WASHOKU

Harmony through Food

A la Japonaise is the brain child of Atsuko and Elsa, two professional chefs who have decided to make their native Japanese and French cuisines collide for a series of special culinary events organized throughout the year.


Each month, we will celebrate the seasons and create dishes

with the most delicious things that Nature has to offer, “à la Japonaise”. We will be following the festive Matsuri calendar tradition. Our goal is to create a memorable dining experience serving you refined comfort foods to contemporary tastes

balanced by traditional sensibilities and visual artistry.. All in

all, a casual, friendly and intimate experience!


SPRING Events 

May HARU 

Dinners on Friday 17 & Saturday 18

 

Who would’ve thought but spring has finally sprung (apparently)!

The magnolia and cherry trees are in bloom and daffodils are

showing their sunny faces… Flowers and blooms – just what

we’ve been waiting for since the last fallen leaves in November!

Wherever you are, spring usually comes with a fascination for

flowers, with people finally leaving the warmth of their homes

for the outdoor blooming parks and gardens. In Japan, this is

the time for hanami, the traditional custom of flower viewing

and particularly for cherry blossom (sakura), which of course is

accompanied with delicious food and drinks, under your favourite

tree… Queen’s Park not being short of colourful blossoms, we’re

bringing the tradition to London for a couple of nights at the ever

so lovely CC’s Cafe. Come and join us in our little bucolic haven

for an inspired springy menu!

 

Menu: A six-course meal will be served alongside a greeting

drink. One week prior the event, we announce the details of

menu! Please do let us know of any special dietary requirements

and we will offer you with an alternative menu if the proposed one

doesn’t suit.

 

Drinks: CC’s café being fully licensed, we will be proposing delicious wines from les Caves de Pyrene, wine suppliers to the famous Brawns et  Terroirs restaurants in London.  Bottles will be sold at a special price of £15. Please note this is not a BYO event.

 

Booking policies: If booking for a group of more than 4 people, please agree to pay a £30 deposit per person via bank transfer to cover the cost of staff and food. Remaining balance of payments should be made in cash on the day. If your cancellation within 72 hours before the event you booked, this won’t be refundable.

 

Cancellation policies: Please could you provide as much notice as possible within the three days prior the event. If you cancel without any notice (on the day) or simply don’t show up, we will send you an email, so that you would be able to make your donation via bank transfer. Please be considerate, it’s OK to cancel if you cannot make it but please give us as much notice as possible – as there are many people who would like to come instead and it breaks our heart to waste food…

 

Contact:

Atsuko on 079 2139 7792 or email classes@atsukoskitchen.com

Elsa on 077 3946 2216 or email elsa@washoku.co.uk

 

WINTER Events 

February  FUYU 

Dinners on Friday 22 & Saturday 23

 

The A La Japonaise team is back for the last leg of winter on Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd of February. We’ll be concocting a menu celebrating what makes winter so special: think edible snowballs, traditional hearty dishes with a twist, dessert that makes you want to ski.. All in all, a love letter to winter just in time to say goodbye!

 

 

JanuarySHINNENKAI 新年会

Dinners on Friday 18 & Saturday 19


Over here, when Christmas and New Year’s have passed, that’s basically it… Christmas lights are down so you can’t really see where you’re going and you’ll most probably end up tripping on some old Christmas tree as they’re all on the pavements waiting for redemption. Not the best way to start the year… In that respect, you’d be better of to be in Japan for January as they continue the celebrations with a bonenkai “hello new year” party. Given that it might sound a little excessive to fly to Japan for a party, we’ve decided to throw our own bonenkai party, A La Japonaise style with a delicious menu and great wines at the ever so lovely CC’s café in Queen’s Park.

 

 

AUTUMN Events

October Aki

Dinners on Friday 26 & Saturday 27


Autumn is our favourite season. In Japan like in France, we call it the gourmet season… Let’s say that, by an unfortunate luck, you are lost in the middle of nowhere, might it be in the forest, on a mountain or by the sea, not only will you survive, but you will dine like a food critic at a Michelin-star restaurant…  Apple, chestnut, cabbages, goose, mackerel, mussels, pumpkins & squashes, plums, pears & sloes, wild mushrooms… and the list goes on & on…

If you’re not that keen on getting lost but would still love to taste what the wonders and delights of an Autumnal menu has to offer, join us on one of our two supperclub evenings at the ever so lovely CC’s café in Queen’s Park.


SUMMER Events 

July – Natsu party

Dinners on Friday 20 & Saturday 21


In Japan, there is something called the calendar of Shun. There is no equivalent to the word shun in the English vocabulary, but it is a key concept in Japanese food culture. Shun is the exact moment when food is at its peak of flavour: when a vegetable is at its most delicious; fruit at its peak offragrant sweetness and when mushrooms are at their most tasty. It is the time when various kinds of fish can be caught during their annual migration up and down Japan’s coasts, and when they are at their most flavourful.

