Text by Amy Liu | Translation by Elaina Kung
“Perching swallows return to the eaves in peace, while flying petals gently fall into the garden. My heart, laden with sorrows, brims over; yet who can fathom the depth of my longing for my hometown and loved ones.” – Su Ting.
Inflorescence was inspired by Su Ting’s poem of the Tang Dynasty, where the serene dining space allows guests to immerse themselves in the cuisine. For this special occasion, renowned chef of Kanazawa’s Kaga cuisine, Chef Shinichiro Takagi, was invited to present signature dishes from Zeniya along with dishes specially crafted for the collaborative meal, creating a dreamlike dining experience.
One in Body and Soul
The city of Kanazawa is located in the central part of Ishikawa Prefecture, near the Japan Sea. During the Edo period, it was known as Kaga Domain, and it used its substantial wealth to build a magnificent castle town. Kanazawa is renowned for its rich Edo history, unique craftsmanship culture, and natural beauty, earning it the nickname “Little Kyoto.” The owner of Inflorescence, Sandy, visited this city that has preserved the traditional dining culture from the domain era. While at Zeniya, she experienced the distinctive feature of Kaga cuisine, where ingredients are prepared from the source to the table. The chef meticulously follows the changing seasons and uses slow cooking techniques to preserve the subtlety and delicacy of Japanese cuisine, allowing diners to savor the authentic flavors. The dishes are elegantly presented in local Wajima lacquerware and Kutani ware, emphasizing its intricate quality; this aligns perfectly with Inflorescence’s desire to convey the precision of Japanese and Chinese hospitality. Thus, this guest collaboration hopes to bring back the emotions and impressions Kanazawa has to offer to Taiwan.
高木主廚曾於京都三星名店「吉兆」接受嚴格的懷石料理訓練，並成為「錢屋」的第二代傳承者，他認為「料理隨著歷史演變也在一天一天的進步當中，而這一系列轉變並非意圖性的，所以即使我製作相同的料理，也呈現出了當下最好的加賀料理代表自己。」，傳統的加賀料理中蘊含長時間以來的傳承，藉由本次餐席將能品嘗到金澤錢屋經典料理「鱧魚葛打」、「蓮根蒸 」、「喉黑魚幽庵木芽燒 」、「日本和牛治部煮」及高木主廚與飛花落院聯手設計的八寸，餐桌上盡收金澤懷石料理的精華，不只如此，飛花落院設計了明太子西瓜番茄冷麵、月見甘露海老麵以及注入台灣風情的招牌旬味釜飯，與擁有390年歷史的酒造『福光屋』出品的好酒及與錢屋相同的抹茶一起品味，為饕客們揭開金澤料理神秘面紗。
Kanazawa’s Original Flavor
Chef Takagi, who underwent rigorous training in the art of Kaiseki cuisine at three-star Michelin restaurant “Kitcho” in Kyoto, became the second-generation heir of Zeniya. He believes that “cuisine evolves with the passage of history and progresses day by day. These changes are not intentional, so even when I prepare the same dishes, they represent the best of contemporary Kaga cuisine.” Traditional Kaga cuisine carries the legacy of many generations. Through this dining experience, guests can savor the essence of Kanazawa’s Zeniya classic dishes like: “Hamo Fish and Arrowroot Startch,” “Lotus Root Steamed Dish,” “Kawahagi Blackthroat Seaperch with Konbu,” “Japanese Wagyu Beef Shibukawa Stew,” and the collaborative eight-course meal designed by Chef Takagi and Inflorescence. The table showcases the finest of Kanazawa Kaiseki cuisine. Furthermore, Inflorescence created dishes like Mentaiko Watermelon Tomato Cold Noodles, Tsukimi Amadare Prawn Noodles, and seasonal-flavor Kamameshi (pot rice) infused with Taiwanese flair. These dishes are enjoyed alongside fine sake from “Fukumitsuya”, a 390-year-old sake brewery, and matcha tea similar to that used at Zeniya. This experience unveils the mystery of Kanazawa cuisine for discerning diners.
See You Next Time
When it comes to the essence of Kaga cuisine, Chef Shinichiro Takagi believes it lies in the abundance of local ingredients combined with the highest standards of Japanese culinary craftsmanship. In order to help diners truly experience the cultural heritage, history, and way of life of Kanazawa, and to further explore the 400-year-old tradition of authentic Kaga cuisine, Inflorescence meticulously focused on every detail, from the cuisine and tableware to floral arrangements, tea ceremonies, Kutani ceramics, and the direct sourcing of Kanazawa’s ingredients. All of this was done with the strict goal of faithfully representing the authentic flavors of Kanazawa Kaiseki cuisine in its purest form. While the current collaboration may soon come to an end, Inflorescence continues to explore and expand its offerings. Due to the enthusiastic response to these special events, Sandy plans to bring back the art performances of Kyoto, local sake culture of Yamaguchi Prefecture, and other related Japanese cultural arts to Inflorescence. Food enthusiasts can look forward to more exciting experiences in the future!