“The Japanese diet is the iPod of food,” says Naomi Moriyama, co-author of Japanese Women Don’t Get Old or Fat: Secrets of My Mother’s Tokyo Kitchen. “The magic of Japan-style eating is tiny, delicious, low-calorie dishes, encouraging you to enjoy the beauty of the food.” The Japanese diet is regarded as one of the healthiest in the world where men and women both live long lives: Raw fish, rice, fresh vegetables and salads, exquisitely prepared as colourful art on a plate.
And you don’t have to travel far to sample an authentic menu of sushi, sashimi and a glass of sake. Kanpai, a traditional Japanese restaurant, has opened in the capital. It is a contemporary, cool space, Tokyo style, with bold, decorative wall coverings, blonde wood furnishings and soft lighting. The name means “bottoms up”, a familiar toast in Japan.
At Kanpai you can choose to sit at the Sushi Bar or Kitchen counter to watch the chefs at work to create these beautiful hand rolls. The Sushi menu offers an appetising choice using the freshest ingredients including tuna, salmon, squid, shrimp, prawn, crab, mackerel, chicken, avocado, cucumber and asparagus.
Sashimi is thinly sliced seafood, served without rice. Another style of Japanese cuisine uses an iron griddle to cook Teppanyaki, such as steak and salmon. Or try some classic dishes – miso soup, wasabi and seaweed salad, and chicken dumpling. Sip a glass of Sake, Asahi beer or fine wine. If your New Year Resolution is to lose a few pounds, you can certainly dine out at Kanpai and experience a light, healthy and delicious feast from the Far East. [VD]
Kanpai, 8-10 Grindlay Street, EH3 9AS. 0131 228 1602 www.kanpaisushi.co.uk