Gôra Kadan, Day 2

January 27, 2015

My blogpost on Day One at Gôra Kadan, reported on the setting and our room. It went on to describe the lavish kaiseki meal served to us there. We had a good night’s sleep and started Day Two, October 30, 2014, with a copious Japanese breakfast, served to us by Keiko on the table in our living room.

Linda, dressed in her yukata, surveys the table.
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There was orange juice and tea.

Strips of nori (dried seaweed) were being slowly toasted over a candle burner. They can be shredded and added to tofu, rice etc.
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Keiko prepared tofu for us.
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For me, grilled fish is the highlight of any Japanese breakfast.
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On the right is an umeboshi, a popular dried, pickled Japanese apricot (ume) made from the June crop. They are very salty and sour due to their natural citric acid.
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There was a lot of variety in the side dishes.
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Plums
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After this hearty breakfast, we changed into our street clothes and walked to the Gora train station where we took a funicular up the hill and then a suspended gondola to Owakudani (大涌谷), in the crater created during the last eruption of Mount Hakone some 3000 years ago. The area is an active volcanic zone where working sulfur mines and steaming hot springs can be seen.  Eggs boiled in the springs turn black and are a popular attraction. This was our view of Mount Fuji from Owakudani.
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In the afternoon we walked to the Hakone Open Air Museum, which displays a wide variety of modern sculpture in a garden setting with a mountain backdrop. There is also an extensive, high quality Picasso exhibit. in its own building
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Then we relaxed, taking advantage of our private onsen hot bath and dressed for our evening meal in our room.
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Keiko brought the bottle of Kiwame Daiginjo sake which we had ordered. Like the evening before, there was a printed English menu from which the course titles below are taken. 

Appetizer
Fig dressed with sesame sauce
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The plum wine served as apéritif. The large, peeled fig was beautifully enhanced by the sesame sauce.
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Second dish
Sticky rice topped with dried mullet roe, and boiled mushroom with soy-sauce
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Called karasumi in Japanese, the block of roe resembles what we call bottarga. It goes very well with the sticky rice, which tames its dry saltiness.
Boiling is not what I think of as the best way to cook mushrooms, but these were nice, made interesting by the soy sauce.
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Soup
Pike conger, matsutake mushroom, mille and gluten cake, gingko nuts, and mitsuba parsley, cooked in a dobin (earthenware teapot) with sudachi citrus
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The basic dashi broth was well enhanced by the various ingredients.

 

Sashimi
Thinly sliced taro (fatty tuna) serving with wasabi and tosa soy-sauce
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The fresh wasabi in the yellow balls had been mixed with a starchy binder, but was still strong. The soy sauce underneath had shaved bonito and kelp added to it. In the back right are alfalfa sprouts.

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Grilled dish
Grilled tilefish with white miso sauce, lily bulb dumpling, and burdock wrapped in sliced wagyu beef

Middle dish
Seed sweetfish cooked with green peppercorn soy-sauce, new taro potato, baked chestnut, and vinegared Japanese ginger
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These two courses were combined and served on a single platter for both of us. The bottom photo is of one of my servings.

 

Steamed dish
Yuba (tofu
skin), eggplant, pumpkin, okura gumbos, garnished with yuzu citron flake.
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This was okay for what it is, but it is not the most interesting.

Small dish
Deep-fried lotus root and duck sandwich, arrowhead, and fushimi sweet green pepper serving with sudachi citrus and seaweed salt
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The tempura lotus root and duck sandwich was great. The fried pepper had just the right pungent flavor to spark up the dish.

 

Rice dish
Chestnut rice
Dark miso soup with shirona green and grilled green onion
Assorted pickles
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The seasonal chestnut rice was earthy and good. The black pickle on the left is eggplant.
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Dessert
Almond jelly with fresh melon
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Simple and good.
Green tea.
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After clearing the table, Keiko left these cookies for us to nibble on before retiring or on arising.
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The following morning we had the “western” breakfast. It was not as copious as the Japanese breakfast, but was still quite large.
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We certainly enjoyed our stay at Gôra Kadan, which combines the best qualities of a ryokan and Relais & Châteaux.

 

http://www.gorakadan.com/index_english.html

To see our blogpost on Day One at Gôra Kadan click here. 

 

One Response to “Gôra Kadan, Day 2”

  1. Ronald Shelp Says:

    First time I ever remember the epicures writing about breakfast. A little more sumptuous than I remember, but it would certainly hold me until lunch. It reminds me of my life in Tokyo as a student after my sophomore year in college. I had a friend who was a low level official in the Japanese Diet. He invited me to spend a long weekend at the Diet guest house outside Tokyo. On our last morning I came down to breakfast and found a real table with chairs waiting and was served a real live American breakfast. Not only was it a reminder of Japanese hospitality which I often encountered in Japan, but after having food I was not used to, a breakfast of eggs, bacon, toast, etc. hit the spot.

    My culinary tastes have improved since I have gotten older and especially since I became good friends with the wandering epicures


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