Shojin Ryori, translated as ‘food of devotion’ is the traditional cuisine of Buddhist monks in Japan and has been enjoyed and celebrated since the 13th century, the Tavern at Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills gave us the option to experience this style of dining when we made our reservation and we jumped at the opportunity.
Our Shojin Ryori meal started with our first taste of Japanese koya tofu which we instantly loved, koya tofu has been dried and then rehydrated, giving it an amazingly firm texture. The whole dish had a delicious broth made using kombu seaweed and shiitake mushroom, and the other vegetables were simple yet perfect, changing our perception of taro forever. Our next course was a small mountain of vegetable tempura, this made our hearts sing because we’re in Japan getting to eat delicate and delicious tempura. It was served with lemon, salt and soy, meaning of course we are confused. What goes where? Which condiment is best? Why have the rest of the world got tempura so wrong? A sprinkle of lemon and salt on advice of our waiter, who rightly tells us that this way allows you to truly taste the vegetable and we happily delved into the mountain of light, crispy, deep fried delight.