Located on a quiet street in Azabu-Juban, Kadowaki is considered one of the best Kaiseki restaurants in Tokyo. Opened by chef-owner Toshiya Kadowaki in 2000, the restaurant caused a media stir in 2008 when the Michelin group firstly came to Japan. He doubt that only Japanese people know about Japanese food, how come a group of foreigners judge the food is good or bad? Well, in Michelin guide 2009 Kadowaki was listed and horored two stars, and retained throught 2015.
The restaurant feautres only a 6-seater counter which is narrower than other Japanese restaurants i have been to, but the atmosphere is very warm and homey. There is also a small private room. Thress of us were quite lucky to get a reservation :) Chef Toshiya Kadowaki-san greeted us with a similing face and we were quite surprised that his English is quite good. Cannot wait for the food!
The aromatic sesame tofu was chewy but won't stick on your teeth, well-done. The red radish sauce was really delicious and matches well with the tofu, and the barley puffs added a crispy texture to the dish. Refreshing and delicious.
This was my first time having Korean gingsen in Japan and i never expected it in Japanese food. And this was also my first time having Karasumi apart from Karasumi soba, interesting combination. The scallop was wonderfully deep-fried, the sweet juices and the umami Karasumi were really good.
Sashimi part was also interesting, Hirame wrapped Japanese cabbage and shisho leaf, served with monfish lover sauce and seaweed. The liver sauce was rich and paired well with the clean flavor of the fish, and seaweed gives more flavors and textures.
Hamo has a crispy skin and moist inside, the radish sauce was creamy and sweet, with a pinch of yuzu for a touch of refreshness. By far, we find that Kadowaki-san's dishes are very creative, he keeps the traditional way of cooking but adds a lot modern twists to his food. Also, his sauce in each dish was very unique and delicious.
Well, the most famous dish at Kadowaki must be the crab chawanmushi. Before the chef telling me what's that, i was thinking of a bowl of black sesame and white sesame paste haha. Chawanmushi itself was creamy and super umami, with a sweet aftertaste of the crab. Topped with squid ink and prawn's head sorbet - this dish was simply a incredible combination of hot and cold. The best chawanmushi i have had by far, die-for!
Then Kadowaki-san started to prepare our next course, a hot pot dish. The soup was made of daikon, leek and matsutake, he cooked the Ise Ebi (lobster) for us first, topped with some shisho pepper. The soup was warm and hearty, the prawn was bouncy and delicious. After having the first bowl, he put in more matsutake and Japanese watercress to make a vegetable soup for us. Although it was just a vegetable soup, the oceanic flavors of the prawn and aromatic matsutake was unforgettable.
Another impressive part of the meal was black truffle over steamed rice. Kadowaki-san generously shaved a huge black truffle on top of the rice, which was cooked with a bit soy sauce. The aromatic black truffle seriously made me mouthwatering, couldn't wait another seconed to have it!
Each grain was perfect cooked and seasoned with soy sauce, the mildly savory flavor balanced very well with the black truffle. Slide with light pickles to give a refreshing hint, the rice was also very good with seaweek. My friends started eating earlier than me because i was shooting, i probably took around 45s to set up my camrea and shoot, by the time i finished the first bowl and want to refill my bowl, both of them have finished the third bowl and there was no more left for me. I am so sad :( Want to come back for this.
The last part of the meal was also quite memorable. Super sweet and juicy melon with ricotta cheese, both sourced from Hokkaido. The best part of this dish was the black truffle honey - made in house by chef Kadowaki-san and they honey was already one year old. Imagine the moderate sweetness with unbelieveable aroma of black truffle, incredible.
Every single dish at Kadowaki was very enjoyable. My favorite dishes were Crab chawanmushi and black truffle rice, the rest part was also beautiful. While to be honest, the dishes were quite bold in flavors compare to traditional Kaiseki as chef uses a lot of modern and luxurious ingredients in his food.
Chef Kadowaki is really friendly and communicates with the diners a lot, no matter which part of the plant are they from. Accompanied with the homey and warm atmosphere, the entire experience was pretty good. I'm not sure whether Kaidowaki matches everyone's taste, to me it is a nice modern Kaiseki experience.