If you ever find yourself in the quaint little town of Hakone (about 2 hours drive from Tokyo), having lunch or dinner at the famous boutique hotel Gora Kadan is a must. Upon entering the charming old building that used to be the house of a member of the Japanese Imperial family, you immediately travel back in time. Everything from the furniture, the carpets, the paintings, up to the lovely little vintage place mats under the vases seem to have been frozen in time and left exactly as it was 8o years ago.
We were taken to a lovely little private room on the second floor with soothing views of the neighbourhood hills and trees. Gora Kadan is well-known for their elaborate and expensive kaiseki dinners and it is advised to book way in advance. For lunch it is much more relaxed and a lunch set ranges from 3850 to 11000 yen. We chose the beef set lunch which was about 6600 yen. Even for lunch, our kaiseki set came which such intricate and adoring details presenting the fall season theme.
Our assortment of fresh and seasonal appetizers came on a raft-like base of little branches. Not only did it taste delicious but it was presented in such an adorable way, I almost felt sorry when I had to move them into my mouth. Next, came a variety of fresh sashimi which was exactly that, fresh.
It truly was a wonderful lunch. Everything was exquisitely presented and tasted delicious. It wasn’t only a feast for the stomach but definitely also a feast for the eyes and the soul.
Price : $$$
KAISEKI KADAN. 1300 Gora. Hakone. Tel : 81 (0) 46082331