A Feast for the Eyes at Tofuya Ukai, Tokyo
|Gardens at Tofuya Ukai|
The greeting at Ukai reflects the aesthetic established in the garden. Around ten traditionally-dressed servers met us in the foyer and bowed deeply before one guided us through the labyrinthine corridors to our own private room which looked out over a beautiful corner of the garden. Some gentle traditional Japanese music played in the background, but we were transfixed by the view and the skill put into the composition of the garden. It really was a feast for the eyes. All of these elements should give you a clue that we're not in for culinary fireworks, but a meal deeply rooted in tradition.
|The view from the room at Tofuya Ukai|
|Squid stuffed with glutinous rice at Tofuya Ukai|
Next came one of the signature dishes of Ukai - a grilled square of tofu, coated with a sweet miso paste. This was a delicious, thin crispy bite which was served with a very eggy omelette. If you walk into the main garden after you eat, you will find one of the chefs preparing these treats over hot coals.
|Grilled tofu with sweet miso at Tofuya Ukai|
|Sashimi at Tofuya Ukai|
|Simmered pork at Tofuya Ukai|
|Pea soup, tofu with butterbur, grilled octopus at Tofuya Ukai|
|Simple simmered fresh tofu, with a bamboo stalk full of chilled sake at Tofuya Ukai|
|Grilled masu salmon at Tofuya Ukai|
|Rice and bamboo at Tofuya Ukai|
|Soy milk dessert with red beans at Tofuya Ukai|