Forget raw fish. Vegetables, in all their seasonal glory, are not to be missed in Japan. At Bon, the art of eating veggies is elevated to spiritual heights – quite literally. Here, the specialty is ‘shojin ryori’ – the vegetarian cuisine of Zen Buddhist monks. Delicately flavoured, meticulously prepared and exquisitely presented, the sampling of such cuisine is not to be missed.
At Bon, a serene establishment in Iriya, guests are seated at low tables in private tatami mat rooms. With an emphasis on the ‘fucha’ brand of ‘shojin ryori’ , the food at Bon is more relaxed than conventional temple fare. Kicking off with tea ceremony, a rainbow-hued stream of dishes – from vegetable sashimi and sesame tofu to miso soup and tempura – are served to guests.
Presentation is paramount: the Zen-like balance of colors is apparent in the prettily prepared dishes adorned with seasonal flowers and leaves and served in delicate ceramics and lacquerware containers.