Rice is the Star!
~ Hachidaime Gihei (GIHEI, THE EIGHTH)
Mr. Takashi Hashimoto was the owner of a time-honored rice shop which dates back in 1787 in Kyoto. Rice is a food truly central to Japanese culinary culture.
However, due to the westernization of the Japanese diet, rice consumption has decreased year by year. People, especially younger generation are losing interest in eating rice. He had a sense of danger against that situation. He realized that he wants to convey the Japanese food culture based on rice and the wonderful taste of rice to many people.
He and his brother opened a rice restaurant in Kyoto and Tokyo with a passion to serve a truly delicious and sweet rice to many people as possible.
Committed to Rice quality
First, good rice has sweetness, stickiness, and glossiness. When you eat them, it has right amount of water, melting texture, sticky but smoothly sliding down the throat.
Second, rice milling is a very important point. Gihei preserves polished rice at 10℃ lower temperature (room temperature 17℃, Humidity 65%) than normal condition to keep them fresh. This will avoid cracking of rice, and keep the water retention film on the surface of a rice.
Third, a taste of rice is different every year. Gihei selects the best quality rice not by the production place or brand name. They carefully selected from 200 kinds of rice all over Japan and make a blend rice to provide the quality rice all the year round.
Pleasing the “palate” of the eyes
Gihei tastes dishes with their tongues and enjoy them with their eyes. Food that can be “eaten with the eyes” has always been a hallmark of fine Japanese cuisine.
Therefore, Gihei tries to serve fun-filled cuisine, something seasonal, or freshly cooked rice served from a rice cooker “Bamboo” rice cooker” on the table. They are trying to entertain customers with visual effect as well.
Let me start the course “YASAKA”!
<Rice Wine> First, a small glass of rice wine was served. It tastes like wine rather than sake. Refreshing and naturally sweet fruit-like taste of rice.
＜Rice porridge＞8 kinds of multigrain rice served in a very cute bowl on a carriage. It reminded me that rice culture started from multigrain rice.
<Vegetables with rice sauce & rice bread＞Kyoto vegetables (matsutake mushroom, tomato, pumpkin, eggplant and radish) dipped with rice sauce, Rice bread is soft and taste a bit of rice.
<Sushi> Sushi made with a rice suitable to make sushi. Sushi was laced on a wooden place decorated with maple leaves to give an autumn feel.
<Three kinds of delicacies arranged on a basket>covered with magnolia leaves. Takenoko-mushroom soup, sticky rice cake, Rice topped with salmon roe and grilled salmon flake.
<Freshly Cooked Glossy Rice＞ Valuable rice that were taken in the last 1 minus in the course of 30 min. cooking process. It was served to enjoy a taste of rice changing from raw rice to boiled rice. There was still a core in the center of rice, but surroundings were sticky.
We can pick up our favorite rice cup while waiting for rice cooked.
<Main Rice Dish> At Gihei, “Bamboo!” rice cooker (JPY30,000) is specially used for cooking the best quality “KOUKA” rice to provide a puffy and soft by ultra-red ray effect. Shop owner came to our table to explain about the rice and serve them to us.
When we tasted rice, it is sweet and soft but not too soft. Gentle on the inside but tough on the outside.
Sliced fish, simmered fish, Small dried sardine with Sansho pepper, Rice and Miso soup, Nori seaweed
<Okoge> burnt rice in the bottom of Bamboo rice cooker poured with hot dashi soup and tea.
<Dessert> Rice sweets and Matcha tea.
It was a unique and enjoyable experience of appreciating rice cuisine.
Hachidaime Gihei (Gihei, The Eighth)
4-15 Ginza 5 chome, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Open: 11:00-15:00, 18:00 – 22:00
Closed on Wednesdays
Tokyo Metro Ginza Station B7 Exit. 1 min. walk
JR Yurakucho Station 5 min. walk