Gastronomy : Shojin Ryori
We booked a lunch date with Enso Kitchen on Sunday. The place wasn’t very hard to find but probably a poster or some more prominent signage at the entrance would be better. It would not only create publicity but might bring in more bookings? (They only do pre-orders.) The restaurant is a typical Japanese one. It isn’t Enso Kitchen’s but they use it on Sundays to serve Shojin Ryori lunches and dinners.
Right, let’s talk about food. And before we start, my Japanese friend taught me to say… Itadakimasu! (I gratefully receive!) First, we were served with a refreshing cup of hot green tea. Next is a small appetiser tofu made from ground sesame, soy beans and mineral water. On top of it was a small pinch of wasabi and radish mixed together. The tofu was placed on soya sauce on the small plate. Sorry, but it looked too tempting that we forgot to snap a picture of it before tucking in. Oh, and it’s supposedly good for digestion. And the chef actually ground the sesame and soy personally. (The chef recommended taking some sips of miso to warm the stomach before tucking in.)
Following is a full course ‘platter’ with…
1. Sweet sushi rice with seaweed, carrots, beancurd, sweet beans
2. Gingkos, lotus roots, carrots, lily bulbs, water chestnuts and burdock
3. Radish with sour plum sauce
4. Miso soup with winter melon cubes and white sesame
5. Salty fried beancurd filled with tofu and bits of water chestnuts, decorated with a slice of carrot and two stalks of green vegetables. (It’s very delicious.)
6. Turnip cut halfway with red string, which is used with chopsticks to slice it into quarters
7. Cold dessert with lychees, red dates and rock sugar.
And it cost S$45 for each person with 10% GST and service charge. So, the lunch cost us $99.
The chef of Enso Kitchen told us he changes menu every month. Next change will be on the 8th of March. He creates three different sets for each season. Yes, Shojin Ryori by Enso Kitchen, which is really vegan fare, serves seasonal vegetables (flown in from Japan), which are believed to be more nutritious in the corresponding season. Which means there are 12 different sets of Shojin Ryori for each year! What we featured here is probably the second winter set meal. It’s light yet filling. It’s definitely different from any Chinese vegetarian food out there. I feel healthy just by looking at it!
And after a hearty meal… Gochisosama (deshita)! (Thank you for the meal!)
Info on how to book: http://www.ensokitchen.com/event.htm