Saturday, December 25, 2010

Nadaman (なだ万) – ♕♕♕ 1/2


Japanese New Years Kaiseki

The Tokyo branch of なだ万 at New Otani Hotel
has been awarded the prestigious 2 Michelin Stars, which is  well known for its traditional Kansai style 懐石料理 (Kaiseki Ryouri)! Carrying this knowledge in mind, I was hoping to give 1 of its 2 Hong Kong outlets a try.  We arrived here during early January 2010, as after a few calls around I found out that the Hong Kong side of Nadaman serves a full Japanese New Year’s 御節料理 Course during their lunch session, whereas the Kowloon branch of Nadaman surprisingly does only a breakfast session costing around $200 cheaper per person (Update – in 2011 Kowloon branch will also offer an additional Dinner New Years Course).  So ensure you book at the right outlet depending on what you’re after and its only served in early January.


御節料理 (おせちりょうり) in Japan is normally served as a multiple layered bento boz,  bought as take-away in a 重箱.  The original idea goes that everyone including house-wives should finally deserve a break from cooking during that important January 1st to 5th holiday period, and so they shall prepare this Bento Banquet a couple of days in advance.   Its quite a sophisticated new years cuisine and probably shares linkage to the famous Chinese 盤菜, and similarly the upper-end Japanese versions are more extravagant, which top grade Bento’s often include delicacies such as Abalone, Prawns and Lobster from Ise.    
In Nadaman’s instance, this New Year’s feast has been converted from a sophisticated Take-Away Bento Box, into a Multiple-Course 懐石料理 dine-in meal instead for lunch session only.

Remember to book the Sofa’s

The Starting Three Courses of 祝肴 (いわいざかな)  :
The prerequisite course in any New Years Osechi meal,
this has also replaced the usual 先付 starter in a normal 懐石料理.

胡麻豆腐、生雲丹、べっこう飴、山葵 -
House made Sesame tofu with sea urchin, a special sugar sauce and wasabi -

紅白膾、イクラ、結び昆布 -
This has the lucky Red and White colours, with the shaved veggies, Ikura roes and ribboned konbu ~ 6/10

鯖小袖ずし、伊達巻、紅白蒲鉾 -
Salmon scroll, Black sweetened beans, etc. These all have associated meanings in terms of work, prosperity, luck, study and love, when pronounced in Japanese ~ 9/10

御椀 Bowl Course - 雑煮椀: 
The ingredients down to the amazingly orange carrot is imported from Osaka or elsewhere.
This is a soup with mochi which is also always eaten in New Years Meal ~

御造り Course :
Sashimi consisted of Winter Buri, Honmaguro Tuna, Snapper.
The あしらい visual balance has been carefully contructed to be appealing. apart from the fish the use of certain edible plants such as 金魚草, Konbu, pickled ginger, raw wasabi, etc is equally important.  As is normal in Kaiseki courses these fishes are NOT very fatty deliberately. The tuna especially is the leanest part with a metallic/acidic taste, but this happens in Kyoto as well, where Toro is not given out. So one cannot compare the fish to those in a Sushi shop ~  8/10

多喜合 Course :
Steamed Tile-Fish on glutinous rice was the highlight of this Course,
which kind of went downhill from here.  This was amazingly sweet and velvety,
very balanced and visually stunning, I would come back just to eat this ~ 10/10

家喜物 Course :
This was just super fishy and the texture wasn’t velvety, something one’d normally expect from this traditional Saikyo-miso marinated Cod fish. It makes Nobu seem like God!  And there was also none of the advertised pickled 千枚蕪 slices, although the usual pairing with red ginger はじかみ is there. The Prawn and taro croquette was boring too, there’s not much taste in it ~ 3/10

食事 Course :
The carbs course is always the last savoury course, but I had a lot of trouble understanding why they give you 2 rice dishes. I liked the above Steamed 多喜合 Course with the glutinous rice, but here came a another fish based Salmon rice.  The chef designing the menu here just didn’t give it much thoughts, especially for a Kaiseki Course, which needs to be balanced from 1st course to the last.  In this regards, and with some of the lack of ingenuity or perfect executions, NADAMAN Hong Kong,  really loses out to the many Kaiseki restaurants within Japan ~  4/10

This was served cold to me… hmmm.
And it tasted like its been reheated.

デザート Course  :
Dessert finished without even a slice of Orange or Japanese fruits given, which is disappointing as its required to balance out the meal. Although this Japanese-Western slice of Black sesame pudding with Vanilla ice cream looked good, with its raspberries, this was set so solid the edge was curled up and hard. Sad smile The vanilla ice cream didn’t even have vanilla seeds either ~ 4/10

煎茶 – Green Tea
The most traditional way of eating (Traditional Kaiseki) 懐石料理, is to pair it with Tea, as the monks who invented it are not allowed to drink.  It destroys the delicate taste of the food usually. The similarly English named (Kaiseki) 会席料理 can sometimes be confusing, but that’s more of a semi-formal way or corporate way of eating pretty much similar food – and with that, you can choose to pair it with some mighty fine alcohol. 

Price: $520 + 10% Per Person
Score: ★★★☆☆

Opening Hours:
Mon to Sun -      12:00 – 22:30pm

Address:  金鐘金鐘道88號太古廣場2座港島香格里拉酒店7樓
(7/F, Island Shangri-La Hong Kong, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty)
Ph: 2820 8570



  1. For me, I think it was a little overpriced! I guess its because I've had way better in Japan before, whether you consider it from a New Years Course or a Kaiseki Course's angle.

    But then again everyone seems to like it enough to give it Smiles and '4'. For me, the food's more complicated upstairs in Petrus and that's prob even cheaper than here for lunch :D

  2. Yea Petrus appeals to me more too :P and seems like not many of the foods served were actually traditional osechi ryouri foods. Too bad my family doesn't enjoy it, or else I'd find somewhere with takeout real traditional osechi ryouri and order for our NY brunch! I don't think it's something most Chinese palates enjoy.

  3. I would definitely choose Petrus over this, or even some other Japanese restaurants ! :)

    Yes the food here is a mixture of both Osechi (the 1st two courses), which are then intermixed with Kaiseki stuff.

    If you find any in NY for brunch let me know - I wish I could find a really top quality New Years Bento in HK too !

  4. Hellow!
    I love your site, It is a pleasure to visit.
    I have added your site to my site.
    Please link my site to your site.
    Thank you!

  5. Not a problem mt.Fuji,

    Pleasure to share food and other information with you too from Japan!

  6. Hello! First time visiting your site and it is nice!
    I want to know if you have tried other 御節料理 in hong kong?

    I love the 胡麻豆腐 at Nadaman!!

  7. Dear Dorophy,

    Thank you! Actually I haven't tried any other new years breakfast/lunch/dinner/takeaway elsewhere.

    I think its because I've seen some pictures of the ones being sold in HK, and they aren't exactly what I want (u know, like the ones u get in Japan!).

    Do you want to try out a few? I heard of a few places selling them right now. Please let me know!

  8. Hi there,

    Finally I picked the Nadaman (Kowloon).

    The dishes was quite different from yours. It was very traditional and kinda simple and basic.

    Personally I LOVE黒豆松葉刺し and I guess the one you tasted should be nice too.


  9. Thanks for letting me know. I think I will wait until next year to try it again somewhere else! Hope some restaurant makes a super duper version : )

    Yep I love those 黒豆松葉刺し. Even in desserts!



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