Saturday, September 20, 2014


One of the best meals we had the entire trip was an 11-course lunch consisting entirely of tofu dishes in the middle of a bamboo forest.

Syouraian.  Or, sometimes, "Shoraian."  You can't drive to it, so getting there involves navigating the bamboo forest on foot.  Which would be a totally wonderful experience if it weren't 95 degrees out and you've got a reservation to make.

When we found this sign, we knew we'd made it.  Sweaty and huffing, we were incredibly only 5 minutes late.

Syouraian was also recommended to us by our pals who tipped us to Naoshima.  The dining room overlooks the river.  But it's the tofu you've come here for.

We splurged for the tasting menu, and I documented each course:

This is the artfully arranged "assorted specialties plate."  You can see the sea eel making an appearance here again.

This was course number two, at the right is a type of delicious tofu skin (yuba).

Oh boy, this was the tofu gratin.  Dairy bechamel sauce ain't got nothin' on tofu!

This is a piece of yudofu, which you cook yourself in broth and then garnish with onions and sauce.  (There were unlimited refills on this one, but truth be told, we were getting full.)

This was a corn fritter served with crispy tofu.

And here is a fancy version of agedashi tofu.

The prize course was wagyu beef with fresh wasabi and pickles.

And for dessert?  Tofu ice cream with caramel mochi.

After we rolled ourselves out the door, we had time to stop and check out the view nearby.

As well as to walk through the bamboo forest a bit, though just beneath this frame were hordes of tourists so it wasn't as peaceful as it seems.