I love going to Urasawa. It is the equivalent for us of going to Japan – something I desperately want to do. I won’t give a great deal of commentary re each single dish. Enough to say that the ingredient quality was superb, the execution faultless and the smiling and patient Hiro is always a true gentleman.

There were 4 of us for dinner so we did have a lot of wine. John pulled out all the stops as we were with some very knowledgeable wine drinkers. Rather than intersperse the wine throughout the post, I will post all the wines at the beginning.


First white

2nd White

First Red

2nd Red

Dessert Wine

The wonderful Hiro – notice the seasonality of the flowers behind him

Junsai with wasabi, turnip from Kyushu, Japan and shiso leaf.  “According to a pictorial book of wild grasses, junsai, or water shield,Brasenia shreberi J.F. Gmel  belongs to junsai genus of the suiren, water lily, family. It grows in clumps in water of one to three meters deep in natural ponds and irrigation reservoirs. It is a perennial water grass with a long leafstalk whose leaves reach the surface of the water. The flower is violet red. The sprout is covered with a transparent, viscous jelly. This jelly contains various kinds minerals and albumin. The taste and feeling of this jelly is characteristic of junsai.” Junsai are very precious and expensive; their short annual harvest used to be reserved for friends of the emperor. This was served in a shot glass and was a one gulp dish.

Goma tofu, Kyoto-style. The tofu is made from sesame seeds, stuffed with uni and topped with freshly grated wasabi and gold leaf, served in a light dashi seasoned with shoyu and mirin. Hiro had infused the tofu with green tea to signify late spring/early summer.

Toro  “stuffed” with monkfish liver and turnip from Kyoto, shiso, scallion and topped with caviar, yuzu dressing

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 Hokkaido Uni, Toro from Malta and Kanpachi from Koyama with Wasabi, Shiso and Soy sauce from Wakayama Japan.

Kobe Beef Tartare with Russian caviar, Red Pickle radish

Red Snapper ‘Bundle” steamed with sake. The red snapper was  placed on hot stones and sake 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. The dish itself – notice how Hiro has created an incredible package of amazing taste sensations of red snapper, shrimp, shiso, shitake mushroom, Squash, Scallion tied up in a nori strip.

Abalone – 7 to 8 years old

Abalone Tempura

Hoba Yaki – On a giant Hoba Leaf was Santa Barbara shrimp, Hokkaido scallop and Kobe beef, This sat on top of 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.

Shabu Shabu –  Foie Gras, Scallop and Kobe Beef. 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.

Shabu ingredients

Foie cooking

Now sushi is presented.


Cooked Toro


Spanish mackerel

Red Snapper





Tuna from Kyoto

Hiro making sushi


Baby White Shrimp

Shitake Mushroom


Dessert – I am not sure what the pudding was but in the past it has been red bean paste with chestnut pudding, garnished with 23 karat gold flakes and a bowl of green tea

What an extraordinary evening! Yes, it is expensive, but for me it is like taking a trip to Japan for the evening.


2 Responses to “Urasawa”

  1. 1 joel baumwoll June 12, 2010 at 5:16 am

    Liz, you write that Urasawa is expensive. I imagine a meal in any restaurant at this level of quality, preparation and ingredients will cost $300-$500 depending on the dishes. And that does not include the BYO wines.
    Am I right?

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