Okahsan (Takayama, Gifu) – ★★★

Quick Check:

  • Quality: ★★★ – Good
  • Location: Uramachi, Takayama, Japan
  • Type: All Vegan Restaurant / Grocery; Macrobiotic, Japanese, Kyushu-style Cooking
  • Hours: Sat-Wed, 10:00-18:00. Thursday is Cooking Class. Closed Fridays.
    • Lunch is served 11:00-13:00, and for only 10 people.  Better to make reservations.
    • Dinner is reservation only, and must include a minimum of 2 guests.
  • Price: $$-$$$ – Moderate to A Litte Expensive
  • Language Barrier:  Some English signage/info on menu.  Chef doesn’t speak English.
  • Website: HappyCow PageRestaurant Page
  • Lunch Menu: Click Here

DSC_0101

About & Location:

Okahsan (or Okaasan) is a Macrobiotic Cafe and grocery located near the old town district of Takayama, Gifu-ken.  They utilize fresh organic vegetables, grains imported from the Kyushu islands, and natural condiments/sauces.  All breads and desserts are made by a German macrobiotic pastry chef who lives in Nagano.  The restaurant places an emphasis on healthy, balanced cooking.  Once a week, they even have cooking classes!

Address, Access & Contact:

  • English: 46 Uramachi Takayama, Gifu 5060013 Japan
  • Japanese: 岐阜県高山市有楽町46
  • Access: From JR Takayama station, walk East for about 6 minutes along Ekimae Chuo Dori (駅前中央通り) towards the Old Town Row Houses (古い町並み). It will be on your right.  Look for an orange sign-board and brown banner that say おかあさん.
  • Nearby Landmark: Yamazakura Jinja, Takayama Old Town
  • Phone Number: 0577-35-1057 (Japanese only)
  • Email: shizen@okahsan.com (English Ok!)

Google Map:

 

DSC_0092

Restaurant Review:

I only stayed in Takayama for 2 days, with the intention of spending 1 of the days exploring Kamikochi, so I really only had 1 night to try Okahsan. Unfortunately, I got in too late to try the lunch set, and realized that my only chance to eat here would be if I could get in for dinner.  Their website specifies that they only accept dinner reservations of 2 or more guests, and as I was a single traveler, I realized that I might not be able to get in.  But I got lucky!  Just as I walked up, two other foreign travelers were also making dinner reservations.  Since they met their minimum number of dinner guests, they were happy to add me too.  So, if you’re a single traveler and you want to eat dinner here, don’t give up!  You’ll be able to get a reservation so long as others have made reservations as well.

DSC_0091

If you want to make dinner reservations, come in before they close (at 6:00pm) and make a reservation.  They’ll expect you to make a 50% downpayment, which was ¥1620 including tax.  The total cost for dinner is ¥3000, or ¥3240 with tax.  It includes a deluxe set meal that changes each day, but includes a variety of soups, grains, veggies, a drink and a dessert.

DSC_0102

DSC_0095

DSC_0094

All of the food was delicious, but the highlight of the meal by far was the deep fried tofu. It was rich and delicious, with a cool lightly melon-flavored sauce on top.  The contrast was just incredible – I’ve never tasted anything quite like it before.

DSC_0099

Fried Tofu with Melon Sauce

The dessert was apple sauce. Originally I was somewhat disappointed – I’m really cake-and-ice-cream kinda girl, and I don’t consider applesauce a dessert worthy of the name. However, this was a cut-above any applesauce I’ve ever tried before – more like a sweet apple pudding, smooth and rich.  Still not what I would have ordered myself, but sometimes set-meals are a great way to get out of your comfort zone!

DSC_0103

Dessert (applesauce)

The set was beautiful, the food plentiful and quite tasty.  Was it wort ¥3240?  Honestly, not really.  For that price you can treat yourself to some pretty fancy Shojin Ryori in Kyoto.  I was a little sore at paying so much for dinner when I could have just gotten Lunch Set C (the deluxe set) for ¥2000, which appears to be almost identical. However, I’m not going to knock off points for that – I merely recommend that if you have the availability, come in for lunch instead.  The lunch menu simply offers more variety and a better value.  They offer Vegan Ramen (¥800) in various different flavors, including miso, soy sauce, salt, and sesame miso.  They also offer various seasonal specials, such as the Curry Rice and Ramen Salad offered below.

DSC_0093

There’s also several lunch sets at different price-points.  Lunch Set A, the Basic Plate (¥1,000),  includes brown rice, miso soup,  煮物(stewed vegetables), 和え物(chopped veggies with dressing) or 揚げ物(deep-fried food), and 漬け物(pickled vegetables).

Lunch Set B – Okaasan Set (¥1500) has everything from Set A, plus a seasonal salad, 炒め物(stir-fried food), and a drink.

Lunch Set C, the Deluxe Macro Meal (¥2000) is even bigger that Set B. It has everything from Set B, but includes both 和え物(chopped veggies with dressing) AND 揚げ物(deep-fried food), and dessert.  Essentially it would look like what I got for dinner, but a lot less expensive!  Seems like a great deal to me!

DSC_0101

 

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s