Suigetsu Hotel Oghaisou, Tokyo
April 9, 2013
The old house of the great writer Ogai Mori remains enclosed in the garden of the Suigetsu Hotel next to Ueno Park. The house now houses a traditional Japanese restaurant. This hotel is among a few remaining Japanese-style inns (ryokan) surviving in Tokyo and pampers you with a hot spring communal bath. Toshio invited Linda and me there for dinner on March 21, 2013, the first day of spring.
We walked in Ueno Park at the end of afternoon. The cherry blossoms were in full bloom. There were crowds of strollers and a few late picnickers, but nothing like the hordes expected on the upcoming weekend.
The meal started to arrive with various appetizers.
In the bowl was a cube of tofu on a bed of sesame paste with a piece of salmon on top. Wrapped in the leaf was a savory mochi tidbit. The bit on the right seemed like yoghurt. The shrimp was very good.
A piece of sablefish and a slice of sticky potato with seaweed.
A sort of Japanese bourride with tofu broth instead of the aioli.
The chilled bowl had been placed over the candle burner at the start of the meal and the candle was lit just before we were to eat this course. It was quite nice.
We had a good time, but it was clear that this restaurant had declined since Toshio’s last visit. He was quite disappointed. The food was okay, but lacked imagination and freshness. The service was a bit erratic and the ambience lacking.