Tuesday, March 08, 2011

le un

Yesterday I met up with my host-mom to celebrate our birthdays.

(Our birthdays are actually in February, but her schedule was crazy last month, so we finally found some time yesterday.)

She took me to a very special place in Suma. This was actually a guest house built by a commerce trader, Nishio Ruizo in Taisho 8 (1919). In 1999, this home was deemed a historical area by the city of Kobe, so no cooking is allowed inside the building.

And in 2007, most of the property was turned into a wedding facility and restaurant, so all of the cooking is done in a building right next to the house.

The property is huge and they give you a tour of the home. The great great grandson still lives on the property and sometimes comes to eat at the restaurant.

The original property was 10,000 sq meters (about 2 acres) and was built on the hillside to take in the views of the ocean. When the Sanyo railways wanted to bring their trains through Suma, they bought some of his land, which unfortunately also allowed people to build condos and block most of the ocean view. (boo!)

I was amazed because even after the big Kobe earthquake in 1995, all of the beautiful stained glass windows and most of the structure was still intact and didn't need repairing.

So, onto lunch...we chose the "B" Dejeuner, my host-mom kindly treated me so I am not sure as to how much it was.

Our lunch started out with some appetizers--an onion soup jellee topped with tomato puree & green pea mousse, a cold miso-garbanzo bagna cauda with veggies, a piece of salmon topped with egg and green beans and a spinach chicken quiche.

The soup was a pumpkin carrot sakura potage topped with an earl grey "cappuccino" foam colored with beets.

This was delicious and unique because you would never think to pair tea with vegetables.

My fish choice was an homard lobster with americaine sauce. I was relieved that they had taken out the lobster "meat" from the shell for me, so all I had to do was eat. Nice generous pieces.

My meat choice was lamb filet with ratatouille and a balsamico sauce.

Very tender pieces with no hint of gaminess.

Dessert was a tea custard, raspberry sorbet & cheese cake.

With coffee we also received some mignardises, chocolate truffles.

This restaurant is apparently very popular and we were surprised that they were full by the time we left! I really liked this meal, the chef uses local fruits and vegetables and cooks "seasonally".

Next to the restaurant is the Suma Rikyu Park, this is also a huge botanical garden.

And the rose garden area is modeled after the Palais de Versailles. Unfortunately, since the weather has been cold, we didn't get to see many flowers.

The weather was kind of drizzly but it was still a great day, lots of catching up, lots of nice food, and it was nice to be able to spend some time with my host mom. (Thank you!)

Le Un
2-4-1 Rikyu Nishicho
Suma, Kobe
Phone: 078.739.7600
Closed on Wednesdays, call for reservations


jalna said...

A feast for the eyes as well as the stomach! Those peas on top of the pods . . . so evenly placed!! Unbelievable!

Deb in Hawaii said...

Your lunch looks like it was delicious--I am so intrigued with that soup ;-) and nice to get to catch up with your second "mom."

K said...

Happy belated birthday! The dishes all look v. pretty and tasty!

K and S said...

They were still attached to the pod Jalna :)

When the waitress said "earl grey", my ears perked up too Deb in Hawaii :)

Thanks K!

Take care everyone.

Japan Australia said...

I love Kobe and this looks like a great place. Wow!! What a meal!!

Unknown said...

That soup sounds very interesting! I want to try it...

Barbara said...

It all looks delicious Kat.

K and S said...

It was awesome J-A :)

The soup was different flavors but really matched each other Rick :)

Thanks Barbara :)

Take care everyone!

manju said...

What a gorgeous meal -- I was already full just looking at the first course! Most interesting that the food is very French for such an historical site.

K and S said...

Thanks Manju, the building itself is "Western" architecture which is why I think they allowed the French restaurant to do business there :)

Take care.