- October 19 2015
Experiencing Tofu Kaiseki restaurant “Goemon” at Yanesen “Sendagi”
** caution: This restaurant is already closed down, sorry! **
Have you heard anything about “Tofu Kaiseki” recently? Actually it’s getting secretly popular among foreigners these days. Tofu Kaiseki means full-course dinner of Tofu dishes. Most of the dishes are made of Tofu, so the foods are very healthy and you’ll get to enjoy superb flavor of Japanese cuisine. It’s one of a kind thing to try in Japan and people loved it.
Tofu Kaiseki became popular because of the restaurant call “Tofuya Ukai” but now it’s quite difficult to make a reservation there because of it’s too much popularity. At least you have to wait more than a month…. But no need to be sad, because there are other good Tofu Kaiseki restaurants I can recommend in Tokyo!
Today, I’d like to show lovely Tofu Kaiseki restaurant Goemon (五右ヱ門) in nostalgic old town Sendagi.
“Goemon(五右ヱ門)” a Tofu Kaiseki restaurant in Sendagi
Sendagi is the cool old town in Tokyo and this area is called “Yanesen”, including Yanaka and Nezu.
About 10 minutes walk from Sendagi station, there is an ordinary shopping street and the restaurant is in there. A really old style Japanese gate appears suddenly between shops and it says “Goemon”.
Once you stepped forward in to the gate, you’ll be surprised with the ambiance. “Am I in Kyoto?” the first impression I got. I felt the whole area suddenly got calm. The entrance was really small but once you stepped in, unexpectedly, your view will get expanded and notice it’s quite spacious.
Follow the little path then you’ll see the building, Tofu Kaiseki Ryotei (a first class Japanese style restaurant).
There is a little pond and I felt an elegance of the Japanese garden.
Here is the place we are going to have Tofu Kaiseki, Azumaya. Azumaya is like a gazebo in the garden where you can sit inside to enjoy the garden.
You can enjoy a beautiful garden from Azumaya.
If you like to make sure to get this Azumaya seats then better to make a reservation. But if you are able to make it at early evening, then there is a high chance to get those Azumaya seats, I presume.
Experience various Tofu dishes on Luxury Tofu Kaiseki!
Here comes the first dish.
The Gomadofu in front is a sesame tofu which they added a sesame paste on the making process and that will make a sweet and gooey texture. Often we put some wasabi on top and eat it.
The one at behind is a slightly hard tofu like a cottage cheese with some avocado and tomato, served with Ponzu (citrus soy sauce dressing).
The next is Tofudengaku. It’s grilled tofu with three different kind of sweet miso paste on top.
And the next was assorted appetizer.
The combination of duck meat, shrimp, boiled bamboo shoot with seasoning Dashi, boiled and seasoning small fish etc… all you can see were typical Japanese cuisine! They made it perfect and delicately.
The presentation was wonderful too!
The next what I had was a bit like western style dish, something like a gratin. There were some fish and a lot of vegetables, steamed with butter and egg. It matched very well with the heavy sauce, was delicious.
Now we had sweet Ume tempura and non alcohol plum wine (Umesyu) to cleanse our palates. It was refreshing.
Now it’s time for Tempura! You don’t use dipping sauce here, but instead have them with salt. I was actually quite full at this moment… but the food looks really good and tempting, so I’ve tried my best to eat them all. lol
The last dish for the course is a bowl of rice and miso soup. The rice was actually seasoning rice (unusual) so it was easy to eat.
We had some melon for the desert.
The one I’ve shown you was a full course dinner for ¥7500!
It was wonderful and I loved it. But I guess I’d like to choose less dish course menu for the next time as I was stuffed too much.
I strongly would like to recommend a lunch course here. The choice is from ¥2700 or ¥3500 lunch menu and the great thing is that the quality of the lunch menus are not much different from what you get from the dinner menus. The menu changes every season.
I actually would like to recommend this place for who might not have enough time to see Kyoto but would like to experience something similar. Here is the place you can feel like visiting Kyoto without taking Shinkansen (bullet train) at all. This is the perfect place to experience a high end Japanese cuisine!