These days there are several places to try Japanese cuisine, which is a lot more than sushi and sashimi. Hotel Okura Macau’s Japanese restaurant, Yamazato, is the place for those who want an exquisite, traditional Japanese dining experience. Looking out from the windows of the restaurant, guests can enjoy the breathtaking view of Macau’s skyline. Dressed in seasonal kimonos and sandals, a Japanese host greets guests with a customary bow, graciously escorting them to their tables.
With striking floral chandeliers, the new décor conveys Japanese elegance and refinement. The lighting is a delightful combination between the decorative lighting and the natural light streaming in from the windows. Accents of the pale wood furnishings and translucent screens, enhance the overall feeling of serenity.
Despite carrying a modern feeling, the harmonious ambiance makes for an ideal backdrop for, Kaiseki Ryori, a traditional dining experience that places great emphasis on balance, ensuring that none of the elements overpowers the others. Kaiseki 懐石 literally means “a stone in the bosom”. In the Zen culture, a stone is seen as a concept for harmony and simplicity. It is a symbol of purity and concentration, two elements that are essential in meditation. In ancient times, Zen monks would put warm stones underneath their robes when they felt hungry after having had a simple meal.
Although this idea might indicate a sense of austerity, the modern day “bosom-stone” cuisine is nothing like a frugal meal. Known as an art form, it is an elegant, multi-course dinner that is prepared by a skillful chef. Balancing colors, flavors, textures and presentation, the chef creates memorable dishes using the freshest ingredients, adding flowers and leaves to garnish his works of art. Details that determine the sophistication of the overall arrangement include the color and the material of the plates that are chosen to present the nourishments. When it is done right, the creations should be able to evoke a sense of nature in the hearts and minds of the diners.
The Kaiseki menus at Yamazato are thus elevated to a true art form. The chef carefully balances a variety of complementary and contrasting flavors, textures, temperatures, colors, and shapes. He carefully selects the best seasonal ingredients and then meticulously prepares and presents them in ways that subtly enhance their natural flavor and appearance, careful to avoid any repetition between courses. A personal favorite on the signature winter menu is the shabu shabu, which features thin slices of M5 wagyu beef cooked in a clear vegetable broth.
While the chef prepares the unique and delicious dishes, the sommelier curates an award-winning list of over 60 different sakes, including hard-to-find premium ones, limited edition seasonal specials, and smaller, lesser-known regional breweries, work closely with the chef to ensure perfect sake pairings with the ever-changing, seasonal Kaiseki menu. A delight to the senses in every sense possible. The restaurant is open daily except Mondays from 12pm to 3pm and 5:30pm to 10pm.
Yamazato 28/F, Hotel Okura, Galaxy Macau, +853 88835127