Taste local Hida-region cuisine and sake in an old Japanese house-like atmosphere! “Kaikagetsu NYC”

Taste local Hid... Taste local Hid... Taste local Hid... Taste local Hid... Taste local Hid... Taste local Hid...
By Aya Ota

Characteristics of New York City are strongly reflected upon old brick buildings and graffiti on the walls of the Lower East Side. In this town, new hotels, galleries, restaurants, and bars have been appearing one after another in the past few years, and the scene of the town has been rapidly changing. One of them is “Kaikagetsu NYC” that has the Hida-region of Gifu prefecture as their theme, with a brand-new concept.

When you step into the restaurant, being enchanted and led by the elegant swaying paper lanterns hung in the front, its beautiful interior catches your eyes first. You see lamps standing in line like on a street in the space where deep charcoal brown grainy woods, white walls and ceilings are effectively laid out. As you keep walking forward towards the heavy door in the back, you feel like you are walking down the street of the Hida region where old houses stand in line along the streets. A truly relaxing and elegant ambience has been produced there with impressively presented Mino Washi paper and local artifacts, etc.

The dishes served there are dominated by the Hida-region’s local cuisine. Hida beef, a Gifu prefecture specialty, is featured as the main menu item, and they serve a wide variety of both traditional dishes such as “Hida Beef Hoba Yaki” ($60) and “Hida Beef Toban Yaki” ($60), and modern version dishes such as “Hida Beef Curry” ($24) and “Hida Beef Skewers” ($24). The “Hida Beef Nigiri Sushi Sampler” ($35), which is sushi of lightly char-boiled Hida beef, is particularly well received. Variations of possibilities of wagyu beef are exhibited one after another, which surprises and impresses you. As for Japanese sake, it is extremely carefully selected mainly amongst the Hida-region brands. “Tenryou Koshu” Junmai Daiginjo, which has a distinctive aroma, is especially popular, and many customers order it for pairing with Hida beef dishes. There, you can either choose to sit at a table to relax to enjoy a Kaiseki course, or sit at the bar to enjoy sake while having à la carte dishes.

“Their unprecedented unique concept, Hida, and the ingredient, Hida beef, which is very attractive to Americans, must be appealing to New Yorkers,” says Tomoyuki Iwanami, the owner. Mr. Iwanami was born and raised in New York. He has a unique background. He worked in both the music and fashion industries. He was specialized in marketing and branding. The joint effort with Mr. Yasuo Shigeta, CEO, Forrest Fooding, Inc., also his friend of 10 years, who runs 37 various types of restaurants in Japan, started extensive market research about 5 years ago for the main purpose of opening a Japanese fine dining restaurant in New York, which is the center of the world of eatery. What they took most of their time was to look for the location and building. They had their eyes on the Lower East Side since the beginning; however, they felt a special energy and growth potential of this area by seeing the past year’s remarkable changes there, and eventually decided to choose this location. I found out that they had decided on the theme as the Hida region later on. They first determined the condition of the existing real estate candidates, local clientele and their characteristics, etc., and then chose “Kaikagetsu” as their themed restaurant among the running business models of Forrest Fooding Inc.

The strong selling point of “Kaikagetsu NYC” is, no need to say, its particularity about ingredients and cooking style. They brought as many as 3 chefs from Japan, who are experienced and well established in Kaiseki cuisine. Their truly authentic and delicately crafted dishes are very well recognized. The colorful presentation of each dish that makes you feel the present season, looks like a piece of art. Playful arrangements are applied to daily changing ingredients by the chefs, and never bore even the repeating customers. Such strengths of theirs was taken into their branding strategy, and used for choosing the media that are particular about foods and drink, for their advertisements. They also invited concierges of nearby hotels to introduce their concept and dishes so they can recommend the restaurant to the hotel guests. Diligent efforts such as those worked out, and the restaurant has become a place where gourmet customers who want to eat good food, gather despite the location which, you cannot say, is really convenient to reach.

“As a Japanese who was born and raised in New York, I wanted to do something for Japan,” continues Mr. Iwanami. Aside from running the restaurant, he is contributing to the exchange of Japan/US food cultures by hiring novice chefs who are interested in Japanese cuisine, and training them, etc.

I’d really like you to visit this restaurant where you can fully enjoy good old Japanese elegant ambience and local cuisine.









Kaikagetsu NYC
162 Orchard Street
New York, NY 10002
Tel: 646-590-3900
URL: www.kaikagetsunyc.com
#alljapannews #hida #cusine #sake #kaikagetsu #beef


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