Kaiseki Winter '08 menu @ Kaygetsu, Menlo Park report w/ pics
I booked a table on Opentable for 2 at Kaygetsu for the Kaiseki dinner. Kaiseki dinner is $98 per person! It's HELLA expensive and the portions are TINY so overall I give the food 3 stars & an extra star for service.
I booked it for 6:30p since the hubby has to work long hrs and I can't tell when he'll be done, so he tells me he can get there earlier so I called them same day to change it to 6:15p. I was already at the restaurant by 5:10p so just hung around at the Longs & Safeway in the same strip mall, place is behind the Shell gas station. We meet up at 6pm and were able to change the reservations & get seated.
Kaiseki Winter menu is online. We also got to keep the paper menu so here it is:
kampachi salad w/ butter lettuce tomato, cucumber & yamaimo dashi (fish stock) dressing satoimo potato w/ miso sauce
Takiawase -slow cooked dish. dried herring, sunchoke, zuiki (taro stork), snow peas, yuzu cooked in clear fish broth
Tsukuri-sashimi-assorted seasonal selection. We had young blue fin tuna, Northern Japanese shrimp, Japanese snapper w/ caviar
Onmono-hot dish. sole w/ grated daikon radish japanese leeks, shiitake, mitsuba greens, yuzu quail egg. I got a different dish after I mentioned I can't eat fried items. Mine was several small chunks of black cod.
yaki mono -grilled dish. grilled organic Petaluma chicken miso sauce pickled turnip, kinome
Gohan mono-rice dish. chirashi sushi w/ eel, shrimp, braised tofu, egg lotus root.
House-made original dessert-parfait of green tea ice cream & sesame tofu.
Hubby wanted a glass of Ginzo sake..the one he picked was $14 a glass! Yikes. He liked it fine.
Tip of 17% added automatically to bill. Credit cards taken. Total w/ 1 glass sake, 2 Kaiseki dinner, tax & 17% tip was $266!
Separate bathrooms on the left-side after you walk in. Women is just single toilet/sink.
Sushi bar only enough room for 6 ppl. There's about 12 tables: 2-tops & 4-tops. Best to make reservations if you want to eat here.
Tip: If you go on your birthday & tell them you might get a small gift. That was nice for the hubby.
325 Sharon Park Dr Ste A2, Menlo Park, CA 94025
One way to get around the cost is to order a la carte. It's not kaiseki but you can get some of the kaiseki dishes a la carte (eg. takiawase, chirashi, and sashimi). The a la carte portions are bigger and per person, you usually end up with a much smaller bill. Plus, you get to try the tai chazuke which is wonderful.
Thanks for the nice report. I agree that Kaygetsu is quite expensive and portions are small. And I love to eat a lot! But one thing I've noticed is that when I eat kaiseki at Kaygetsu I always feel satisfied. For me, the small portions and combinations of so many different flavors keep me from still feeling hungry. My Japanese mother-in-law serves food this way (not as fancy as kaiseki, though), with many dishes of small portions and I always end up losing some weight when I've eaten meals like this over time. Wish I had the talent and discipline to cook this way, but it is very time-consuming and takes planning.