Umami & Kaiseki @ the METメトロポリタン美術館の 料亭 Kikunoi

The other day our friends talked enthusiastically about the Kaiseki experience at an UMAMI dinner at the Metropolitan Museum. They were at our terrace for lunch the following day and our dishes must have looked very poor in comparison. The brochure for the menu was fancier than the museum guide.

The Umami Information Center says “When humans eat, they use all of their senses (sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste) to form general judgments about their food, but it is taste that is the most influential in determining how delicious a food is” , but I think that sometimes the setting, our expectations and the rituals of eating are very effective.

Am I a poor loser if I say we had a handicap? The surrounding setting definitely worked, they were having dinner in an amazing museum.  Nobody has been impressed with my MATCHA or Japanese tea which is used for the tea ceremony, but everybody says it is wonderful after they experience a real tea ceremony. This is a good example that the situation alters the perception drastically. Japanese food needs a special setting with the right atmosphere and input to impress people. In New York sushi is the exception; it already has a reputation and if you serve sushi suddenly it is a fancy meal.




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