#2. Home-crafted Artisanal Fare at Ryozanpaku
Dining at Ryozanpaku is like being invited into an impossibly gracious and tasteful wealthy friend’s private residence. You enter through the carved wooden gate, walk across the stone pavement, through the beautiful garden, slide back the door and pass into a realm of flower-arrangements, beautifully chosen art, and of course, the wonderful food!
In the case of Ryozanpaku, your host is the beaming, genial master chef Kenichi Hashimoto. His Michelin 2-starred restaurant is named after the legendary Chinese mountain hideout from which a band of righteous outlaws waged war against an evil regime. The only battle going on here, however, is for the captivation of your taste buds.
Everything, right down to the soy sauce, is hand-crafted on the premises, where Hashimoto was born and raised. His home-turned- restaurant even boasts its own source of pure water, Izumidono (‘His Highness, the Well), for which the chef modestly credits his culinary success story. The 15-dish hassun is a visual as well as edible delight, but it is his signature misozuke, a magical mix of guji tilefish, scallops, sawara mackerel, fine sake and white miso that keeps the Ryozanpaku regulars coming back for more.
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A version of this article originally appeared in the award-winning luxury travel and lifestyle magazine DestinAsian, the prime publication for those who love to travel, and travel in style in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond. Sincerest thanks for their permission to reprint it here. Photos © John F. Ashburne.