Harmony through Food


Christmas kaiseki dinner, CC’s cafe, Queen’s Park

Some are still digesting Thanksgiving, others are getting ready for Hannuka or Christmas… In Japan, it’s about celebrating the end of the year with a Sinnenkai party, or, if you dropped the Gregorian calendar for the Mayan one, you’ll be now looking at the imminent end of the world.. But what is sure is that wherever you are from or whatever your beliefs are, we all agree it’s cause for celebration!

Hence… yours truly, the A La Japonaise team, will host one dinner on Thursday 12 – an occasion for us to look back at this wonderful year cooking for you and to create our last 2012 menu: a celebration “kaiseki” menu of 8 small dishes, served paired with the perfect wines for a real treat of a dinner.


HyperJapan, Earl’s Court Exhibition Hall

HyperJapan 2012 Christmas will bring the best of Japan to London celebrating Japanese culture with traditional and contemporary exhibitors and performances. We will be hosting 3 days of cooking demonstrations so get in the mood for Christmas the Japanese way learning how to make Japanese tapas and tasting some delicious sake!


Mochi-Making Demonstration for the Japanese Olympic Team

During these two days, we served hundreds of mochi for the Japanese Olympic Committee, its team of athletes and a few guests invited to get a taste of Japan. We prepared these rice cakes the traditional way, pounding the rice and rolling them in our hands to make this lovely round shape. We served them in different ways such as sprinkled with kinako, with a cream of edamame beans or simply with soya sauce.


HyperJapan, Earl’s Court Exhibition Hall

Whatever you love about Japan, you’ll find it atHyperJapan! HyperJapan is the UK’s biggest event on Japanese culture so if you’re into cosplay, sake, Japanese films and of course, food, make sure to buy your tickets. Yours truly, Atsuko and myself will be doing some demonstrations during these 3 days, teaching you how to make some easy delectable dishes such as the national kare rice, rolled sushi but also matcha & white chocolate truffles, red bean dorayaki amongst others.. Oishii!


The Times presents Destinations show, Earl’s Court Exhibition Hall

Atsuko and I will have taken over the “Taste the World” stage at 2pm for an hour cooking demonstration. On the menu, how to make inarizushi and little buns filled with gingered pork soboro… Sake curious & lovers stayed until 4pm for Natsuki’s delicious sake presentation and tasting…

January Supperclub:

節分 – Setsubun Dinner Events

Setsubun (literally “seasonal separation”) marks the end of the lunar year and the coming of spring – a time for renewal.

Traditionally, on the night of the setsubun, households do mame-maki, a bean-throwing ceremony to drive out evil spirit and bring the family well-being and good fortune: roasted soybeans are thrown out of the house and at the unlucky person chosen to wear the oni (demon) mask.. while everyone goes shouting “Oni wa soto! Fuku wa uchi!” (“Out with the goblins! In with the fortune!”).

Foodies, bean-throwers and mask-wearers were all summoned to celebrate setsubun “a la Japonaise” on two evening occasions with a delicious and inventive six-course meal in an elegant Kensington townhouse to chase all evils and call for good fortune!


New Year ‘Surprise’ Plate

Ozoni New Year soup: clear dashi broth with vegetables and mochi rice cake

Parmentier of salt cod & yuzukosho, garlic crumbs, fennel & young leaves

Panfried duck breasts with orange & French mustard sauce, watercress salad

Eho-maki: sushi-roll with spicy tuna, egg roll, red pepper & cucumber

Galette des rois filled with almond cream and pink pepper


“Zen and the Art of Healthy Eating” Tasting Event

Co-hosted by Mari Fujii and the Japanese Embassy

Following the success of her visits to London in the last two years, we are welcoming back Japan’s famous Shojin Ryori author and chef, Mari Fujii. For this special event, Mari Fujii will do a talk on Zen Buddhist temple cuisine and the art of healthy eating, while Atsuko and I will be serving ten different canapes inspired by Shojin Ryori.

