Zeniya is a highly successful, reservation-only kaiseki restaurant in Kanazawa, a regional capital on Japan’s main Honshu Island. Kaiseki connoisseurs are seeking an exquisite experience, involving numerous courses and often centered around a traditional Japanese tea ceremony.
For them, the surroundings, attention to detail, and highly personal service, are just as important as the food itself. As in Zen philosophy, every moment is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, requiring the full presence of the mind and emotions. Yet chef Shinichiro Takagi has taken this approach to new levels. His cuisine is based on Ishoku Dogen, an ancient approach to health in Japan, which holds that diet and well-being are intrinsically linked: eating well means staying and living well. Takagi blends the tradition’s strong emphasis on fresh seasonal ingredients, the considerable latitude in the rules for preparing kaiseki dishes, and a keen interest in international influences, to prepare bespoke meals for every guest, tailored to his sense of what would be best for that person’s well-being.