A Zen Palette

Molly Ringwald's sushi lunch was oh-so-sophisticated in The Breakfast Club , but that was 1985. Now that sushi has gone mainstream and Nobu has metastasized into a low-fat Hard Rock Cafe, Europe is ready for a lesson in kaiseki. At least, Ichiro Kubota, Umu's executive chef, thinks so. Kaiseki is a formal banquet of a series of exquisite courses showcasing cooking techniques and seasonal sensitivity. It's the highest edible expression of Japanese aesthetics, with prices to match.

At Umu, London's most ambitious kaiseki restaurant, Kubota goes to extraordinary lengths to bring a Kyoto accent to the land of...

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