English Reviews (Reviews Total Language : 63 reviews)
“Nice traditional restaurant, good food”
Being East-European I am not fan of tofu (we really don't know generally how to prepare it), and after going through a 15-course tofu dinner I have not become a fan either, but I can say I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I do understand tofu fans now. The majority of the courses was tofu in various forms... and various spicing, and both the serving and surrounding seemed authentic enough not only to us gaijins, but also to our hosts. In a few months (or next year) I would definitely go again, even though it is tofu. :D
Visited January 2018
“Great tofu and yuba kaiseki restaurant.”
This place is one of the addresses of Ume no Hana chain, which specializes in tofu and yuba fare. They do a fabulous job at delivering kaiseki menus at a somewhat affordable price and this place doesn't fail to do just that. I visit regularly and am always satisfied. They have cheaper lunch options ...on weekdays. Choosing what to eat can be challenging for non-Japanese readers or newcomers to real traditional Japanese food (outside of sushi and anything famous outside of Japan).
Visited January 2017
“Enjoyed the view and the food”
We were invited by our Japanese friend and his wife (Excellent hosts). The view from the 29th floor cabin windows was breathtaking. The hospitality was awesome. For non Japanese friends trying to give some details of the multi-course tofu based menu. Started with Mineoka (tofu) Yuba Ohitashi (green... boiled leaves with soya sauce) Chaanwanushi (egg pudding without sugar) Otsckuri (tofu skin) Tofu shumai Oshinogi (to change the taste) Nabemono (tofu boiled on the table) Namafudengaku Yubaage (tofu skin fried) Yubagraten Yubasuimono (tofu skin soup) Kisitshunomeshimono (seasonal rice dish with soup) Kounomono (Pickles) Kashi desert The sake was very good. Caution: The quantity could be very much, try to taste little bit of every course. Highly recommended
Visited February 2017
“Ume No Have-any Flavor”
My guide book recommended trying a kaiseki meal as it was a Japanese experience not to be missed. One of my favorite parts about traveling is trying new and different types of food, so after a little research I ended up at Ume no Hana. The menu was pretty big, so we asked the server for a recommen...dation, and she indicated two different set course options as being the most popular (the staff doesn't speak much English, but are very friendly). Each was about 15 courses, and had a lot of the same items with only a few differences in some of the courses, so I just picked one randomly. Pretty much all of the courses had the exact same complete lack of flavor. There were some different textures, one course was like chewing on raw pizza dough, another was like eating wet cardboard, and another was like congealed chicken fat. But they all had no flavor and mostly relied on soy sauce to give any kind of taste. There were a few courses that had fish, which was a welcome break, but the tofu blandness was overwhelming. Also, the meal was really drawn out. Each course is pretty small and the wait between courses was sometimes long. This wouldn't have been as big a deal if it actually tasted good, but since it didn't, it was like some weird torture where I was actually building anticipation for something only to be completely let down by it. The worst was about a 30 minute wait between two of the later courses. The yuba pot that you cook yourself at the table was still there (it's one of the earlier courses and stays on the table for the rest of the meal), and I started to wonder if they were waiting for me to finish the whole yuba pot before they would bring out the next course. So, I kept skimming and eating the yuba, also a weird form of torture because now I'm doing work to be able to eat something that doesn't taste good, hoping that finishing it off would allow me to end the meal and go get something to eat somewhere else (I ate a bowl of cereal afterwards because I was not full at all). By the time the rice course came out I was so excited to eat something without the bland tofu flavor/lack of flavor. Yes, plain white rice seemed to burst with flavor compared to the rest of the meal. Of course, I can eat rice at home. 5600 yen to have my taste buds punished is not my idea of a good time. I'm not really a tofu fan to begin with, but I was expecting more given all the hype. Maybe tofu lovers will be in heaven, but this meal will not convert anyone. I will say, it got to a point where the meal was so bad that the entire ordeal was funny, and I've gotten a lot of mileage out of telling the story of how bad it was to friends. So, if you enjoy doing unpleasant things for the funny story, then head on over to Ume No Hana.
Visited September 2014
“Worst meal I've ever paid to eat”
I'm flabbergasted by all the positive reviews of this place and I can't imagine anyone enjoying what I ate here. Perhaps many of the positive reviews are for other things on the menu. My review is based on the experience of eating one of the multi-course tofu options (5600 yen). One thing to keep... in mind while reading this is that I do like tofu and eat it about 1-2 times per week. First, I'll start with the positive. The staff at the restaurant is very competent and welcoming. They do not speak English and I don't speak much Japanese, but they were able to accommodate me and gave me a copy of an English menu (though the English menu does not list all the food that is on the Japanese menu...only about 1/2 the items are listed in English). Also, we were seated at a table away from the window and when a window table became available, they gave us the option of moving to it mid-meal. Now for the negative. I was looking forward to trying the multi-course kaiseki tofu meal and was very disappointed. Most of the courses were very bland and didn't have enough sauce, spices or other components to make eating the tofu flavorful. If I had been blindfolded while eating, I don't think I'd be able to tell the difference between many of the courses in terms of flavor. The only exceptions were the few courses that focused on fish (crusted in tofu), crab (dumpling) or vegetables (pickled) and the tofu wasn't the focus of the dish. Even those dishes were only moderately flavorful. The other downfall of the dishes was unpleasant texture. In general, the texture of tofu is rather mushy and, I believe, to make it more appealing, it needs to be transformed in a drastic way. Although the courses did have many different preparations of tofu, including boiled, deep-fried & cubed, almost all of them resulted in a soft, mushy texture that made me feel like I was eating mucus or paste. The worst dish was the yuba, which is cooked on a burner at your table by simmering soymilk. The skin that forms at the top is the yuba and my dining companion compared it to a wet, plastic bag dipped in soy sauce. Finally, the presentation of the food was rather lackluster overall. From what I understand, kaiseki courses are intended to look quite beautiful and ornate. Very few of the dishes fit that description and it seems like the ornateness was dependent upon the characteristics of the plate, bowl or container in which it was served. Having my food served on beautiful & unique plates wasn't that impressive because it doesn't demonstrate the skill of the chef very much. Overall, I would strongly recommend against eating any of the tofu dishes at this restaurant and you could get the other items on the menu at another restaurant. This place isn't worth the time or money spent.
Visited September 2014