My experience with Japanese cuisine has been intimate.
Japanese is one of my go-tos for comfort, to detox or even for a fat flush. The delicate raw fish slices on omakase-style nigiri, the crunch of tempura, slurping a bowl of char siu ramen, the vibrant colours of the salads and appetisers – I love them all. At times, I find myself gazing at these too-pretty-to-eat dishes, thinking about the quick hands that prepared them, equipped with exceptional knife skills.
Tender meat and fresh seafood are always the features of my Japanese meals. I have yet to sample a plant-based course that is a star at the table, let alone experience a vegetarian Japanese meal. But Matsunichi (read Foodie’s earlier review here) wants diners to rediscover nature’s produce and has launched a “haute vegetarian” affair with the restaurant’s new Meatless Monday menu. In this latest seasonal menu, Matsunichi has adopted the shojin ryori method of food preparation, a vegetarian cooking mode practised by Buddhist monks in Japan.
We started with tomato tofu with house-made vinegar jelly, crafted with Italian ox-heart tomatoes, Dutch cherry tomatoes and Japanese micro-tomatoes.
Then came the kombu seaweed soup with Japanese yam dumpling and assorted vegetables.
Next to hit the table was the colourful pickled nigiri sushi...
... followed by the vegetarian appetiser platter.
Then we were served simmered vegetables with shiitake mushroom dressing.
After that came the crisp and lightly battered sweet potato, butterbur and maitake mushroom tempura.
And then, a steaming donabe pot of kamameshi – made with rice, edamame, peas, corn and Hokkaido kombu.
We ended on a sweet note with a scoop of white peach sorbet and yellow pitaya (dragon fruit).
The shojin ryori style of vegetables left me feeling healthful – a sensation I haven’t experienced in awhile, even though I’ve had my fair share of green salad. Much thought has been put into the artful presentation and medicinal effects of each dish, in an effort to make Meatless Monday more appealing to meat lovers. So if you fancy a good system cleanse, Matsunichi’s high-protein, low-fat vegetarian menu will leave you feeling recharged and satiated.
The eight-course Vegetarian Vibes tasting menu ($600) will run until 31 May 2018.
2/F, Goldin Financial Global Centre, 17 Kai Cheung Road, Kowloon Bay, 3188 2760
This write-up is based on a complimentary media tasting provided in exchange for an honest review and no monetary compensation. The opinions expressed here represent the author’s.