This won’t be my best write-up of Urasawa. The meal was perfect, but I was having such a good time that my notes are horrible with sketchy, possibly inaccurate details. Obviously, I will have to let the photos tell most of the story.

The wonderful Hiro

Seasonality is the key to dining at Urasawa. To get the best of Urasawa, if you can afford it, would be to go at least 4 times a year – winter, spring, summer, fall.

Spring Flower Arrangement

BYO Champagne

As best as I can reconstruct from my notes, a slice of toro had been “stuffed” with monkfish liver, held together with a slice of turnip from Kyoto, then topped with scallion and gold leaf,  yuzu dressing

Goma tofu, Kyoto-style. Tofu made from sesame seeds, stuffed with  Uni, spring vegetables on the side. The tofu was topped with freshly grated wasabi and gold leaf. Saucing was a light dashi seasoned with shoyu and mirin. I love this dish

Inside of the Goma Tofu

Spring vegetables – Fiddlehead, Bamboo, Okra and Salmon rolled around Japanese Mountain Root, Dried fish eggs, Sweet miso

BYO White Wine

Beautiful Toro to be prepped for sashimi

Sashimi served in a hand carved ice bowl. The ice bowl is never re-used; Hiro carves a fresh one for each person. The Sashimi consisted of Toro, Kanpachi, Shima Aji (Amberjack) and Uni placed in a manila clam shell. The wasabi is freshly grated, Hiro’s soy sauce is made by him and the gorgeous flower again defined the beautiful seasonality of this dish.

Hiro and I then started talking about uni – this is definitely interactive dining. I mentioned that I loved the Hokkaido uni that Corey Lee served us at French laundry. He said he had some but didn’t want to serve it as it didn’t look “pretty”, but tasted perfectly. Of course, I said I’ll eat it.

Hokkaido Uni

Hokkaido Uni served simply

Russian Caviar

Beef Tartare from Northern Japan with Russian caviar, Red Pickle radish – superb

Red Snapper ‘Bundle” steamed with sake. The red snapper was  placed on hot stones and sake mushi was added. The steaming process cooks the dish evenly and produces an incredibly moist and succulent dish. Dipping sauce of ponzu with radish was provided.

Spring Vegetable Tempura

Hoba Yaki – On a giant Hoba Leaf were fresh shrimp, beef and ???? sitting in a puree of Kyoto miso sauce that is made by mixing egg yolk with sweet miso.  The dish was being lightly roasted in the Hoba leaf for a couple of minutes over the coals on the brazier.  Unbelievable and the sauce was perfect just by itself.

Preparation for Shabu Shabu

Real Kobe Beef – the beef is now fed with red wine – I would have made a good Kobe beef cow – massages and red wine.

Foie Gras And Kobe – Hiro sliced the Kobe and then pounded it flat with side of his knife

Broth for the Shabu Shabu, Dipping Sauce, Kobe, Foie Gras and Hotaru Ika/Firefly squid


Shabu Shabu – thank goodness we didn’t have to cook it – we had help and the foie takes the longest to cook. After you have consumed each ingredient, you are given a soup spoon to enjoy the broth.

The squid cooked

The Kobe cooked

The foie cooked

Now sushi is presented. Hiro is still using 180 grains of rice per each sushi. John didn’t get a photo of each and every piece of sushi so this is not a complete array of what we were served. I was also not on the ball and didn’t write down each piece. I will try to the best of my ability identify each piece, but I can’t vouch for my accuracy.



Red Snapper

Grilled Shitake Mushroom






Giant Clam



What a perfect restaurant, what a perfect evening, what perfect cuisine and what a master chef.


13 Responses to “Urasawa”

  1. 1 David April 12, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    Dear Lizzie, please take me with you next time.


  2. 2 Jai Kohli April 12, 2010 at 7:00 pm

    I know you tend to let Hiro-san know when you’re full, but do you let him chose the progression of sushi or do you let him know what you’d like given you won’t run the gamut? I’ve had one meal there and would love to return, but I was so full by the end of it that I couldn’t appreciate each additional piece.

  3. 3 lizziee April 12, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    We let Hiro do the progression as he knows what fish is pristine. We just call a halt when we are full and still can appreciate every bite.

  4. 4 mattatouille April 13, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    Dear Lizzie,

    Please take me to Urasawa too when you go next time.


  5. 5 Moby April 15, 2010 at 5:57 am

    Dear Lizziee, please take me to Urasawa when you go next time.

  6. 6 Eva April 17, 2010 at 10:08 pm

    I’ve seen your many reviews of Urasawa.
    I think it be time that you bring a
    bottle of Château d’Yquem for the desert
    course. (see: http://www.wine-searcher.com/find/chateau+d%27yquem)
    A good year to bring would be the
    year Urasawa came to the USA or one of your birth year.
    It would be a fine way to crown the evening.

    Have fun.

  7. 7 Joel April 18, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    Dear Lizziee,, please take me to Urasawa when you go next time.


  8. 8 S Lloyd April 18, 2010 at 7:56 pm

    That Kobe Beef, I can imagine, might have been one highlight of that dinner. Just looking at it’s marbling, I sense the depth of flavor coming from it once cooked.

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