Went out on Sunday for lunch at a nunnery… as you do. I’m not entirely clear on the concept, but it seems that one of the nuns trained and worked as a French chef for thirty years, and then started doing shoujin ryouri. The suggestion is that it’s French influenced Buddhist cuisine. Vegetarian, obviously.
[The picture was taken in the temple grounds; i’m trying to post colour shots this week… but like this a lot today, so here it is.]
The influence, as far as i could tell, was only in the presentation. Usually shoujin ryouri comes as a single tray of dishes, but this was served more like kaiseki, one dish at a time, in a traditional order. Everything was done with a great amount of attention to detail, beautiful prepared and presented. The flavours were all very traditional japanese, very simple and natural.
Our fellow diners were some people from japanese television, and a couple from Paris. The place has been reviewed in places like the New York Times, and featured on TV, etc. All very swank.
Recommended for a different dining experience. Kind of pricey for what it is… but probably worth it for a special occasion. Be a good place to take things like visiting parents.