Daigo, Tokyo: Vegetarian Nirvana

  06.08.14    Japan     Michelin Stars

Daigo Sometimes photos should do all the talking. This was a dinner last year at the two-starred Daigo in Tokyo’s Kamiyacho. They only serve Buddhist vegetarian cuisine, or shōjin-ryōri.

The works of art served up by chef Daisuke Nomura were so numerous that after a while we succumbed and I stopped taking notes to fully immerse myself in the sensory explosion that was unravelling before us.

Take a private room,  the very definition of gracious kimono-clad service, the antique porcelain on which our extraordinary dinner was served and together you have the perfect marriage of aesthetic and culinary arts.

DaigoEvery dish was sublime,  the finest products treated reverentially.

How can one mushroom or a single baby aubergine be elevated to another plane?

Service was profoundly rooted in the kaiseki tradition, meaning it was impeccable but wholly unobtrusive.

A lotus root parcel, udon with vegetable tempura and fried tofu were three of the standout dishes, but there was one clear winner. The Hokkaido Yubari melon:

DaigoIt is famously expensive, with good reason. Words cannot begin to do justice to this most majestic of products. I’d just say that when you have the opportunity to try it, take it. It is, without doubt, one of life’s ultimate epicurean experiences.  Daigo

Daigo, 2 Chome-3-1 Atago, Minato, Tokyo 105-0002, Japan. P:+81 3-3431-0811