On the top floor of the Sunroute Hotel on Peace Boulevard, Kissui [吉水] serves excellent, beautifully presented kaiseki cuisine in a smart, but relaxed setting with a fantastic view over Peace Memorial Park and the Ota-gawa River.
Kissui has an excellent local reputation for serving gorgeous seasonal kaiseki multi-course meals. The great view makes it a very popular lunch spot – if you plan to go for lunch, try to reserve a window seat in advance as it would be a real shame to miss out on this part of the Kissui experience.
The food is very traditional with particular attention given to presentation and even the garnishes on the many dishes that are brought out one after another by wait staff dressed in kimono are carefully selected and arranged like miniature (and edible) works of art. The interior is modern with traditional touches such as sliding doors. Seating, however, is western style, at tables and chairs which allows diners not accustomed to zashiki-style seating on the floor to focus on the culinary experience rather than aching knees.
Enjoying a kaiseki meal is a quintessential Japanese experience, and one that everyone should try at least once while in Japan. It can also be quite bewildering and sometimes intimidating. Kissui is quite relaxed in this respect, making it perfect for the uninitiated. The high degree of skill needed in putting what may sometimes appear to quite simple dishes together with choice ingredients means that kaiseki tends to be higher priced that your average meal.
If you want to give kaiseki a try without pushing the boat too much, I recommend trying the Kissui Gozen lunch course, pictured below. This course, only available on weekdays, consists of around 8 dishes which all come out at once on a lovely presentation tray and is a real bargain at only ¥2800.
For the more adventurous and those looking for a more authentic experience, however, I recommend trying one of the more elaborate courses on offer which are listed below.
The choice seats are those next to the window with the views, however, there are also nice private rooms which can accommodate small and large groups and which have horigotatsu seating so you can get that Japanese feeling but be able to stretch your legs. There is also a large zashiki tatami room. This room is the only place where smoking is permitted, so although Kissui cannot guarantee that you will never get a whiff of smoke in the rest of the restaurant (which is strictly non-smoking), I can testify to the fact that it is unlikely.
Staff at Kissui have been taking English lessons to help them provide better service for their non-Japanese speaking customers – an explanation of the ingredients used in and preparation of each dish by the server to enhance the diner’s appreciation is an important part of the kaiseki experience. This should also help them deal effectively with special dietary requirements. Chef Morii is happy to prepare meat-free courses, though they do say that they are unable to prepare completely vegetarian courses, Kissui is a good option for the pescetarian.
- Kissui Gozen Lunch Course [吉水御膳] ¥2800 (weekdays only) Includes hassun sea and mountain platter, cooked dishes, tempura, sashimi, steamed dish, rice dish, broth and dessert
- Seasonal Kaiseki Lunch Course [旬の味覚会席] ¥3900~
- Aki Japanese Kaiseki Course[安芸会席] ¥5300
- Gentei Limited Kaiseki Course [お昼限定会席] ¥6500
- Irodori Kaiseki Course [会席料理 彩] ¥5800
- Takumi Kaiseki Course [会席料理 匠] ¥7900
- Hana Kaiseki Course [会席料理 華] ¥11000
- Omakase Kaiseki Course ¥13000 (reservation required)
In addition to kaiseki courses Kissui also offers a la carte dishes such as sashimi and tempura. A range of drinks is also on offer which includes a selection of boutique sake (including some local varieties) that pair very well with the food.
- Lunch 11:30-15:00 (last order 14:00)
- Dinner 17:00-21:30 (last order 20:00)
- Credit cards accepted
- English menu
Address: 15F Sunroute Hotel, 3-3-1 Ote-machi, Naka-ku, Hiroshima-shi
Address in Japanese: ホテルサンルート広島15階 広島市中区大手町3-3-1