Archive for the ‘Hakone’ Category

Shabu Shabu Heaven in Hakone

January 17, 2008

While I was in Tokyo, we went down to Hakone. Hakone is sort of like Hamptons for New Yorkers. About 90 minutes from Tokyo, easy getaway, and instead of ocean, there are tons of onsens (hot springs).

Ryokans (traditional inns) are famous for their 13 course dinners, which you eat in your room. It’s prix fixe and we were fed till we couldn’t move, but conveniently we were in our own room so we could just collapse after we finished.

Our menu included bunch of small kaiseki style appetizers.

Top left, mini chawan-mushi (sort of egg pudding, with shrimp and chicken inside), top right is sweet pine nuts. Front items are not that memorable, but the one on the left was something I have never eaten in my life.

It was chestnut cooked in VERY strong coffee. You think it tastes like dessert, right? But being an appetizer, it was bitter from the coffee, and subtlely sweet from the chestnut. It was such a shocking yet refreshing flavor.

Of course the main course was shabu shabu. Look how beautiful these guys are! The Japanese cow raising business is an art form. If I get reincarnated, I would want to be a cow in Japan. Drink beer everyday, getting a belly massage every day, what more do we want, right? It totally melted in my mouth like butter. I don’t want to eat it everyday, but it’s the best!