Tokyo | Matsukawa (2016.Summer)

A meal at Matsukawa always introduces all the best ingredients in season, top quality ingredients are prepared in the best and mostly simplest ways to allow the guests to sense the season. After experiencing the winter (2015) and spring (2016) at Matsukawa, i was so lucky to come back again in summer. Up to date, Matsukawa still ranks at the top among all the Japanese restaurants on Tabelog, with Kyoaji (京味) at the second. This is still my favorite Kaiseki places on the planet so far.

Just a very short photo-driven review to record what i had before the season faded.  By the way, Kyoaji (2016.08) haven’t been updated yet.

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Entrance
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Table setting
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Welcome tea

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1. Abalone with sea urchin | 鮑と雲丹の先付け

A marvelous dish to kick of the meal – perfectly steamed abalone served cold, rubbery and package of elegant umaminess. The combination of uni and jelly was out of world. The abalone liver sauce was another part that cannot be missed.

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Served with abalone liver sauce on the side
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2. Hamo, caviar with steamed mochi rice | 鱧とキャビアの飯蒸し

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3. Karei and Ise-lobster sashimi | 鰈と伊勢海老のお造り
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Served with crab and crab miso in vinegar on the side (かにとかに味噌)
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4. New ginkgo soup with Hamo (fresh water eel) | 新銀杏のすりながし 
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5. Kegani (hairy crab) from Hokkaido, with black fungus and jelly | 毛蟹(北海道)と生きくらげとジュレ
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6. Hamo, Bachiko (dried sea cucumber ovaries), corn fritter | 鱧とバチコとうもろこしの揚げ物

Another georgous dish that combinats flavors from the sea and land. Hamo was lightly-touched, served alongside fried sea cucumber ovaries with high flavors, the pritters on the side was incredibly crispy and sweet. What a delicious dish.

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Fresh Ayu (sweet fish) to be grilled…
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7. Grilled Ayu fish (滋賀県安曇川と針畑川の鮎焼き)
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First Ayu was from Ado-gawa lake (滋賀県安曇川)
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Second one from Harihata-gawa lake (針畑川)

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8. Grilled eggplant | 賀茂茄子の焼物

Incredibly soft, juicy and sweet. Die for.

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9. Grilled turtle and deep-fried gobo | すっぼんの焼物

Always surprised by Matsukawa’s grilled dish. Succulent and flavorful top-quality turtle, served with sansho pepper powder on the side – SO GOOD!

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10. Fig, walnut sauce | 焼き無花果

Luscious deliciously grilled fig, literally hard to describe how juicy and sweet it is. The pairing of creamy walnut sauce was a bomb.

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11. Hamo shabu-shabu | 鱧しゃぶ

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11. Cold soba with bamboo leaves | 笹の葉を練り込んだ冷麦

Served in a ice block which was handmade by chef Matsukawa-san right before the dish was served, such a amazing work! Matsukawa is not a soba-specialized restaurant but the soba dish here is always at top quality. I have eyeing on this summer-limited iced soba for a long while, finally had it and it is definitely worth mouth-watering for a long while. I don’t mind to have it every time.

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12. Rice dish | お食事
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Natural unagi from Shinji-ko lake | 宍道湖の天然鰻

I am not a white rice person but i’m really obsessed with Matsukawa’s white rice, always so soft and juicy with a lovely sweet aftertaste. What makes the rice much more dreamy is the fixed four condiments on the side – the best friend of Matsukawa’s rice. Besides that, i was so excited to have my favorite seasonal produce Unagi (natural eel) at Matsukawa. It was served alongside the plain rice. First bowl of rice with the unagi, followed by another two bowls with the four delicious toppings. Diet always start on the second day 😀

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Chirimen-jyako, karasumi, fresh ikura and nori | ちりめんじゃこ、生唐墨、生いくら、海苔
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Chirimen-jyako | ちりめんじゃこ

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13. Mizu-yokan and Matcha || 羊羹と抹茶

Fixed routine at Matsukawa was Mizuyokan, a kind of Yokan that is high in water contents. Matsukawa definitely lifts this traditional sweet to another level, it was pillow-soft and melted into liquid in my mouth within a second. Wonderful ending.