As I’ve mentioned before, one of the great things about staying at an Onsen (Hot Springs) Ryokan (Inn) is that normally dinner and breakfast are included as part of the rate and normally you get pretty amazing meals – like the ones at Takinoya, Noboribetsu – Food Review, which remains one of the most amazing experienced Ms Buddha and I have experienced to date.
So I’ve spoken about how amazing the facility and view is at Seikai (潮騒の宿 晴海), so what about the food. The Seikai has 3 different restaurants on the premise and because we were staying 4 nights, it meant that we were able to experience all the restaurants plus something a little different (you’ll soon see!).
When the host at the Ryokan contacted me, I told them that I wanted to try all three restaurants and they were incredibly helpful in planning the breakfast and dinner locations for our entire stay beforehand. The first night was their Gen restaurant.
When you first entire the room, they will have already set the table to be ready for you, the room tends to be a private room where the walls slide close to give you some privacy, the menu was already available (English), so was incredibly helpful!
We were also offered the drinks menu, and as usual, I wanted a small bottle of sake to kick things off! What I do like about Japan is that whilst there is a markup on the prices, you’re not going to find ridiculous 400% markups at restaurants – the same bottle of sake was probably about 30-40% more at the restaurant.
To start the courses, we had a small cup of porridge with seaweed, to be honest, their porridge was more like the congee that we get in Hong Kong, the flavour was light though and I tend to like seaweed a fair bit. The small glass is the complimentary sake, which was fresh but a bit too sweet for my sake preference.
Next came a set of six seasonal appetizers, from the left then top first clockwise, the tofu had a great soya bean taste (I know many says “Of Course”, but good tofu has a much stronger bean taste); then was the compressed gel of a fruit that tasted a lot like kamquats (which I love!); then was an abalone – which frankly was too bitter for me; the one on the furthest right was a gel with tiny whitebait, the taste was very fishy, although I can appreciate the way it was made; the second last one was the fried prawn, which was done nicely and had a good crispness, and last looked and tasted like an intestine, but the flavour was very mild and till today, I still don’t know what it was.
After the appetizers were done, the host came back with a gigantic box that was very impressive.
Because we wanted to capture the moment, Ms Buddha asked the host to not open hers yet so that I could quickly snap a photo, once opened, it was revealed to be the Sashimi course. As with most places in Japan, when you’re paying a bit of a premium, you can expect that the seafood is incredibly fresh and tasty, and this set was no different. Highlight for me was actually the kingfish this time.
When it comes to serving food in a grand manner, I think Gen takes the cake, once the sashimi was finished, another large steamer came!
Turned out that what was housed inside was the savory custard egg with crab and mushroom, something that Ms Buddha enjoys a lot where ever she goes.
Next that came was a pot with anglerfish and liver and vegetable, although I know that the fish would be fresh, something about the fact that there wasn’t that much water in the pot (as the fish came raw) made me worry that the fish didn’t get cooked enough. But when I tasted it, it was fine, although I don’t tend to do well with boney fish.
Now, I am very guilty of this, but I love meat, and I really do like it when I get at least a small portion of meat on a daily basis, so when the beef came, I was more than happy to chomp it up! The beef in Japan has always been quite good in that they are never TOO fatty, and always has that nice beef taste. What I’ve found lately in Hong Kong is that while a lot of meat sold at supermarkets have marbling, the flesh doesn’t taste as good and the fat portion doesn’t have that buttery flavour, so it’s always nice to have very good quality meat.
What is truly something fantastic is that meals at Ryokans tends to follow a journey, and that the last savory dish is normally something very simple, but it is also this simplicity that makes you reflect on the fact that despite all these luxury, ultimately, the most comforting thing is a good bowl of rice. I’m a lover of rice, and Japanese rice continues to take a very high status in my preference, especially when the compliments are also nicely done – the compliments are normally pickled items.
To finish the evening off, the desserts was a mixture of chocolates wrapped with mochi sheets and fruit – the chocolate thankfully were not too sweet, which tends to be the cast in Japan.
Overall, the dinner was delightful and the service was excellent, there were a few items like the appetizers which could have done with a lighter hand in the flavouring so that the umami flavour can come out a bit more instead of just flavouring.
For more blogs about Seikai Experience – visit: