How they have understood it in Japan for centuries
Miyabi newly came out with kaiseki menu and you may be wondering what kaiseki really is. Kaiseki is well elaborated seasonal feast menu which features ideas of Slow food, Neuvo and Haute cuisine combined and represents much more. Kaiseki has a long tradition of about thousand years, and is based upon four sources – the cuisine of the imperial court and Buddhist monasteries, samurai gastronomy traditions, and the art of the Tea ceremony.
Kaiseki is a meal for which it is good to make enough time! Because it would be a shame to overlook all the beauty and harmony of relationships, images and tastes. Kaiseki is a symphony of experiences.
Before letting yourselves to enjoy this kind of feast, it may be good to know the meaning of the word kaiseki. There is a lesson in it. First, let’s examine the part of kaiseki noun, where the character “seki” indicates the place and style of the feast. It tells us that it is extremely appropriate to pay great attention to “seki”, because it indicates atmosphere and beauty!
To this “seki” relates the first part of the word the “kai” as a meeting of people. It tells that what you are to join is a banquet. Not daily eating, but a banquet. However, the word kaiseki can be written by two other characters “kai” and “seki”, and the translation is then “a stone that is inserted into a belly pocket”. “Seki is now the stone”. “Kai” is the pocket. Are you surprised?
The name comes from a practice of monks, who put heated stones on their belly into a sash in their kimono. It enabled them not to free their mind away from their hunger during the long chanting of sutras and lyrics. In this sense, kaiseki promises that when you eat all those nice and tasty dishes, you will be comfortable in parts of your tummy, as if you had something warm there. Kaiseki in the sense of a stone inserted in a belly pocket related to the monastery life encourages moderation and discipline while celebrating the sacraments of life.
This all sets a guidance that kaiseki food should be beautiful, refined, thoughtful, carefully prepared, it should respect the seasons and local products and above all… it should convey honest love and generate good health.
Kaiseki in Miyabi is our effort to create a nice banquet for you so that the warmth of the imaginary heated stone enters your body and feelings.