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Edible Art

Kaiseki Culinary

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Breakfast Club
Kaiseki
John Bender: What's that?
Claire Standish: Sushi.
John Bender: Sushi?
Claire Standish: Rice, raw fish, and seaweed.
John Bender: You won't accept a guy's tongue in your mouth, and you're going to eat that?
Claire Standish: Can I eat?
John Bender: I don't know. Give it a try.


Molly Ringwald's sushi lunch was oh-so-stylish in The Breakfast Club, but that was so 1985. Now that sushi is mainstream it's time for a sophisticated lesson in kaiseki.


Kaiseki is a formal banquet of a series of exquisite courses showcasing cooking techniques and seasonal sensitivity. It's the highest edible expression of Japanese aesthetics and Ichiro Kubota, Umu's executive chef (london) is introducing the art with art gallery prices to match.

At London's most ambitious kaiseki Umu restaurant, Kubota goes to extraordinary lengths to bring a Kyoto prominence to the land of fish and chips. Which means importing specialty vegetables and Kyoto's soft water for the signature clear soup. Hailed as London's first true Kyoto restaurant Umu specializes in kaiseki cuisine which originates from Japan's ancient capital, Kyoto. One of the most expensive ways in the world to eat, kaiseki is Japanese cooking at its most refined.

He trawls from Iceland to Madagascar for fanciful fish with grated Shizuoka wasabi, not that counterfeit Green Lantern colored paste which accompanies the tsukuri; a sashimi course elaborately composed on handmade ceramics.

Aromatic matsutake mushrooms evoke the autumn spirit, while Kobe beef tenderly dissolves in the mouth in a gentle burst of flavors. Accompanying the menu meat dishes are delicacies such as sesame tofu, which gives a hint to Kyoto's Buddhist vegetarian fare.

Umu may sound traditional but it isn't. The restaurant offers the perfect mix between luxury & comfort. The reinvented Kyoto flavors are reserved, but the fashionable London setting is not. The luxurious yet relaxed space is designed to make everyone look rich and beautiful.

Today's sushi princesses takes lunch breaks for $48, but a kaiseki set course costs between $170 and $245. Steep, but cheaper than flying to Kyoto for dinner. Umu Restaurnt»»

This article has been influenced by Umu's website as well as being influenced and rewritten from different reviews found online.

See Culinary Arts Career»» for more information about Culinary possibilities.

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