Review excerpt: Chef Kakoiyama is jovial and enterprising. He also has that sixth sense of knowing when conversation is warranted, and when it’s excessive. Interactions with him usually involve him helping you decipher a dish — like an artist called on to explain some abstraction. The first dish definitely needed its own Cliffs Notes. The inspiration was rainy season, specifically the poetic image of rain drops forming a puddle on a large leaf until the weight of the puddle tips the leaf and the water spills out. At Kakomi, this took the form of a gorgeous, velvety green lotus leaf the size of a dinner plate, with zucchini, radish, peas and junsai (water shield) in the “puddle.” We were instructed to take the leaf and with one swift movement shake it so that the puddle fell out and landed in a bowl of prawns and scallops. I could easily take up the rest of this review on the creativity at play in this first dish. Suffice to say, the theatricality of this complemented the taste: a vinegary tang in the jelly gave the dish a needed element of vitality.
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