Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Vegan Buddhist Japanese in NYC

Last week we went to dinner at Kajitsu in the East Village in NYC. Here's the info from their website:

"Kajitsu serves shojin cuisine, an ancient Japanese cuisine developed in Zen Buddhist monasteries. Following the Buddhist principle of not taking life, Shojin cuisine does not use meat or fish. Meals are prepared from fresh, in season vegetables, legumes, wild herbs, seeds and grains, chosen at the moment in the season that best reflects their flavor. At Kajitsu we make our delicious and wholesome dishes from high quality ingredients prepared with traditional Japanese culinary techniques."

Kajitsu has a prix fixe menu with 2 options that changes every month and is very dependent on the season. We sprung for the 8 course menu ($70) and they also have a 4 course ($50) option.

Nagaimo Dumpling with Blanched Kikuna and Sesame Sauce. (Website photo-I was hungry and forgot to bust out the camera, but it looked just like this.)

Arare Encrusted Nama-fu and Steamed Yuba in a Clear Broth. This was a broth with seitan cubes - but they were lighter then "normal" seitan. The yuba is the skin from soy milk and is quite delicious.

Komatsuna Greens Tossed with Fried Tofu, Couscous and Kabocha Squash Pate, Tomato Agar Agar. The red square was a whole cherry tomato encased in a tomato jello.

House-made Soba Noodles Served Tanuki Style. These were homemade soba (buckwheat) noodles.

This isn't a course, it's the special 7 spice blend for the soba noodles. I think it's cute with the little wood peg that looks like a nose.

Spaghetti Squash Served with Late Summer Vegetables in Kuzu Sauce.

This is the spaghetti squash as it's served from the gourd.

Ginger Mitsuba Rice with Roasted Eggplant and House-made Pickled Vegetables
The eggplant was smoky deliciousness. I was getting full, so I had trouble finishing the rice! It was topped with Japanese herbs.

Kuzu Mochi with Dates. Whew, this was the perfect size dessert.

Matcha and Ariheito Style Candies by Kyoto Shioyoshiken - I forgot to snap a photo, but this was 3 sugar candies shaped like this and a bowl of matcha tea.

I gotta say, I was stuffed, but very fulfilled with this meal. I think just 4 courses wouldn't have been as satisfying. The restaurant is practically silent and the service is impeccable. Each dish is meticulously served, and the waiter was gracious enough to explain all the interesting ingredients and techniques. Loved it. Worth the splurge and I will definitely go back soon. I can't wait to see the October menu. I think I'm going to have to talk someone into taking me there again for my birthday.


Jen said...

wow. that food looks way to pretty to eat. i will say the asian line of cuisine has probably the most gorgeous presentation, hands down.

It's All In The Blog said...

ok, after I pick up my chin and wipe the drool off the keyboard

Yummy yum yum
well I know who to visit if I ever make it out to NYC again in this lifetime!
That looks amazing
Maybe I am just hungry, but I am literally drooling
I love places that explain things to you, you learn something and you get a satisfyingly full tummy!

Anonymous said...

Oooh, I've been wanting to try Kajitsu--everything looks so good! I'm moving it up on the list.

River said...

Nice splurge, Jenn! I love the spaghetti squash dish, so cute!

*fingers crossed for you to go back there for your birthday* :)

Tara said...

Hey Jen, the food looks pretty good. I guess I need to jazz up my Vegan menu when you guys come to visit. LOL !

Mandee said...

What an amazing looking meal! The presentation is gorgeous.

Susan said...

That looks fantastic. So beautiful! I wish we had some good vegan Japanese here. It's one of my favourites.

For the Love of Guava said...

oh nom... I didn't realize how hard it was to find vegan japanese food and still haven't found a great place yet and so sadly eat very little... tempura used to be my go to when I was vegetarian but alas egg batter... boo!!!