Thursday, 1 October 2009

A Japanese Feast - Dinner At Taenoyu Onsen

Another part of our stay at Taenoyu Onsen, this time about our dinner there. For the first installment, read it here.

There were two dining halls at Taenoyu Onsen. One was a European influenced lounge complete with a fireplace and the other was a Japanese style dining room. Our dinner at 6.00pm was at the Lounge. The staff seems to know all the guests and we were ushered to our table without so much asking for guest name or room name.

Each table was marked with the respective room names. I forgot what our room was called.

The lounge area, with plates and burners ready to for the guests. By 6.00pm, it was already so dark here that it felt like we were having dinner at a much later time.

Our dinner was a several course dinner, I lost count by the 7th plate. The portions were small, but with so many dishes served, we didn't leave the table still hungry.

Photos of our dinner. The food was explained to us in a mixture of English and Japanese (mostly Japanese because I think they took it that I did understand what they were talking about), but I forgot what most were called. So just enjoy the photos with a few odd explanation. :-)
A bowl of tsukemono
Seasoned konnyaku
Mountain vegetables, I think it was fern. Hahaha makan pucuk paku all the way in Japan!
Nice and chewy top shell. Even Raimie loved it.
Mushrooms ready for grilling. I didn't know grilled mushrooms (eaten with the accompanying lemon and seasoned salt) can be so delicious.
The pride of Akita region - kiritanpo, here eaten as kiritanpo nabe. Kiritanpo is cooked rice that is kneaded and then toasted on a skewer. It is then cut into 5-cm lengths and cooked in a pot with burdock, Chinese leeks, Maitake mushrooms and other seasonal vegetables. A staff lighted up the burner and soon the pot bubbled away and it was time to enjoy the nabe.

Originally designed as a portable meal carried by woodcutters and hunters working in the mountains, its name comes from its shape, which resembles a tanpo-yari (leather spearhead sheath enclosing a cloth ball filled with cotton).
More soups - plenty of kinoko (mushroom) inside
Foiled baked salmon with mushroom and broccoli

Udon served in a cypress cup.
Raimie is such an old hand at slurping noodles. He can make all the appropriate slurping sound too.
Last dish before getting our dessert. We actually put this dish aside because there were meat inside. Out of curiosity, I asked what type of meat were cooked in the dish and was informed that it was horse meat. The phrase : "nani niku?" and "niku wa arimasu ka?" is two favourite phrases of mine when checking on what food to buy. Pardon the atrocious grammar.
Caramel ice cream with fresh cream ended our dinner.
The menu. We were given a copy of the menu as souvenir.

We ordered just two sets of dinner for the three of us because we don't really eat much, fully expecting to share the sets with Raimie. But the hotel was kind enough to serve portions of the meal that weren't already on the table (those needed to be grilled and cooked on the burner) to Raimie. So he didn't need to share his rice, his udon and his ice cream. All at no extra charge, we learned later. Wasn't that kind of them?

Time sure went by fast, we finished our dinner well into 7.00pm. We usually didn't take that long to finish our dinner! The staff here were attentive, always on hand to explain the dishes served and to quickly cleared up empty plates and putting new dishes in front of us and asking whether everything was fine with us.

After dinner, we head to our room for a rest before getting into our reserved private bath at 8.00pm. Then, it was time for some zzzzz...... We hit the bed before 10.00pm! Oyasumi nasai (good night).


  1. Wow..what a feast! And more than 7 course too! :)

    I love eating snails (escargots).

  2. Oooh yummy food... those look good.

    Oh why not take the horse meat? It there something I should know about? :/ (sorry I am really blur when it comes to food restrictions).

    The ice cream looks delicious! Caramel you say? Sure ended the dinner with a sweet note... yummylicious.

  3. @Mei Teng,
    It was indeed a feast. Of course, at first glance you wouldn't think that you'll be full because all the portions were small.

  4. @ladyviral,
    No lah, if we want to eat meat, it has to be slaughtered the Islamic way. Otherwise, cannot eat. I've got nothing against eating horse meat.

    Yeap, dinner ended with a delicious caramel ice cream. Yummy!

  5. salam shawal lina,

    I'm sure after this, Japanese food served in Malaysia will not be the sama anymore.

  6. @Kak Lela,

    Selamat Hari Raya to you & family.

    We definitely temporarily lost any desire to go any Japanese restaurant for the time being. I miss the rice the most. Japanese rice was soooo goooood!

  7. Kak Lela,
    Japanese Restaurant in Malaysia, that is.
    If we can go to a Japanese restaurant in Japan, we'd jump at the chance. :D

  8. Wow.... Exquisite! So many dishes to eat for dinner! I like the rice in Japan too.

  9. @ECL,
    The rice in Japan are so nice... but cannot afford those rice in Malaysia. A 2kg bag of Akita Komachi rice cost almost RM60!!!

    Man, just hot rice sprinkled with some furikake would make both Zaini and I happy. :-)Actually, I'd be content just eating plain rice in Japan. :D

  10. wow, what a sumptuous dinner. the place sure looks cosy and inviting.

    do you intend to frame the menu up in your dining hall? :)

  11. @Life Ramblings,
    Ha! Now that's an idea. Frame the menu for keepsake. :)

  12. Huh? Eat pucuk paku in Japan? Haha!

    Never eaten grilled mushroom before!

    The rolled rice looks good! So you didn't touch the horse meat? I ate horse meat in China too!

    So many food! Must have enjoyed your dinner immensely : )

  13. @foong,
    different style of pucuk paku lah... Not stir fried with taucu or as a masak lemak. :D

    The kiritanpo, you mean? It was nice and chewy. They were eaten grilled too.

    Didn't touch lah the horse meat. So many other food to eat, never mind. ;)

  14. while you're missing the Japanese rice.. i'm missing the Thai rice... @_@

    The food sure looked delicious! i love mushrooms!

  15. @Cindy,
    we always crave for something that's hard to get. :D

    No Thai shops in your area?

    It's mushroom everywhere now, kan? Season for mushroom in autumn?

    I kinda miss kuri-gohan.

  16. there's only a Thai restaurant nearby but as usual... it's TAKAI! will go once in a while though.....
    yeah... now it's the time to eat MATSUTAKE (the real high class, ex@ensive ones) but I aint coz I got no money... will only buy cheap ones.. but it's till nice... u can try making kuri gohan there too! ^_^

  17. @Cindy,
    I wish I can afford to try matsukate but have to wait until I win jackpot lah, looks like it. :D

    Yet to learn how to make kuri gohan. Have to try one of these days. But Japanese rice in Malaysia, TAKAI desu yo! @_@

  18. true! just like Thai rice here.. haha.. well wait for u to update me your kuri gohan (after you learned it!)

  19. i'm so curious with all the dishes! i eat horse meat but tapa (cured meat with salt and lemon). the lounge really looks nice!

    they are so nice with their freebies and teh way they tend to their guests!

  20. @Cindy,
    Need to look for recipe and chestnut first! :p

  21. @Ayie,
    The horse meat looks tempting but we can't eat them. I have no problem eating whatever meat as long as it is allowed by my religion.

    Yeah, they were very nice about the free food for Raimie. Also, the patient way they serve and attend to us. Definitely tops!


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