My husband and I finally visited a restaurant we have been eyeing for a while – Nouka no Daidokoro in Ebisu. My husband and I refer to it as “Farmer’s Kitchen”, as that is the closest English translation.
The great thing about Farmer’s Kitchen is that you have a choice as to how much meat you want in your dinner – the menu is arranged by a Vegetable:Meat:Fish ratio and you can choose from 4:4:2 , 6:2:2, and 10:0:0 — I always get 10:0:0, but it is possible that some dishes have chicken or fish broth in them.
The salad bar is all-you-can-eat, and includes lots of fresh veggies and dipping sauces. Here is our first selection – udo, raw Japanese eggplant, red daikon, and komatsuna leaves. We got a garlic miso paste, sea salt, and spinach sea salt to dip into, but we didn’t need them!
Although this picture isn’t the best, we were next served a little cup of daikon soup. This soup was really creamy and actually seemed to be a potage instead of a thin soup.
Now, I am not a big onion fan. I will eat well-cooked onions if they are used as a seasoning, but I would never bite into a big old onion! But this looked yummy – a Spring Onion with balsalmic glaze. I was so surprised at how sweet and tender the onion was!
Next I got a spring vegetable appetizer. This is a piece of asparagus wrapped in a spring roll wrapper and put on top of kuzumochi that had been flavored and colored with green spring vegetables. The orange stuff is carrot sauce. Doesn’t this dish bring to mind a new shoot of grass?!
My husband got one of the 4:4:2 choices, and his appetizer was this fish and veggie patty thing. He said it was sort of à la meunière, but tomato-based. The perfect transition from the salad bar to the main courses!
This is an agar and vegetable dish served with matcha sauce. The vegetables included daikon, yellow bell pepper, carrot, and mixed lettuces. The agar was flavored somehow… a little salty and some light vegetable taste — so yummy!
My main course was veggie steaks – and wow! they were delicious!! Japanese eggplant, yellow bell pepper, nanohana, and shiitake mushrooms served with balsalmic vinegar and matcha salt. I felt like I was eating the flesh of the earth!
Not to leave out our meat-eating friends… this is my husband’s main dish – a chicken and vegetable stew. The vegetables were carrots, bell peppers, potatoes, onions, and komatsuna leaves. My husband reports that the chicken was mainly used as an accent for the veggies, and was quite pleased with the dish.
And finally, we got a vegetable miso soup, rice, and lightly pickled daikon. The soup was awesome! Lot of vegetables simmered for a super long time – my guess is that they use the trimmings of vegetables and simmer all day. Very complex taste!