Thursday, August 26, 2021

Ryota-san's Special Menu

It's a no-brainer when our friend C asked us whether we would like to get together at Ryota Kappou Modern, a restaurant that he frequented, let alone he offered to arrange everything, booking out the private room and sorting out the menu with chef-owner Ryota Kanesawa prior to our meal in early August. 

The restaurant sat within the commercial building at the end of On Lan Street, sharing the same address with other fine eateries a few floors apart. The dining area looks more spacious than I expected, with most of the seats at the counter in front of the large open kitchen with a long table inside the private room further back. The restaurant specializes in Japanese Kappo-ryori, the cooking style that emphasize seasonal ingredients and the "interactive" experience which enable diners to observe how every dishes were prepared by the master chef. 

Our menu was based on their premium seasonal menu with a few twists. The first course of "Foie Gras Monaka" was beautifully presented in a small wooden box, with chunks of seared foie gras paired with sweet persimmon on the Japanese wafer shell. Everyone heaved a miserable sigh when our second course arrived. The sight of hamo (conger pike) reminded everyone of summer time in Kyoto and the fact that we haven't been able to travel for almost 2 years already. Despite the sentiment, the pieces of hamo-katsu were excellent, wrapped in shiso leaf and batter before deep-fried and served with a dab of yuzu-kosho. The bowl of chawanmushi was modified version to the ordinary one, served cold with sweet corn and uni (sea urchins), both seasonal ingredients from Hokkaido. I love its refreshing flavor. 

Matsutake mushroom was another prized ingredient during this time of year and there's no better way to highlight its unique flavor and fragrance than serving it in a soup. Paired with it was a piece of amadai (tilefish), gently poached with a hint of umami sweetness. Next was the seasonal sashimi, served as two mini courses because of the additional items Ryota-san served us. Among them my favorite was the bowl with chopped toro (fatty tuna), uni (sea urchins) and yari-ika (spear squid). Combining everything in the spoon you got all these amazing flavors and textures in a single bite and an umami explosion. 

Another hot dish was served as our next course, with a mini-nabe with sharks’ fin, abalone and yuba topped with crispy rice. And then it’s the Yahatamiki, with eel rolled with burdock and grilled on charcoal fire and basted with sauce. We had our fair share of unagi/freshwater eel lately and this definitely was among one of the best we had in recent times. We moved on to the last savory course of rice after a brief intermission of a palate cleanser of junsai and vinegar served in shot glass. The rice was cooked in the earthenware donabe then served in individual bowls. On top was the Omi Wagyu tenderloin and black truffles, and it’s to be eaten with a cured egg yolk served on the side. The yolk was so good that we asked for extras, and essentially took all the extras the kitchen prepared for the dinner service. And to end, seasonal peaches served with sorbet, and then the classic Kyoto-style Warabi Mochi dusted with roasted soybean powder. 

We went with a few bottles that we brought in, and got a bit of everything – starting with the champagne, then moving to a bottle of sake, then a white and red. Worked seamlessly with the courses and I swear we didn’t coordinate beforehand. 

More photos at

When? August 5 2021
Where? Ryota Kappou Modern, Level 21, 18 On Lan Street, Central
Menu Highlights? Omi Wagyu Tenderloin; Egg Yolk Sauce; Donabe
Champagne Vouette & Sorbee Fidele Extra Brut (Harvest 2011, Disgorged 2015)
黒龍 感謝ボトル 純米大吟醸
Kokuryu Kanshabotoru Junmai Daiginjo
2017 Chateau Smith Haut Lafite Pessac Leognan
2016 Domaine Font de Courtedune Chateauneuf du Pape

No comments :