One of the things Japan is known for is their food: from the time and effort spent preparing a dish, to the quality ingredients used. Finding a “good” restaurant in Japan isn’t difficult. You could walk into any little place and know that whether you’re spending ¥1000 or ¥5000, you’ll have a great meal. Despite the ease of dining out, I wanted to try my hand at the Kaiseki Cooking Class Tokyo at Cooking Sun studio. Kaiseki is a traditional Japanese meal involving many small courses. Since I was only in Tokyo for five days, Flight Centre Hong Kong arranged the cooking class in Shibuya before I landed (nothing beats a little less stress while traveling!).
Arriving at the Kaiseki Cooking Class Tokyo
Located in a cute neighborhood in Shibuya, Cooking Sun is about a 30-minute walk from the main Shibuya station and resides in a homey, bright apartment (though no one lives there). Our cooking instructor, Hiromi, took the time to explain how to make each dish and touched on the meaning behind the idea of Kaiseki.. there’s a big emphasis in Japanese culture to make the dishes look “beautiful”!
Course 1 – 4:
Sesame Tofu (ゴマ豆腐)
Steamed Veggie with Miso sauce (野菜の酢味噌和え)
Rolled Egg (だし巻玉子)
Dashi based Clear Soup (お吸い物)
We began by making the Dashi broth, as it would be used in a few of the dishes. Dashi is incredibly simple to make. The only two ingredients (aside from water) are kombu (dried kelp) and bonito flakes (dried bonito fish), both of which give this broth that umami flavor. You can expect an arm workout while making the sesame tofu, since a fair bit of fast mixing was involved. While I initially thought this dish was meant to be a sweet dessert, we were told it would in fact be savory. After we let the tofu set in the cup, we poured soy sauce on it and added a dash of wasabi. I liked the texture of the tofu, but wasn’t a huge fan of the flavor. We then made miso sauce for our steamed vegetables (carrot and green beans), and lastly learned how to make the perfect egg roll. Hiromi modeled how to make the egg roll and then we all had the chance to practice on our own. Admittedly, I was pretty pleased with the way mine turned out!
Course 5 – 9:
Wagyu Beef steak (和牛ステーキ)
Simmered Pumpkin with Wagyu Beef (かぼちゃの煮物)
Accordion Cucumber Salad (きゅうりの酢の物)
Ice cream with Kuromitsu and Kinako (黒蜜きな粉アイスクリーム)
We lightly seasoned our wagyu beef steak before cooking it medium rare and adding sauteed mushrooms to the dish. The beef was tasty, though I cooked it a little too long (oops!). Hiromi told us that in Japanese culture, cutting food into three pieces is common because that way it cannot be “broken up”. We cut our pumpkin into three, punched cute cherry blossom shapes, and added slices of lean beef to our simmered pumpkin with wagyu beef (one of my favorite dishes I made). Though cutting the cucumber for the accordion cucumber salad required more effort than I usually put into making food, I was pretty darn pleased with how it turned out. Since the sashimi was raw (obviously), no cooking was required (also, obviously). We simply assembled our dish of scallop and salmon sashimi to “look beautiful”, as Hiromi would say. After we sat down to enjoy all the courses of our Kaiseki meal (all dishes are traditionally presented at once on a tray/mat), we were able to indulge in dessert without having to make it. Kuromitsu (a dark sugar syrup, akin to molasses) and kinako (soybean flour) were put on top of the vanilla ice cream. Needless to say, we ended our cooking class on a sweet note.
Verdict on the Wagyu Kaiseki Cooking Class Tokyo
If you love Japanese food and are looking for a unique experience in Tokyo, I would highly recommend signing up for the Kaiseki Cooking Class at Cooking Sun. I spent a lot of time going to restaurants and little shops for food while in Tokyo, so I found it really interesting to be on the other side of things in this cooking class. I was able to get a feel for the time and effort that went into preparing a Kaiseki meal. Overall, the Kaiseki Cooking Class Tokyo was a great experience.
Where to book the Kaiseki Cooking Class Tokyo
This class was booked through and provided by Flight Centre Hong Kong. Prior to my trip, I had no idea that Flight Centre offered more than just flights. Flight Centre is incredibly helpful in arranging just about everything for your holiday. From flights and hotels, to holiday packages and activities, Flight Centre covers a range of countries and has an extensive list of travel options available. They have locations in Central, Happy Valley, and Wan Chai in Hong Kong, and their telephone service center is open 24/7 at +852 2830 2899.
Visit flightcentre.com.hk for more information!
More information about the cooking class
Classes run from 9:30 am – 12:30 pm.
The cost of the class is ¥8,500 for one individual person, but you can get a reduced rate if you book in a larger group (¥8,000 per person in groups of 2-3, ¥7,500 per person in groups of 4-8).
Cooking Sun Tokyo
(Maya Shinanomachi 2, Room 314)