Originally, kaiseki was a meal served during the tea ceremony. It consisted of a bowl of soup and three side dishes (plus rice). Now it usually refers to the series of individually prepared seasonal dishes for a Kyoto-style banquet, most often served in the setting of a traditional tatami room with low table.

The categories of dishes include: an appetizer, followed by sashimi, a simmered dish, a grilled dish, and a steamed dish, with other courses interspersed by the chef depending on what is seasonally available.

The artistry of a kaiseki meal involves the presentation of the food on beautiful containers as well as the taste, texture, and aromas.

The pictures are from a dinner in late March at the Tawaraya Inn in Kyoto.


traditional banquet fare