The kamonasu takiawase (a Kyoto heirloom eggplant simmered in dashi) was served with sukiyaki-thin pork, and melded together in a lemon sauce. The futamono (covered dish) was a clear soup containing fish paste studded with sweet corn and Hokkaido scallop — a delicate combination of sweetness and texture. Also worth singling out was the chirimenjako (semi-dried sardine) sandwich. OK purists, it was not exactly a sandwich, rather, the sardines were deep fried, molded into two wafer-thin strips and, rather like an obi, were used to tie a piece of snapper coated with a layer of yuzu sauce. It was as inventive as it was delicious. Lunch ended with black bean ice cream: Katayama managed to deliver a sweet taste, similar to that of porter beer, from this auspicious bean. Rakushin is full of promise and surprise. and the Katayama husband-and-wife team give austerity a deserved following.
In line with the nationwide state of emergency declared on April 16, the government is strongly requesting that residents stay at home whenever possible and refrain from visiting bars, restaurants, music venues and other public spaces.