KAMIMURA

A RARE JEWEL IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE.

Ok, this restaurant I’m going to write about is not in Tokyo. It is way out in the middle of Hokkaido. I’m going to stray a little from this blogs theme just because I am so excited and simply have to share this with you. If you’ve been to Tokyo or lived in Japan for a while, you will realize that food in this country can only be divided into three categories : good, very good and excellent. It is not that often that a restaurant will surprise you with its excellence, because there is an abundance of excellence here. That is probably why Tokyo has more Michelin stars than any other city in the world including France.

Once in a while though, you not only get a nice surprise, you actually get pleasantly shocked.  It happened to me last weekend. If you read my other blog you’ll know that I just came back from a ski trip to a little village called Niseko in Hokkaido. Having never been to Niseko, I turned to my trusted friend Mr. Google for information on restaurants to visit. Somehow the first page I opened had three restaurants on their list and the first one was Kamimura. I just decided to go with it without doing too much research and made a reservation.

I really did not expect to find this intimate fine dining restaurant in the first floor of an apartment building in Niseko. Seeing its red hued walls warmly glowing amidst the abundance of white snow and the wine glasses expertly placed on white tablecloths, I immediately felt under dressed, until I reminded myself that I was in a ski resort. Of course everybody was casual.

We had a choice of a 7, 9 and 11 course menu. When I saw some truffles listed in the 11 course menu, I chose it without a moment’s hesitation. And boy was I glad I did so.

Have you ever taken a bite of something so good, you can still remember the taste until years later. It happened to me here, on the first bite. And we had not even gotten to the course menu yet.

Compliments of the chef

This small bite of  pure deliciousness was the best canapé I have ever tasted. I wish I could cook so I could explain to you exactly what was in it, but it was a crispy piece of toast with some cheese and according to the waiter topped with some herringbone roe (not caviar). It was so delicious I could have eaten another ten. Now it was time to start our course. I will let the pictures do all the writing.

The first course was some deep-fried Hokkaido mozzarella …

Hokkaido mozzarella

Then came  a very simple dish of bread with truffled butter. The truffle was shaved on top of the butter and I ended up putting a mountain of butter on my bread it could no longer be called bread with truffled butter, but more like truffled butter with bread.

The truffled butter with bread

The third course was a small cup of duck and veal consommé with a teeny tiny foie gras ravioli inside that tasted so heavenly I dreaded its size.

Next is the fourth course :

‘Botan’ king prawn and tiger prawn with tomato sorbet and celeriac

The fifth course was another absolutely delectable one :

Niseko potato puree with lily bulb and black olive

The sixth course :

Seared Hokkaido scallop with “Kaibashira” cream and black truffle

The seventh course :

Grilled market fish with puttanesca sauce

The eight course :

Takikawa duck roast with buckwheat risotto

The ninth course :

Roasted Hokkaido wagyu veal with shitake and hokkaido wasabi

Now the tenth course is a sorbet to clean your palate before dessert. However, it was actually a highlight in its self. The apple jelly topping tasted so delicious, it is fair to say that it is the best sorbet I have ever tried.

Apple sorbet with sweet wine jelly from Yoichi

And the dessert :

Bitter chocolate and kumquat with French meringue

Oh and how delicious the dessert was. I loved how the meringue melted in your mouth.

And last but not least some coconuts kuzu to accompany your tea or coffee.

The coconut kuzu

There you go, one of my most delicious meals ever. When chef Kamimura who had accumulated his skills at the famed Sydney establishment Tetsuya came to our table, we gave him a round of applause. An applause very well deserved. Forget michelin stars, this restaurant is a rare jewel and I’d award it with diamonds.

Price : $$$

Kamimura Restaurant
1st Floor Yamashizen West, 185-8 Aza-Yamada
Kutchan-cho, Hokkaido, 044-0081, Japan
Phone : +8113-621-2288
http://www.kamimura-niseko.com

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