Hanami is the Japanese traditional welcome of the new harvest and celebration of the rice planting season. We all know the pinkish pictures of people enjoying a festive picnic under blossoming trees. Hanami literally means ‘flower viewing’. Also the ultimate excuse for Taiko’s chef Schilo to create a new festive Hanami menu.
Every year people from all over the world travel to Japan to witness the iconic cherry blossom – sakura – bloom in full. And yes, I’ve added this to my list of reasons to return to Japan.
For now we don’t have to travel so far. Surprisingly close to – Amsterdam – home there is a cherry blossom park.
Hanami menu under Amsterdam’s cherry trees
Shame on me, I ‘ve known about the cherry trees in our Amsterdamse Bos – donated by Japanese wives of expats – but the time was never right. So thank you, Schilo for taking us along.
Taiko restaurant‘s interpretation of the traditional Hanamic picnic means enjoying the two first courses of the new refined Hanami menu under the cherry blossom. Hamachi with sakura ponu and a fresh spring salad of king crab and sake. Picnic de luxe!
The festive Spring happening inspired Schilo to create this beautiful twelve-course Hanami menu in Taiko restaurant. Yes, twelve-course, this story continues on a cherry blossom decorated table inside …
Ten more delicate courses at Taiko
Where to start? I find it difficult to describe the refined tastes of the different courses, simply lacking the culinary idiom. What they all have in common is the art of food on a plate, the kind you rather not mess up. The reward comes when you do. So.
I opted for the vegetarian menu, or better pescetarian menu. In the slipstream of Hanami follows the start of the Dutch asparagus season. In Taiko style that means asparagus with mugi miso, Shaoxing and farmhouse egg yolk.
Another favourite is the refined Tom Ka Midkon, with razor clams, coconut and Thai basil. Too bad they don’t do take out, this would buy this by the gallon.
Chef Schilo van Coevorden loves to create
One after another exquisite small dish arrives, all a gift to the taste buds. To clear the palate, a fresh dessert of Dutch rhubarb and strawberries is paired with umeshu – Japanese liquor. A sweet and fresh stepping stone to the grand finale, the sakura dark chocolate and cherry tree.
“I love to create the perfect symphony of flavour with Asian ingredients”
__ Schilo van Coevorden
Schilo’s deep respect for fresh ingredients is accompanied by a strong palate and almost encyclopaedic knowledge of oriental tastes and customs. That makes this Hanami menu a true Asian culinary feast. No culinary idiom needed to experience that.
In contrast to the short-flowering sakura, two weeks max, the Hanami menu is available until the end of June. Also available as a four-course menu, but that’s for the weak. Thanks Schilo, for introducing us to this delicious Spring tradition. Arigatou.
Schilo van Coevorden Instagram
This culinary experience at Taiko Restaurant was by invitation on behalf of Chapter Fifty. We only accept invites that answer positive to the question: “does it match our lifestyle?”.
I will not promote anything that I would not wear, eat, sleep or see myself. Authenticity is very important to me. Words, photos and opinions are my own. Except the featuring image, a picture of me made by ©MOPHOTOGRAPHY.