Saturday, 9 August 2014

Kairada: Life's easy in Kibikicho...

A long long time ago, Gentle Reader, in a Shogunate far far away, the area around the Kabukiza was called Kibiki-cho. The place only changed into "Ginza" in the Meiji Period. In fact, the Kabukiza was built there because it was Kibiki-cho.
You see, kibiki means "sawyer" and Kibiki-cho was where the makers-of-stuff were concentrated during the early days of the Edo Shogunate. So were the Noh and Kabuki actors - in all, a ready-made audience and land was relatively easily had. As was timber apparently, with all the appropriate fixings. Kabuki is a working class theatre form, no doubt full of groundlings. Think Shakespeare's Globe ...
There were a lot of "za" back in the day. It literally means "seat" - lots of bureaucrats butt-polishing za-buton. The Gin-za had the license to mint silver coins for the Shogunate. A similar Kin-za for gold was in today's Nihonbashi, and there was a Shu-za for cinnabar and an Fundo-za for standard weights. A za was evidently an opportunity to make a lot of money, and the place was rife with bribery and corruption. Methinks nothing much has changed ...
All of which is fluff and flotsam, except that there is a wonderfully elegant French restaurant there today called Kairada. It is exactly in the middle of the former Kibiki-cho. Chef Kairada is a "graduate" of the very famous Apicius and is a remarkably skilled chef whose unending focus is the classic french sauces. And hunting.
There is no shortage of French restaurants in Ginza and surrounding areas,and Your Humble Correspondent has taken great pleasure over the years sacrificing himself at many of these, his only motivation being your culinary edification. Kairada stands out because of its chef of course, but even more so because it seems to be the place the Japanese Masters of the Uniberse go when they just want great food and wine without the tedious requirement to entertain guests. In other words, Gentle Reader, they keep it for themselves.
For good reason. There are three "courses" involving an increasing number of dishes priced from Y5,500 to Y11,000. The fun comes in choosing sauces - fun for the customer for sure, but for Kairada-san as well as he thereby can gauge the culinary "qualifications" of the diner. Time is of the essence, in the sense that each course takes as long as it takes - a good sauce simply can't be hurried!
Your Humble Correspondent was suitably impressed as well with the wine list. The selection is varied and interesting for sure, and so are the prices. Chef Kairada's simple yet persuasive explanation is that competition is fierce in the area,  and the market will only bear what the market will bear. Kairada is not an expensive night out - in fact, it is highly possible that perhaps the kibiki tooo would have found "l'additionne" within their humble means.
Kairada is at once a sophisticated yet approachable restaurant that will delight time after time after time. Consider following the example of the Masters and keeping this for friends and lovers.
And the ugly little restaurant troll in the corner? Pshaw, he's only a groundling there for the entertainment!
Pip! Pip!
Kairada: 2-14-6 Ginza, Chuo-ku Tel/Fax: 03-3248-3355
Rating: Food: 9/10; Kibiki-ness: 8/10; Service: 7/10; Ambiance: 8/10; Price-Performance: 7/10.
Total: 39/50 (4 Forks)

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