Similarly in France, shun can be seen on the ever changing food market stalls offering seasonal local produces. Both cultures have a strong consideration for the season.

We know the weather has been somewhat deceiving but it’s now official, Summer has arrived – or at least on the calendar! So in this tradition of shun, the A La Japonaise team will be hosting two dinners serving an inspired menu celebrating summer and all the delicacies that ring with it. For this series of events, we will be back at the gorgeous CC’s cafe, this heavenly spot looking exactly like a movie set but in the heart of North West London’s up and coming Queen’s Park. This picturesque cake shop tucked down the 18th century Lonsdale road cobbled mews is the perfect place to see Summer pass by with its cottage-like features, vintage crockery everywhere and little terrace.



SPRING Events

May – Hana Saku party花咲く

Dinners on Friday 11 & Saturday 12


Spring has sprung and so has A La Japonaise after a few busy months, which unfortunately unabled us to host our beloved supperclub dinners… And spring being the time for renewal, we’ve changed destination and will be welcoming you in the gorgeous CC’s cafe!

Hana Saku – literally, flowers and blooms – just what we’ve been waiting for since the last fallen leaves in November! Wherever you are, spring usually comes with a fascination with flowers, with people finally leaving the warmth of their homes for the outdoor blooming parks and gardens. In Japan, this is the time for hanami, the traditional custom of flower viewing and particularly of cherry blossom (sakura), which is of course accompanied with delicious food and drinks, enjoyed under your favourite tree… Queen’s Park not being short of colourful blossoms, we’re bringing the tradition to London for a couple of nights… Come and join us in our little bucolic haven for an inspired springy menu!


 


WINTER Events

January – Setsubun party 節分

Dinners on Friday 27 and Saturday 28


The A La Japonaise team is back for the first supperclub of the year of the dragon! In true Japanese fashion, we will celebrate the New Year with two setsubun dining 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 are 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!




DecemberBonenkai party 忘年会

Dinner on Saturday 10


December… The sweet month of celebration where Christmas trees are the new “it” plants, turkey the one to watch and mulled

wine your favourite drink. While at both ends of the Eurostar, we celebrate baby Jesus and the jovial red suit-clad old man who tragically, turned out to be our parents… in Japan, we have Bonenkai parties – literally, “forget the year” parties held among co-workers or friends with no particular synthetic white beard dress code policy.  Delicious food and drinks are enjoyed to forget the troubles of the past year and welcome the coming of the new year.


Join the A La Japonaise team at the beautiful SNAP photo studios in Islington, for one delicious event where Christmas meet “forget the year” traditions in a menu inspired by what December is all about. (More information on menu and entertainment to come shortly…)



AUTUMN Events

NovemberShojin Ryori

Dinner on Saturday 12


“Shojin” cuisine refers to a type of vegetarian cooking that originates in Zen Buddhism. Even though it does not use meat or fish, Shojin is regarded as the foundation of all Japanese cuisine, especially kaiseki, the Japanese version of haute cuisine.

In our A La Japonaise event, we will propose you a six-course meal in which fresh, seasonal ingredients are prepared in ways that enhance the flavor of each component, with the finished dishes beautifully arranged on plates.

This special evening will be co-hosted by Mari Fuji, the world renowned shojin master, who will be guiding us through an inventive menu cooked by yours truly, Atsuko and Elsa. Based on the notion that balancing colors, flavors and methods of food preparation enables optimal nutrition and aesthetic satisfaction, the principles of shojin will lead you to culinary harmony.


 

October – Aki Matsuri

Dinners on Friday 28 and Saturday 29

While our summer dining events were candlelit and held in an elegant Kensington garden, our autumnal dinners take a different twist and take 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, this month, to show you that autumn is definitely the new summer, with its abundance of flavours and colours!


A sake bar will be open from 7:00pm with specially selected sakes offered by Natsuki, head sommelier at Roka restaurant and winner of the Sake Communicator Award 2011 of IWC.



SUMMER Events


Our candlelit summer dinners will be held under a magnolia tree, amidst the hydrangeas and other fragrant flowers of an elegant townhouse’s gorgeous garden in Kensington.We are always hoping for good weather but if there are risks of rain forecast, we will notify you 3 days in advance and propose some alternative dates..


August
OBONお盆

Dinners on Tuesday 23 and Wednesday 24


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.

For our very own Obon, we promise you special gastronomical fireworks, rivers “a la Japonaise” and most importantly, a lot of fun..!


July TANABATA七夕

Dinners on Friday 15 & Saturday 16


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..