Vietnam Dinner
Hanoi, May 29, 2020
Japanese fine dining in Vietnam's capital
" Chef Ishida met the special challenge … preparing every intricate detail of the exquisite five-course omakase meal "

With social distancing in effect, we were only able to host 10 people for this event at which we contemplated the future of Japanese omokase.

Omakase means “I'll leave it up to you” (from the Japanese “to entrust”). The phrase is most commonly used when dining at Japanese restaurants where the customer leaves it up to the chef to serve seasonal specialties. The Japanese antonym for “omakase” is “okonomi”, which means you are choosing what to order.

The chef will generally present a series of plates, beginning with the lightest fare and proceeding to the heaviest dishes. The phrase is not exclusive to service of raw fish with rice. It can incorporate grilling, simmering, or other cooking techniques as well.

Customers ordering omakase style expect the chef to be innovative and surprising in the selection of dishes. The meal can be likened to an artistic performance.

This historic event was not only a forum on what we can expect from fine dining restaurants in times of great turbulence. It was also a test of one Chef’s resolve, originality and skill in the preparation of every aspect of the evening’s dinner under never-to-be-repeated circumstances.

iPads and mobile phones served as the distribution channel for the evening’s menu - a trial run to see if we can finally do away with paper menus. Sadly, the demands of our dinner proved the technology is not yet ready for market.

Even with the myriad restrictions of the pandemic, Chef Takahiro Ishida, proprietor and Executive Chef of Kappou Ishida, absolutely triumphed presenting a menu composed in equal parts of creativity and excellence.

Chef Ishida met the special challenge of single-handedly preparing every intricate detail of the exquisite five-course omakase meal for our room full of appreciative and distinguished guests.

Wines partnering the excellent courses were:
- Syn Champagne Brut NV, Synopsis Winery
- La Pommeraie de Brown (2nd wine of Château Brown) 2016 - Pessac-Léognan
- Chablis 'Sereine' 2015 - La Chablisienne
- Alsace Pinot Noir 'Clos des Capucins' 2017 - Domaine Weinbach
- Côtes de Nuits-Villages 2017 - Louis Latour
- Syn Champagne Rosé NV, Synopsis Winery

We can say with conviction that the restaurant, Kappou Ishida, serves the best Japanese fine dining in Vietnam.

Raj Taneja
Bailli Délégué