Chef Chikara Sono’s Accomplishment at Kyoya

Posted on Apr 20, 2012 in Hiroko's Blog

The New York Times has given Kyoya 3 stars. The chef who made this happen is Chikara Sono. To offer big congratulations I went to Kyoya with Buzz and Anna and had a memorable dinner last night. Chef Sono’s specialty is Omakase in Kaiseki style. Chef Sono prepares only 12 Omakase courses a night. You need to make a reservation – $90, $120 and $150 – a day in advance if you are going to order it. Last night we ordered dishes from a la carte, which I love to do, since I have the control of selecting dishes among many delicious items. We started with Shiokara – squid pickled in its intestine – for our first drink of beer. Chef Chikara prepares Shiokara in two ways – one in the traditional and the other his way. The traditional shiokara was studded with yuzu rind, whose fragrant aroma and refreshing taste surely suppressed strong flavor of squid intestine. Delicious creation. All of the dishes which we ordered – smelt Namban-zuke, King crab and vegetables Yakimono (we cooked them over Binchotan filled charcoal hibachi; a great fun dish), hot pot dish with vegetables with cold winter mackerel, noresore (baby eel) sashimi with home made ponzu, miso marinated grilled chicken, grilled bamboo shoot and clam and Tokyo scallion takikomi gohan. What makes Chef Sono’s dishes so special is that the use of very fresh seasonal ingredients, careful preparation (not to destroy the delicate flavor of each ingredients, but enhance each of them) and clean and artistic presentation. While we were enjoying the meal at Kyoya we thought of our favorite small Japanese restaurant in Roppoingi, Tokyo. It is Shun no Aji Iji. Chef Tanaka devotes the same love, care and labor to produce mouth watering dishes in his tiny kitchen. Thank you for Chef Sono and Tanaka for inspiring me all the time.

In conjunction with my third book publication, Hiroko’s American Kitchen, I and Chef Sono will offer a cooking demonstration class at Macy’s De Gustibus on November 12th. We are excited this opportunity and are looking forward to seeing you there!