Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Kaiseki Chronicles #1

Maybe some of you have noticed the small change in the “about me” section on my sidebar. Yes, I’m no longer an izakaya worker. After the izakaya was closed, they decided to start a kaiseki (traditional Japanese full-course meal) place there. As this is my very first time to experience what it is like when starting a new restaurant, I’d like to post about it as much as possible and share with the whole world.

Last night, all the staff (the owner, new manager, new cooks, waitresses and dishwashers who are ex-izakaya employees) got together at our workplace. We talked about the work shift and tried new uniform on, then went to a yakiniku place together to mingle. :D

For a couple of days, all staff members are coming to work to prepare for the opening day which is the 30th (I think). Tonight we are going to do some “practice,” having the owner’s friends only as clients.

As some of you might know, I’m interested in kaiseki, and I have tried making “quasi-kaiseki” myself twice before. So I’m very glad to be able to see and learn about real kaiseki at work from now on. On the other hand, I would have to be real careful when doing dishes… Izakaya is a kind of down-to-earth place, but kaiseki is a real classy thing, and eating utensils used in kaiseki course are often terribly expensive. I'm a bit nervous about that.

The practice day (29th) went OK… I think. The preparation kept everyone so busy. I had to wash new dishes for a couple of hours in the morning, and went to my daytime work at another office in the afternoon, then came back to wash more dishes in the evening. But once we started serving kaiseki, we didn’t get too busy because we only had limited number of clients who are the owners’ friends. We finished everything at around 10:30 pm, IIRC.



Mama BoK said...

Good luck with your new adventure.. Obachan..!! can't wait to hear all about it.. :)

tiptup said...

sounds exciting!!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

I wish you all the best for your new start!
I'm looking forwards to hearing more about everything...

Baking Soda said...

Sorry I missed your birthday Obachan, still I hope you had a nice evening with that beautiful cake and a well deserved drink! Many happy returns of the day!

And good luck on your new start. I am sure you'll do fine once everything is settled in a bit.

Joanna said...

In case you have forgotten.
I still haven't given up the dream of opening either an izakaya or a kaiseki with you, somehwere here in the US in a beach town somewhere...
So please learn as much as you can and make sure you take notes. My job is to save money to be able to be a major investor in this venture...

Jen said...

Obachan! How exciting! I can understand being nervous about handling things in a more upscale setting, but I'm confident you'll do well. Your blog posts show a lot of knowledge of and respect for food.

And please do post as many details as you have time for. I am excited to learn more about kaiseki! Putting together a menu with a Japanese aesthetic is still very confusing for me.

kiki said...

Good lucks on your new road, Obachan. Can't wait to hear about it. I had kaiseki once in Japan and It was unforgettable. I love to learn this art.

milgwimper said...


I think you will handle things very well, and try not to stress out too much. I cannot wait to read your adventures in this new job situation.

Hanna said...

What an amazing opportunity! I must say I'm jealous. How do they prepare and arrange those gorgeous and delicious dishes?!?

fooDcrazEE said...

obachan - it will actually be the same except for the will a hang of it after a while ..not to worry.

All da best then

Jme said...

Oh, Obachan! I'm so glad they're doing Kaiseki and that you get to experience how it's done in a restaurant kitchen. May you come away with loads of experience and wow us with your own version soon.

I hope I got the words right: がんばって!! :)

Kirk said...

Hi Obachan - Sounds like a "natural progression" for you! Can't wait to read your posts about it.

obachan said...

mama bok
Thanks. I’m a little nervous, but excited, too.

Yep, it is ;)

There’ll be more stories to come. Stay tuned! ;)

baking soda
Thanks for your birthday wish.
Yeah, it’s always a bit hectic in the beginning, but it’ll get better soon.

No, I haven’t forgotten, of course.
OK. I’ll learn/steal their secrets and prepare for our future ;)

Thanks but maybe knowledge and the ability to wash dishes without breaking them are probably two different things…??
I promis I’ll post about my new findings in the new work environment as much as possible.

Oh, you experienced kaiseki? You’re right. It’s an art.

OK. I’ll try not to put too much pressure on myself. Thanks.

Well, hope I can find out… but looks like what I can see while I work in the kitchen is going to be very limited. ;P

Thanks. Yeah, I think I can enjoy what I do. It’s always that way.

Thank you! Yes, you got the words perfect. Gee, what a lucky person I am to have this many friends all over the world to support me :D

Maybe it is :) I really hope that I make a progress somehow.