Chef Yasuo Suetomi is a true master, a genius technician of Japanese food.
Suetomi offered technically perfect meals, a masterpiece of dedication. Coupled with the perfect execution, only the absolute best and popular (delicious) ingredients were served. For example, my meal was in the winter and Suetomi not only served Taiza crab, but the best crab I ever ate. To the point, honestly, where I could not believe it. How was it that this crab was better than Matsukawa’s and all other crabs? I was blown away. The nodoguro was grilled to a perfection I could never forget. The desserts were handmade by the chef. Tableall explains:
“Because the quality of the ingredients determines everything, a major part of Suetomi’s work is nurturing relationships with suppliers, constantly trying new ingredients, tasting and assessing. He may try one hundred purveyors before he finds one that meets his high standards. One supplier is a friend of Suetomi’s. Rather fortuitously, he is one of a small number of fisherman at Taiza port in Kyoto, famed for rich and rare Taiza-gani crabs. This relationship guarantees delicious product for Suetomi to work with, and a full crab course is highly recommended by the chef.”
Most chefs say that they care about relationships, but this was the first time I could feel the power of relationships. A lesson I can never forget. I felt a connection with him, because I believe we may have a similar personality. I really enjoyed eating there and I commend the chef for welcoming foreigners despite the language barrier.
When I went to Kasumicho Suetomi, the chef had told Tableall: “As for his vision for the future, he says he tosses around with different ideas. Chef Suetomi has this unpredictable element which makes you think that anything is possible.” I cannot wait to hear about what is next for him. Sadly, today on March 1st, the restaurant closed permanently. The chef said he was not sure what he will do next.
If I had to guess, I think that chef Suetomi will find a more beautiful space with a garden like Matsukawa, Ogata and Mizai, and I think this will propel him to the pinnacle of kaiseki in Japan.
Reservations: Kasumicho Suetomi closed permanently on March 1, 2018. It opened in 2006 in a space formerly owned by chef Hiromitsu Nozaki of Waketokuyama, where he trained for ten years. Suetomi had just received the Gold award.
A new restaurant has opened in the same space by the previous sous-chef. The new restaurant is called Kasumicho Yamagami (霞町山上), reservations on Tableall.
The only true voyage of discovery would be not to visit strange lands, but to possess other eyes.
Kyoaji, Matsukawa (revisited), Hakone, shodo, home cooking.
Making Restaurant Reservations in Tokyo
Cafe de l'Ambre
Sushi Sho Masa
Bear Pond Espresso
Park Hotel Tokyo
New Year in Kyoto
Quotes from Chefs
Quotes from Farmers
Quote from Zen monks
Kwon Sook Soo
Yau Yuen Siu Tsui