Suzue, 2 Michelin stars and currently number one in Kyoto on tabelog.com is a traditional kaiseki restaurant serving very minimally prepared dishes from the best seasonal ingredients. Even if I loved my past meals at Matsukawa and Ishikawa in Tokyo, I’ve always found kaiseki flavours a little too bland and even boring for my “gaijin” taste.
Suzue chef is bringing the austerity to even another level (and for a very hefty price..). Most of the dishes presented during the omakase were very little cooked or seasoned. I usually love simple, ingredient-focused cooking and don’t get me wrong, the ingredients used at Suzue were top level. I did however find some dishes badly executed and way overpriced for what they were. For example, eel, which is usually thoroughly cooked, was just slightly grilled on the binchotan grill. Chu-toro, o-toro and akagai sushi, served for the main course, was clumsily executed and couldn’t compare to even average sushi in Japan. The rice wasn’t seasoned enough and the tuna slices were giant. I really didn’t understand why would a kaiseki chef choose to make sushi anyway?