October Supperclub:

Aki Matsuri Dinner events

While our summer dining events were candlelit and held in an elegant Kensington garden, our october dining events took a different twist and took you the opposite way to the East end, to SNAP Studios, a renowned photo studio to take a peek at what’s happening on the other side!

For some, autumn is the mere reminder of the ending of summer, its greenness and its warmth. But in Japan, it is essentially a period of renewal and harvests, a season of abundance. Just as for spring’s cherry-blossom

viewing (sakura), thousands travel to contemplate the colour-changing

landscapes (koyo) and taste the regional autumnal dishes.

Unfortunately our British summers are easy to forget but they pave the way to wonderful autumnal gourmet seasons. Hence, our mission for October to show you that autumn is definitely the new summer, with its abundance of flavours and colours! For Japanophiles, sake lovers and curious palates, Natsuki, head sommelier at Roka restaurant and winner of the Sake Communicator Award 2011 of IWC, proposed specially selected sakes to be paired with the menu.


Aki Matsuri Plate: autumnal harvest plate from the sea, mountain and field

Octopus & parsnip balls with ankake sauce takoyaki-style

Fish of the day tartar with quail egg yolk

Chicken & seasonal vegetable nimono & ginger Madeleine

Shimeji mushroom rice okowa topped with egg soboro

Chocolate & chestnut cake with candied sweet potato & honey semifreddo

AUGUST Supperclub:

お盆Obon Dinner Events

Obon is a three-day Japanese Buddhist festival when ancestors’s spirits return to this world in order to visit their relatives. Traditionally, lanterns are hung in front of houses to guide the ancestors’ spirits, obon dances (bon odori) are performed, fireworks (hanabi) are lit, graves are visited and food offerings are made at house altars and temples. At the end of the festival, floating lanterns are put into rivers, lakes and seas in order to guide the spirits back into their world.

Obon menu:

Obon Plate: assortments of skewers with dips

Coriander and yuzu granita, beetroot ravioli with smoked mackerel & apple filling

Tataki of seared salmon with avocado and ponzu jelly

Confit of miso & cider marinated duck with celeriac mash & rhubarb

Riso nero & gomasio-coated white rice checkered onigiri rice balls, spicy pickled turnip

Watermelon & sparkling sugar, roasted pistachio-coated paprika truffles, mini-milhasshou

JULY Supperclub:

七夕Tanabata Dinner Events

Tanabata, the star festival, celebrates the annual reunion of two lovers Orihime and Hikoboshi, who meet once a year on this date… Legend says they are separated by a river of stars, the Milky Way for the rest of the year.. This festival is celebrated on the night of the seventh day of the seventh lunar month of the lunisolar calendar. Following Japanese tradition, diners will be given small pieces of paper to write their wishes on, which then will be hung on our own wish tree..

Tanabata menu:

  • Tanabata Plate: 5 colourful dips with oatmeal star-shaped crackers & kanten stars
  • Chilled courgette & yuzu veloute with miso carrot drops
  • Deep-fried agedashi mackerel, grated pink radish & ginger & tosozu sauce
  • Crispy miso & 5 spices marinated pork belly with turnip & shiso fresh salad
  • Chilled somen noodles & mentsuyu sauce
  • Summer fruit agar jelly, candied sweet potato, green tea madeleine


Japan Relief Fundraising Tasting Event with Atsuko’s Kitchen

Mother Nature has shown once again its undisputable and devastative power and has left North of Japan desolated. With our heart and humble hands we wanted to reach to the the survivors who have lost everything and thought the best way to show our support was to organize a charity event where we would share some Japanese food and drinks with you! Please join us for this unique tasting event of shochu and Japanese-style tapas and raise funds for the people of Japan who are in need of your help!

Come and discover the delicious tastes of shochu, Japan’s other indigenous  alcoholic beverage from Kyushu island! We will guide you through the tasting of four different kinds of specially imported high-quality shochu, which will be served with their pairing japas, our very own Japanese take on Spanish tapas!

