Cuisines
Fugu
Fugu
is the famous poisonous fish that only licensed experts can prepare safely, and our restaurants will most certainly prepare it perfectly for you. Being sure to avoid the poison stored in its internal organs, chefs slice the fish up for raw consumption and also cook it up in a variety of ways. But more than just a delicious challenge, fugu is rich in collagen and protein, and also low in fat and calories!
Kushiage
Kushiage
is, simply put, deep fried food served on sticks, but it has been elevated to an art form by chefs in Japan. Various meats, seafood, and vegetables are skewered onto thin bamboo sticks, dipped into melted butter, coated with breadcrumbs, then deep-fried to a golden crisp. Immediately before eating, you should dip the stick into the provided Japanese-style BBQ sauce.
Mizutaki
Mizutaki
is a hot pot dish originating in western Japan, but now popular all over the country. The clear broth gets its flavor from dried seaweed, or “konbu,” and it is in this broth that you cook your chicken (or sometimes other meats) and vegetables table-side. The soup gives a delicious, subtle, but still complex flavor profile. Once cooked, you take the items out of the pot, traditionally dipping them in a ponzu soy sauce before eating. The meal is generally ended with rice or noodles being added to the remaining soup, making for a satisfying finish to a hearty dinner.
Motsu Nabe
Motsu Nabe
is a hot pot dish made with beef or pork innards. Traditionally, the soup is soy sauce based with some garlic and mild chili pepper, cabbage, and perhaps some other vegetable added in to ensure a good mix of flavors, but sometimes miso is used instead of a soy sauce base. Slow cooking ensures that the texture is not too tough and the flavors are as delicious as can be. After eating up all the delicious meat and vegetables, “champon” noodles are often put into the pot to complete the meal.
Oden
Oden
is a dish generally served in winter. Though the ingredients can vary by restaurant, the dish is generally served as roughly one-bite to two-bite sized pieces of vegetables (especially Japanese radish, a.k.a. daikon), tofu, meat, fish cakes, even whole eggs, all having been simmered in clear Japanese soup broth, or “dashi,” until the flavors have melded properly. For those liking a little spice, you can add hot yellow mustard for that extra kick.
Okonomiyaki
Okonomiyaki
is a popular pan fried food that consists of batter and cabbage. Selected toppings and ingredients are added which can vary greatly (anything from meat and seafood to wasabi and cheese). This variability is reflected in the dish’s name; "okonomi" literally means "to one’s liking". The dish is available all over Japan, but is most popular in the west, particularly the cities of Osaka and Hiroshima.
Oyakodon
Oyakodon
avoids asking the question, “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” and just gives you both! Boneless chicken pieces are gently simmered in a broth that includes soy sauce, sake, and Japanese sweet rice wine. Once the chicken is cooked, lightly beaten egg is added to the mix for a final minute of so, just so the egg is barely cooked. This chicken and egg mix is then served in a bowl on top of white rice. “Oyakodon” means “parent and child rice bowl,” which is quite a clever name for the dish!
Sashimi
Sashimi
starts with a specially trained chef selecting the best cuts of generally raw fish or other seafood, slicing it into bite-sized pieces, then arranging it artfully on a platter. Common fish varieties include maguro (tuna) and hamachi (yellowtail), but can also include everything from giant clams to octopus (generally cooked). Shredded daikon, as well as an assortment of flavors to use in conjunction with your soy sauce, are provided. The wasabi should be dabbed on to the sashimi pieces sparingly so as to not overwhelm the fresh flavors of the sea. Sashimi is, above all, about celebrating the quality of the seafood, pure and simple.
Shabu-shabu
Shabu-shabu
is a hot pot dish which you cook yourself at the table. Thinly sliced meat and cut up vegetables are quickly cooked in a gently boiling hot pot of delicately flavored broth, dipped in a thin sauce, and immediately eaten. It is important that you cook and eat as you go, as opposed to just putting all the ingredients in at once. In fact, “shabu shabu” means “splashing about,” which is how you will cook those thin slices of meat, holding one piece at a time in your chopsticks, and splashing it about in the soup for the mere seconds it takes to cook.
Sukiyaki
Sukiyaki
is a hot pot dish with a broth that has a very different flavor profile than other soups or hot pot dishes like shabu-shabu. Sukiyaki’s broth is made of soy sauce, sake, mirin (Japanese sweet rice cooking wine), and sugar. Into this mix you will put your meat, tofu, mushrooms, glass noodles, cabbage, and more. Once cooked through, ingredients are usually given a quick dip into a raw egg bath (each person gets their own), then eaten.
Sushi
Sushi
is the Japanese cuisine famous all over the world. It is only after years of training that a true sushi chef can make perfectly formed, lightly vinegared rice balls, on top of which he places carefully sliced pieces of raw seafood. Regardless if it is a rich piece of toro (fatty tuna), a silky slice of salmon, or the luxurious flavor of hamachi (yellow tail), each piece should be enjoyed as a beautiful thing on its own. As a bonus, enjoying sushi in its birthplace means you’ll most likely get to try fish varieties not seen back home.
Tonkatsu
Tonkatsu
is the Japanese word for fried pork cutlet, with “ton” (pronounced like a musical “tone”) meaning pork, and “katsu” meaning fried. It’s boneless, fried to perfection, and then served in crowd-pleasing ways.
Unaju (Unagi)
Unaju (Unagi)
is eel fillet, charcoal grilled, brushed with a sweetened soy-based sauce, then placed on a bed of rice in a beautiful, Japanese style container. The eel should be soft on the inside, with just a bit toasting on the outside. Though it sounds like a simple dish, the flavors and textures combine to create something truly impressive.
Wagyu beef
Wagyu beef
is literally just the Japanese way to say “Japanese Beef,” but inside those words lies a world of highly flavorful, super tender, melt-in-your-mouth, meaty delight. The meat should be beautifully marbled, with the thin lines of fat forming a net-like pattern across the red meat. The meat is rated for quality, with A4 and A5 being considered the best of the best.
Yakisoba
Yakisoba
is wheat noodles (usually thin, but sometimes thick) which instead of being served in a soup, are pan fried with meat and vegetables. The noodles will be firm, and have just a bit of a crisp to their surface. Sliced pork, onions, carrots, and bean sprouts are commonly mixed in, with a slightly sweet, soy and Worcester based sauce melding everything together. It may not be one of the healthiest foods in Japan, but its popularity shows that it is one of the tastiest! Lots of varieties exist, with some skipping sauce in favor of a lightly salty seasoning mix, or using different cuts of meat or vegetable alternates. Various toppings like dried bonito flakes or even dried seaweed flakes can be added.
Yakitori
Yakitori
is grilled, skewered chicken, sometimes combined with pieces of Japanese green onion. Of course there is your standard chicken breast and thigh meat, but don’t be afraid to get adventurous! Liver, heart, cartilage, skin, and just about every other part of the chicken is also available skewered up and grilled to perfection. Yakitori comes off the grill with a light, soy-based sauce already applied, or simply salted. Every Japanese businessman will tell you that nothing goes better with yakitori than a glass of beer!