Saturday, April 10, 2010

Toronto's Costliest Restaurant: Kaiseki Yu-zen Hashimoto East



Toronto Star's food critic Amy Pataki wrote an article yesterday about Toronto's most expensive restaurant, Kaiseki Yu-zen Hashimoto East. Here are some of my random as I was reading it:

Price: Dinner for two with tea, tax and tip: $800

I take it that means tea is not free there. How sad to have to pay for tea given how expensive the whole meal is. Their mentality is probably this: "Since you suckers are willing to pay $300 per head for food, might as well charge you for tea too!" Ah well, makes sense I guess. Either that, or the tea leaves are gold plated (and imported from Japan, of course).

"Gold shavings gleam on dessert"
Oh, gold for real huh? I wonder how gold taste like.

"Tea is the only drink; a liquor license is pending"
Imagine how much the final bill will be with a few bottles of Sake.

"Everything, down to the salt, is imported from Japan, including such seasonal delicacies as feathery wasabi leaves and red Kyoto carrots."
OK, I can understand importing the wasabi leaves and red Kyoto carrots, but salt too? Does salt from one continent taste different than salt from another continent? Some scientific research should be done on this (if not already); someone needs to compare molecular structures or something. I think Hashimoto probably just had some extra room in the storage, so "might as well".

"Hashimoto East is the new restaurant of Masaki Hashimoto, ranked one of Japan’s top five chefs in a 2008 competition."
What happened in 2009?

"He’s been preparing painstaking and authentic kaiseki dinners at his original Mississauga location for nine years; it’s the only restaurant I’ve ever rated full stars."
I did NOT know this. I checked the address of the Mississauga location in Googlemaps and found out Kaiseki Yu-Zen Hashimoto's Mississauga location is literally 7.8 km (or 10 minutes away) from my house! *shock* I really had no idea that such GEM exists in good ol' Sauga. I should stop saying there's nothing good to eat in Mississauga.

"In fact, most of his customers aren’t Japanese. 'Japanese people here are so Westernized that when they want to spend $200 or $300 on dinner, they go to a French restaurant'  Hashimoto says"
I wouldn't pay $300 for Chinese food either. Go figure.

"Unlike at the Mississauga location, every meal at the new Hashimoto ends with the ritual whisking and consumption of bitter, frothy matcha (powdered green tea). We kneel on tatami mats and remove our jewellery so as not to chip the ancient tea bowls."
What happens if you accidentally chip one of the bowls? How much more money would you have to fork out? Gahhhh!

"...8th course...Second helpings of rice and pickles are encouraged, but asking for thirds is bad etiquette."
Geez! It's just rice and pickles! But then again, Hashimoto is not some all-you-can-eat cheap buffet, can't be so greedy now haha!

"...9th course... A shot glass of icy, boozy, salty cherry soaking liquid is the first and only appearance of alcohol at the license-pending restaurant."
"Boozy"?! ARREST THEM!

Some information Hashimoto's website:

For the Mississauga location:
  • Two options available (the one in Don Mills offers only the 9-course $300 menu). One option is a 6-course menu for $150, and the other one is an 8-course menu for $200
  • Both courses include dessert (YAY!)
  • Each person at the same table must order the same course (BOO!)
But you know what is the most DEVASTATING part of all? 

"As a policy, picture taking is not permitted in either location to preserve the serenity and tranquility of the cuisine"

It's basically saying "No Asian kids with cameras allowed". So ridiculous! I can't even take pictures of a meal that cost me almost a grand? They can't possibly expect me to rely on just my brain for photographic memory! That is! What if...what if  I have Alzheimer's one day and I don't remember a thing about this dinner? I mean, for some people, a dinner like this may be an item on their "Things I must do before I die" list, you know? *Sigh* and to think I was about to call and make a reservation. Unfortunately, Hashimoto does not realize the relationship I have with my beloved Samsung; I would not be the same Food Junkie as I am today without it. And because I cannot betray the relationship that I have with my camera, I cannot bring myself to eat at Hashimoto. I'm terribly sorry. I think I would have to pass on this one. 


Vickie said...

Btw... a lot of other cheaper Jap restaurant have gold shaving on heir dishes.... and IT HAS NO TASTE AT ALL !!!!

The Food Junkie said...

Oh really? I guess I'm not missing out then haha!

steph said...

Hey Stella!

omg. i think i will visit there one day. Going along the lines of omakase, have you been to solo sushi ya in newmarket? i've heard some good reviews and will be going there soon!!

The Food Junkie said...

Hey Steph! No I haven't been to Solo Sushi Ya~ The only omakase restaurant I've been to in Toronto is Sushi Kaji, and that was a few years ago~ Oh let me know how Solo is after...all this omakase talk is making me wanna go again LOL! :D

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