Gastronomique Restaurant HAJIME

Gastronomique Restaurant HAJIME is a French contemporary restaurant in Osaka city. It has the distinction of being the first restaurant in Osaka to have been awarded 3 Michelin stars when the first edition of Michelin Guide for Kyoto and Osaka came out 3 years ago. Although there are a few restaurants awarded with 3 Michelin stars in Osaka in the 2012 edition of Michelin Guide. In the first edition for Kyoto and Osaka, Hajime was the only 3 Michelin stars restaurant in Osaka.

Like many top restaurants in the world, it used to be almost impossible to book a table at Hajime. I went to Osaka twice in 2010, and both times I failed to book a table there. They only accepted phone reservation at that time, but you either could never get through the line, or no one would answer the phone and if you were lucky enough to have someone answer the phone, they would have politely informed you that all reservations were full. Luckily, this is 2012, and Hajime has joined the 21st century and now they have an online booking system. So I have been finally been able to book a table and went there for dinner last month when I went to Osaka.

As western fine dining restaurants go in Osaka, although not really huge in size, Hajime is actually a fairly big restaurants compared to other western fine dining restaurants in Osaka. Most of them are so small that they only have 5 to 6 small tables sitting 2 to 4 persons. The restaurant is fairly spacious and comfortable.

The most important aspect is of course the food and I was certainly not disappointed. The dishes are creative and delicious using both local and imported ingredients. Well worth the 3 Michelin stars rating.

All the shots were taken with Fujifilm X-Pro 1 and Fujinon XF 35mm f1.4 R. The files were processed with Capture One Pro and Photoshop CS5.

First amuse bouche dish.

Second amuse bouche.

Scallop with saffron foam.

This dish is called minéral. “Pay Homage to Nature, and represent Minerals. It is an amazing dish, a salad made up of 105 kinds of vegetables.

Sakaramasu. A rare fish from Nanao Ishikawa

It is combined with vinaigrette sauce made of citrus and puree of lemon.

With kumquat and fennel as an accent.

Foie gras au naturel. Represents foie gras as a tartine.

Panais, is a parsnip soup. The combination of a hot soup and truffle ice cream. The unique characteristic of this soup is its wide range of temperature.

Canard challandais. Duck of France Bragaud. Raisin chutney is added as an accent, with flavor of wasabi and black fig.

Fromage

Pétillant. Singing grapefruit. You really have to taste it to understand the name.

Croissant. This is extreme of luxury via the Queen of France, Catherine de Médici and Marie Antoinette. Ice cream with the falvor of croissant and cacao mousse.

Petit four.

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