Tag Archives: Vegetarian Friendly

Washoku Nada – Tokyo, Japan

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Washoku Nada

(81)  36. 427.9238
Fuji Building, 2-23-8  Higashi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0011, Japan

www.washoku-nada.com

Open Hours:
18:00 – 24:00    Monday – Saturdays

Close to Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo, one finds Washoku Nada, a gem of a neighborhood restaurant.  Yoko Araki opened Washoku Nada  in 2009 after training at the Honke-Owariya soba restaurant in Kyoto, along with her brother, chef Tetsuya Araki (who also trained in Kyoto).

Washoku is the term for traditional Japanese Food and is recognized by UNESCO as an “intangible way of life” that helps define the island population.  The 4 key elements present are:

1. Ingredients: rice, vegetables, mushrooms, fish, sea dwellers and seaweed
2. Culinary approach: raw, steaming, boiling or stewing
3. Nutritional content: balanced nutrients seen in the many dishes being offered
4. Hospitality: in the full sense of the experience and how it effects your life

The Hospitality above is a much more total concept then what may come to a typical western thought on the subject.   One should include Yoko Araki’s background, as it is present in every  detail.  From the artfully displayed dishes to the carefully paired ceramics and cloths that accompany each dish.  Each dish that is made lovingly and with a wholesome deliciousness that you feel in your soul.

 

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above photo – owner Yoko Araki,  with chef Tetsuya Araki © Tokyo calendar

Les Cols – Olot, Spain

LesCols_Hisao_00 above photo © Hisao Suzuki – Les Cols

Les Cols

(34) 69 – 981 3817
Avinguda de les Cols, 2
17800 Olot, Girona, Spain

www.lescols.com

Open Hours:
13:00 – 15:30    Lunch  – Tuesday to Sunday
20:30 – 22:30    Diner  – Tuesday to Saturday

In the remote town of Olot  in la Garrotxa, a volcanic area in the north of Catalonia; chef Fina Puigdevall – with the help of RCR Architects –  put forth  Les Cols;  a stunning two star Michelin restaurant; voted most beautiful in the world by a handful of publications.

Puigdevall’s culinary proposals are rooted in the surrounding landscape.  The majority of the ingredients are grown and raised at the restaurant, maintaining an ultra local and organic practices.  It is beyond “farm to table” as the table is at this beautiful 13th century farm.

Our three hour long meal started with a glass of cava and mini hot cheese buckwheat crust sandwiches in the garden, them we where guided to our table

Dishes were paraded through the golden room to vanish soon after!

Buckwheat spaghetti in a smoked broth turned out to be a gelatinous signature dish.
Early spring brought us calçots in a charcoal tempura with beetroot romesco (Catalan nut and red pepper based sauce).  This is a Catalan delicacy – and truthfully we coud have repeated this for a few more plates!

The lovely Pumpkin 5 different ways, was educational and delicious!  It turns out the five was are: grated, cold xantana, crouton, soup, & a sliced with black olive oil !

Overall service was good, attentive, and knowledgeable … not to mention patient!  We asked all the questions and  they indulged our curiosity, even letting us explore the entire place, including the kitchen.

Keep in mind this is a really large meal, so don’t eat a big lunch!  Afterwords, we couldn’t move much and sort of rolled back to our hotel!  (Also beware the herbal liquor if you are not used to it .. it is where curiosity crosses to indigestion!)

Les-Cols_010truffles in chanterelle mushroom royal sauce
Les-Cols_012grilled lettuce with lemon- apple vinegar
Les-Cols_005artichoke with tangerine mayonnaise and artichoke chips
Les-Cols_011grilled Brussels sprouts with olive oil and potato puree
Les-Cols_008sweet onion crumble from Croscat, with cheese from Farró and fried herbs
  Les-Cols_018vanilla, thyme, rosemary and orange ice cream
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LesCols_Hisao_01above photo © Hisao Suzuki – Les Cols
LesCols_Hisao_03above photo © Hisao Suzuki – Les Cols
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Les-Cols_040Les Cols event space
Les-Cols_043Les Cols event space
Les-Cols_047Les Cols event space
Les-Cols_049Les Cols event space
Les-Cols_042Les Cols event space

 

 

Aoyama Kawakami-an – Tokyo, Japan

img_food_aoyama03_1above photo © Kawakami-an
(Large shrimp tempura bowl and bite buckwheat)

Aoyama Kawakami-an

(81)  35.411.7171
3 Chome-14-1 Minamiaoyama, Minato,
Tokyo 107-0062, Japan

www.kawakamian.com

Open Hours:
11:00 – 04:30    Monday – Saturdays
11:00 – 17:00    Sundays

We walked by this Soba restaurant on afternoon – and remarked that it looked like quite a nice spot; and though we were hungry, we continued on to our original destination.  The walnut soba stuck in our minds and, fast forwarding a few days later, we wound up being brought to the very same restaurant by a local friend!

She explained that the Kabocha Tempurasoba (pumpkin) and  Iro Soba (walnut) were a specialty of Aoyama Kawakami−an, and it was quite famous for them!

We had quite a lovely lunch – and highly recommend this Soba-Ya for all who are wandering through the Aoyama district.

Aoyama Kawakami-an 003above photo, tamagoyaki with scallions and eggplant
img_food_aoyama04_labove photo © Kawakami-an
img_food_aoyama03_labove photo © Kawakami-an
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Aoyama Kawakami-an 001