As you may already know, we are very interested in Japanese culture and love Japanese food. As a consequence, it was a great experience for us to get to know the only Ryokan in Europe. A Ryokan is a traditionally decorated Japanese hotel. At the Ryokan Hasenberg, located in the heart of Switzerland, you’ll find a very diverse culinary offer. Guests can choose between the sushi bar, the à la carte restaurant and the exquisite Kaiseki restaurant called Usagiyama. We enjoyed a wonderful Kaiseki menu, which consisted of eight courses.
Here our Kaiseki gourmet menu review for the Ryokan Usagiyama in Widen.
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The quality of the organic Kaiseki food at Ryokan Hasenberg is amazing. The Kaiseki cuisine offers complex authentic dishes from the 16th century Japan, which is made of particularly high-quality ingredients. It can only be prepared by specially trained chefs. We were amazed because the food was so beautifully arranged. Regarding the taste, it was also very convincing. Some courses were rather simple, while others contained a variety of special components. Prospi’s highlight was the grilled aubergine marinated with miso and mirin. I especially enjoyed the rice-paper rolls with vegetables and avocado, which were served with a brilliant sauce. Our eight courses were all purely plant based. A lot of different vegetables were used. Since the traditional temple kitchen in Japan is vegan anyway, it is no problem for the Ryokan Usagiyama to prepare wonderful meals without animal products. Just let them know in advance if you wish a vegan or vegetarian menu. The same applies to allergen-free options. The eight courses were all very light. The goal is not that the guests feel heavy and energyless after eating. We like this philosophy very much. Since we came very hungry and the meal took a relatively long time, the total quantity was just right. We felt satisfied and good at the end. In the Kaiseki tradition, there is also the effort to make the guests work as less as possible. Therefore, the dishes are prepared in small portions, which do not have to be cut.
According to tradition, the Kaiseki menu is served by specially trained service staff wearing a kimono. The friendly lady who served us was very reserved and spoke English. Between the courses, we didn’t have to wait long. Sometimes, we got the next food even a bit too early. It is very helpful if you can eat with chopsticks. Otherwise, there would be no problem to ask for a spoon in the Ryokan Usagiyama. The sympathetic and humorous manager accompanied us through the menu. We were able to learn a lot about the culinary history of Japan.
As mentioned, the Ryokan Hasenberg is decorated in Japanese style. This is especially true for the Kaiseki area. There, the guests are asked to take off their shoes and sit down at a long and low table. However, as a European adaptation, there is a hole under the table so that you can still stretch your legs. There are also some European tables with chairs. The room is bright and golden and contains many pictures and decorative elements. The Ryokan Hasenberg is surrounded by nature. We had a great view from our place and felt extremely comfortable.
The Kaiseki menu at the Ryokan Hasenberg is rather expensive, which totally makes sense if you consider the quality preparation and the number of courses. It is a great experience for a special occasion or for people with a passion for Japanese culture.
On the menu, all eight courses were described.
As a drink, Prospi ordered a Japanese beer.
First course: Yuba, a Japanese specialty based on soy, served with edamame.
Second course: Veggie soup with vegan dashi, made of seaweed and shiitake.
Third course: Variation of appetizers.
Fourth course: Rice-paper rolls with veggies and avocado such as maki sushi made with soba noodles instead of rice.
Fifth: Grilled eggplant with red miso paste and mirin.
Sixth: Kohlrabi with white miso paste.
Seventh course: Beautiful vegetable sushi and a miso soup
Eighth course: Sweet azuki bean soup with sticky rice dumplings.
Here our Kaiseki story video.
Do you know the Usagiyama or the Ryokan Hasenberg?
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