KOUBE katsuhiko


KUMAGAYA kihachi
KOYAMA
hirohisa

NAMAMURA
koumei

ISHINABE
yutaka

SAKAI
hiroyuki

KOBE
masahiko

CHIN
kenichi

KUMAGAI
kihachi




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I've heard the term kaiseki to mean a very expensive formal Japanese meal. What exactly is it?
There are two kinds of kaiseki, written with two different sets of Chinese characters, and both are expensive, extended three- to twenty-course meals.
The lesser observed kaiseki is the very formal food that accompanies a long tea ceremony. It has rules of preparation and presentation that make it inaccessible to most of the public, and most chefs as well.
The other kaiseki has come to mean in Japan a far less formal--though still fairly formal by Western standards--meal that is based on the traditional "one soup, three vegetables (or fish)" model with many other courses added. This kaiseki features food widely available and highly accessible to both the chef and the gourmand.
In Japan this kaiseki has become considerably less expensive in these economically depressed days. Recently I've seen "mini kaiseki" advertised at around $30 US, although it is still easy to find $150-300 versions in cities like Kyoto.
In the US and other countries the concept of cheap kaiseki has not taken root and what is available, in large cities, is still very expensive. Despite the high price, I would venture to say it's worth the experience.

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