Kaiseki ryori, Japanese gourmet cuisine 懐石料理

The small dishes in the big ones

Japanese cuisine is renowned around the world and one of its most refined and sought-after expressions bears the name of Kaiseki ryori , the Japanese gourmet meal comprised of several courses, which originated in the small dishes served during the tea ceremony for centuries. Today, the tradition is reserved for restaurants, ryokans (traditional inns), or prominent hotels.

The art of culinary composition


Kaiseki ryori is the art of gastronomy and sophistication taken to its peak. It is not only an extremely fine and varied menu in taste; it is also a classic composition of shapes, textures, and colors.

A meal of this lavish cuisine is traditionally composed of a succession of small dishes, each unique in ingredients, preperation, and presentation.

If there is no set menu in a Kaiseki ryori meal, there are still customs to follow.

Kaiseki Ryori

Japanese gourmet meal consisting of several courses, which originated in the small dishes served during the tea ceremony.

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Refinement of service and presentation

In general, even if their preparation and the order in which they are served vary from one restaurant to another, certain types of dishes are regularly found on the menus of Kaiseki ryori. Starting with sakizuke, an appetizer, then shiizakana, a broth served over its fire, in which vegetables, mushrooms, or meat are cooked according to the chef's selection.

Then comes the hassun, the "main" dish which includes several small dishes, a mukosuke (individual sashimi), a takiawase (small dish of tofu or meat with vegetables), or a yakimono (grilled fish)…

Hors d'oeuvre Kaiseki

Kaiseki Ryori meals traditionally begin with small appetizer-sized dishes.

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But such refinement comes at a price... Authentic gourmet meals can cost up to 40,000 yen ($348/307€), but some restaurants offer lower prices for lunch, allowing you to experience Kaiseki ryori at an affordable price. In some establishments that do not offer private rooms, you can also find much less expensive gourmet menus, around 15,000 Yen ($130/115€).


Kaiseki Ryori

A meal is traditionally made up of a succession of small dishes, all different in terms of ingredients, cooking and presentation.

live japan

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