Ever since we gave a course meal a go at Commander’s Palace, we’ve been intrigued by what different restaurants have to offer. Luckily, we have a very well-established restaurant in our very own city that offered a course menu with some more Western-styled offerings, but, was nonetheless, a very Japanese experience.
This restaurant has a long and fabled history: It was founded in 1868, during the Meiji period, and has hosted many notable people within its halls since. It has a grand hall that is commonly used for weddings, a cafe, and a restaurant. It’s also one of the few restaurants and fine-dining areas I’ve been to that still has carpet in it, created a nice hushed atmosphere conducive for small talk. The garden in the center of the dining building is designed to look like a Meiji-era garden, complete with small brook and greenery aplenty.
The salad course consisted of three pieces of cold meat: one was definitely fish, and the other two tasted like chicken to me, but could very well have been more fish. They were covered with these vinegar-soaked veggie strips, capers, and a bit of garnish. It was nice and refreshing, but overall, probably the least interesting of all the courses. Still tasty, nonetheless!
The soup course was a delightful pumpkin soup with foamed milk on top. It had this amazing savory flavor that really mellowed out the sweetness that you can sometimes get too much of with pumpkin dishes. The foamed milk added a nice contrast of flavor and really made this dish a treat!
The main dish had us selecting between fish or beef. We both went with beef and I think we’re both glad we did. It was prime cuts of Australian beef, grilled, and covered with a roquefort sauce, served with whipped potatoes, slices of sweet potato and beet, and a small arugula salad with a vinaigrette. The potatoes were nice, but the real stand-out was the beef. It was so savory and finely cooked, really bringing out an amazing meaty flavor. This, paired with the strong roquefort sauce, made for a really good combination. I’m usually not a big fan of really strong bleu cheeses, but the sauce was just tempered enough that I enjoyed the taste.
Desert was a really nice orange cake with chocolate and vanilla cream on top, cherries, and caramel ice cream on the side. The crunchy caramel on top added some nice texture contrast, while the orange-soaked cake really had a refreshing flavor to it. The caramel ice cream was smooth and silky with a stronger caramel taste than I was expecting. A really great way to end a meal! We were given the choice of tea or coffee to go with desert. The Mrs. and I went with tea, which was a nice oolong.
Price point? It was 10,200 yen (about 91 dollars) for the two of us plus drinks. For a nice evening of some fine dining, you can’t go wrong with that price! I’d highly recommend making a reservation and stopping by, mainly because they are a reservation-only restaurant!