Risuke in Nara

Risuke is located about 20 km outside of Nara city and it turned out to be one of my biggest culinary surprise in a long time.  The unasuming restaurant is vedge between a few major family restaurants and a supermarket on one of the strip mall street you can find anywhere in Japan. But… Risuke is not an ordinary restaurant!

When you walk in, the restaurant is just a long corridor with a few rooms located on the left hand while the kitchen is hidden on the right. Weird weird feeling, but I was told that the place was famous for great fish, so I just waited in this weird minimalist room with my wife. 

Lucky for me, they offered me the room with the chairs

And then the some slowly started coming and my mind was blown.

The first thing that came out of the kitchen were small Akashi octopus with Kyoto bamboo shoot

The second that came out.  Small Otaru squid, shirako, shrimp, goma tofu

A scallop mousse with a very delicate seaweed soup

The sashimi plate with Miyazaki sea bream, Kagoshima hon maguro and Osaka squid.
The tuna just melted like butter in my mouth.

The next dish was a big suprise. A piece of sea bream served like a sakura mochi

It’s pink rice!

By that point, I figured out that the chef at Risuke had some great skills and he actually came out of the kitchen to present some of the dishes.

The next thing that came out was a nodoguro (blackthroat sea perch) from the Sea of Japan. It’s a white fish and I was sure the thing had be cooked in butter, but I was told that’s the natural fatty taste of the fish, AMAZING!!!

Next was a Wakayama katsuo

A delicious deep fried fugu, one of my favorite.

Hairy crab, a first in my case.

The final, rice, soup and tsukemono

The simple dessert, warabi mochi

I can only highly recommend Risuke.  A beautiful meal full of surprises, an exercise in simplicity and an amazing attention to details.

You will need a reservation for that one and we chose the 8000 yen course (not including tax and service).  It’s way outside of Nara city, but it’s worth the drive.

Risuke 利助