Taiko has recently launched their new Hanami menu. A menu inspired by the Japanese custom to enjoy the beauty of flowers when the cherry tree blossoms. Hanami is usually enjoyed in the company of family and friends over small bites.
When I published the photos on my Instagram stories during the lunch, you guys went crazy over the dishes. And with good reason! Executive Chef Schilo van Coevorden knows how to wow his guests with intriguing dishes and stunning presentations.
We start the menu with a trio of hamachi tartar, white asparagus salad and nitamago eggs, a watermelon sashimi with shiso leaves and the cured wagyu temari sushi with sakura. There’s an attention to detail to all of Schilo’s dishes, no matter how small. The cured wagyu temari for instance was exquisite and so was the asparagus served on Schilo’s signature wasabi sauce (soon to be sold online – we’re waiting for it already!).
We’re served lobster gyoza next with black garlic and a miso sauce and a cappuccino of asparagus and sea urchin custard with seaweed. Schilo loves serving his savory cappuccinos. It’s one of his signature styles. They’re always light and airy but pack so much flavor.
Before our main, we’re served a fresh water trout with sakura soba, fiddleheads and a sakura sauce. It’s hard to pinpoint the flavor of sakura. It’s sweet, with hints of cherry and strawberry. It goes so well with a cold hand pulled soba! For our main, we’re served a roasted duck with szechuan peppers and fragrant fried rice.
Dessert was served in two stunning plates. A kakigori of umeshu (what a surprise), violet and an almond panna cotta and – the stunner of the lunch – a sakura tree of chocolate and sakura ice cream.
Chef Schilo is a master of Japanese cuisine. He understands Asian flavors so well he is able to marry different cuisines in his dishes. But his love for the Japanese kitchen shines through it all. The Taiko Hanami menu is a journey to the far east and a beautiful ode to the sakura cherry blossom.
Find the Hanami menu at Taiko at the Conservatorium Hotel this spring.