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Kinmata: A Taste of Kaiseki

Courtesy of Kinmata

Lunch Session
Doors open at 11:30am
Lunch: 12pm-3pm

Dinner Session
Doors open at 5:30pm
Dinner: 6pm-9pm

Cocktail Hour: 11:30am-12pm & 5:30-6pm

The Ukai family, long-time friends of the Garden’s Curator of Culture, Art, and Education, Diane Durston, looks forward to sharing a taste of kaiseki. Choose one of two seatings on Sunday, June 3 at 12:00pm or 6:00pm.

Both the lunch and dinner seatings will begin with your choice of wine, sake or beer followed by a chef demonstration and a conversation with Kinmata’s owners, moderated by Garden CEO Steve Bloom. You will be seated at communal tables as you savor five courses highlighting the five Japanese cooking techniques (simmering, steaming, grilling, frying, aemono) and the five Japanese tastes (salty, sour, sweet, bitter, umami).

Seating is limited. Don’t miss this once in a lifetime experience with one of Kyoto’s finest culinary families in the handsome setting of Shizuku designed by architect Kengo Kuma. Oideyasu! That’s Kyoto dialect for welcome!


Photo Courtesy of Kinmata

Since 1801, the Ukai family of Kyoto has run Kinmata, a traditional inn (ryokan) and fine dining restaurant in the ancient capital city. Today, the 7th and 8th generation of the family work together to welcome guests from around the world and have created one of the best places to experience the haute cuisine of Kyoto: the multi-course, seasonal meal known as kaiseki.

Photo Courtesy of Kinmata

Nine members of the Kinmata team including owners Haruji Ukai, his wife Masami, and their son Hideyuki, together with head chef Toshio Yamaguchi, are coming to Portland to prepare a five-course meal with local ingredients to be served with the help of Portland’s Chef Naoko at her restaurant Shizuku.


Kinmata’s traditional machiya building was registered in 2001 as a National Cultural Property. Haruji Ukai, the 7th owner of Kinmata explains, “My father loved the old architecture… He never questioned ‘should we keep this or not?’ He just thought ‘how to pass on this culture to the next generation.’ Now I am inheriting Kinmata and will hand it to my son.”

Kinmata’s head chef Yamaguchi says, “I am a lucky chef… My customers always ask me ‘cook me something delicious in season!’ That brings me a sense of fulfillment as a chef. I am not supposed to cook the same meal every day — my cooking is based on close communication with my customers, attention to the seasons, and with fresh, local ingredients.”