shirahige Jinja

Beginning of the rice harvest


Welcome tea

Map of supplier


Shrimp and Yam Donut

Crispy Sea Bream, Wild Mountain Plants

Red Tip Squid and Spaghetti Squash

Roots, Black Garlic, Iwana Roe

Baked Eel Salad

Crab and omelette

Home made sour dough bread

Amadai Corn, Onion, Woodear

Makino Deer, Eggplant, Egoma

Inochinoichi, Biwa Trout, Edamame, Salted Lettuce

Summer Vegetable Soup

Tsuyako Fromage, Doburoku, Makuwauri

Grilled Fig, Salt Ice Cream, Karasusansho

Chilled Grapes and Minoki