You will be greeted with a glass of umeshu and some home-made crackers before being given a general presentation on shochu.. and we’ll continue on with a casual and fun tasting of both the drinks and food!

All the proceeds of this fundraising event for the Japan earthquake and tsunami relief will go to the victims.. Your presence will support Japanese people in need.

The Shochu selection:
Ikinokura Distillery, Nagasaki prefecture- made from barley and rice
Asagiri No Hana,
Takata Shuzohjyo Distillery, Kumamoto prefecture – made from rice
Ohishi Distillery, Kumamoto prefecture – made from rice
Chizuru Black,
Kami Distillery, Kagoshima prefecture  – made from sweet potato

The Japas selection:

Home-made pine-nut tofu – served on a bed of caper ratatouille puree
Buta no Kakuni –
simmered daikon radish with slow-cooked pork belly
Yakinasu –
grilled aubergine with grated daikon radish dressing, garnished with shiso leaf
Saba meshi –
smoked mackerel riceball sprinkled with sansho pepper
Satsuma age –
deep-fried prawn and tofu balls with Asian dipping sauce
Nori ten –
deep-fried nori seaweed filled with mochi
Bunny-shaped bao –
steamed buns filled with anko red bean paste

Venue: The Grocery, 54-56 Kingsland Road, London, E2 8DP

When: April 7, 6.45pm until 9pm

Price: £35

Contact: 077 3946 2216 or elsa@washoku.co.uk


Dinner at the Raebervonstenglin gallery, Zurich

Thursday 10 February at 9pm, 35 guests retreated to the room next door to Sofia Hultén’s beautiful If you want to hide

a tree, go to the forest, a work part of her new show at the Raebervonstenglin gallery in Zurich.

Seated around her dramatic and engaging wrecking ball, they enjoyed a dinner of Siu Mai, walnut tofu on caponata, coriander and dill fishcakes, chicken hotpot and chocolate fondants.. All delicious treats we prepared for the occasion of the vernissage.. Too busy unfortunately to take any shots of the dinner, you can still go and check this fantastic show if you happen to be in Zurich before April 2…


Introduction and Degustation of Shojin Ryori

with Chef Mari Fujii

In collaboration with the fabulous Atsuko from Atsuko’s Kitchen, Washoku organizes an evening of tasting and discovery of the lesser known but yet remarkably delicious Shojin Ryori or Japanese Temple Food. Alongside the renowned Japanese Shojin chef, Mari Fujii, we will introduce you to the principles of this healthy but delicate cuisine and excite your palates with a gourmet seasonal menu specifically created for this occasion.

To View the Menu, please click here!

For the savvy cooks of you, Atsuko organizes a string of cooking classes around the theme of Shojin Ryori. They will not only introduce you to the principles of Shojin but also teach you about the essence of Japanese cuisine. Have a look at her class schedule here and make sure you book your seat!

Venue: The Grocery, 54-56 Kingsland Road, London, E2 8DP

When: November 18, 7pm

Price: £45

Contact: 077 3946 2216 or elsa@washoku.co.uk


Marylebone Village Christmas Lights Event 2010

Washoku teams up with the fantastically cool Japanese design shop Eclectic on the occasion of the Marylebone Christmas Lights Event. For the fourth year in a row, Marylebone village will be transformed into a winter wonderland with street performers, food stalls, a grotto and many more surprises that promise to wow the crowds.

Asako from Eclectic and I will be holding our stall next to the shop from 3.30pm until 6pm. Come say hi and succomb to one of our Japanese culinary treats or simply for a cup of traditional green tea! 10 hour-braised pork belly & apple chaussons, miso & paprika tartelettes, Japanese korroke, chocolate & chestnut mini-cakes.. Our stall promises to be a bounty of pleasure for both savoury and sweet teeth!

Venue: 66 Marylebone High Street

When: November 17, 3.30 – 6pm