Spring in Japan is eagerly awaited after the cold of winter. It’s also when cherry blossoms or sakura bloom and new spring vegetables are harvested. Different varieties of fish and seafood are also available at this time.
In Zipangu at the Shangri-La Hotel Kuala Lumpur, Japanese chef Ishii Takayuki has put together a Spring Special Kaiseki, using spring produce like field mustard, bamboo shoot, pepper leaf buds, mugwort, rainbow trout, Halfbeak and Sakura shrimps. These special food items are only available from March to May, so the Spring Special Kaiseki Promotion at Zipangu will begin on 7 March and end on 30 April.
Kaiseki is a traditional Japanese multi-course meal with a prescribed order to the dishes. Originally it was just a bowl of miso and three side dishes. But this has since evolved to include appetizer, sashimi, a simmered dish, a grilled dish, a steamed course and other dishes that the chef may want to serve.
It is now a fine cuisine art that balances taste, texture, appearance and colours of food. You could expect this at Zipangu’s Spring Special Kaiseki which comprises seven courses, at MYR250++ per person.
The Kaiseki dinner begins with an appetizer – Prawn and Spring Vegetables marinated with mustard. It continues with Bamboo Shoot and Mozzarella with Japanese “Sansho” Pepper Leaf Bud Dressing.
The Tsukuri course presents sashimi with three kinds of spring seasonal fish – Rainbow Trout, Japanese Halfbeak and Tuna. The Deepfried Dish is Yomogu Tofu Agedashi, which is deepfried home-made tofu with Yomogi mugwort. The Japanese citrus Sudachi sorbet follows. The grilled dish of Foie Gras Teriyaki and Grilled Eggplant with Miso Paste is served, then Claypot Rice with Sakura Shrimps, Bamboo Shoot and Young Ginger. Panna Cotta with Sakura Cherry Blossom is the sublime end to the Kaiseki dinner.
Zipangu is open for lunch from 12noon – 2.30pm on weekdays and 11.30am to 2.30pm on weekends. The restaurant is also open for dinner daily from 6.30pm – 10.30pm. Bookings can be placed either by calling 03 2074 3900 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.