Enjoy a memorable seafood bowl at “TILE” in a historic “machiya” (a traditional Japanese wooden townhouse) in Kanazawa.

TILE is a must-go restaurant in Kanazawa. Enjoy the latest Japanese food experience with a seafood bowl that lets you cram the ingredients of your choice into a bowl that looks like a jewelry box!

When planning a trip to Kanazawa, many of you would probably include seafood bowls in your list of possible food destinations. They are one of the most popular gourmet dishes of Kanazawa because, for one reason, the city has some well-known markets. Although there are so many amazing restaurants, we would like to focus on “TILE,” which offers a unique seafood bowl experience unlike any other. A five-minute walk from Kanazawa Station, there is a quaint building that has been built by renovating a 110-year-old machiya. On the side of the door, there is a device for entering a passcode. The passcode is changed regularly, and the door opens when you enter the correct passcode. Feeling almost like accessing a hidden base, excitement soars even before entering the restaurant. When you walk through the door, whose upper frame is slightly lower than those of conventional doors, and go up to the second floor, you see “hakozen” (a type of box tray tables that can be used to store tableware while not in use) neatly lined up. Although the interior is stylish and sophisticated, you can also enjoy the authentic atmosphere of machiya.

The popular “Kanazawa Yakumi Kaisendon” (meaning “Kanazawa seafood bowl with condiments”) offered here is unlike anything you find elsewhere. First, you choose five to eight ingredients from about 30 different ingredients. At TILE, you can create your own layout by placing the ingredients in the beautiful glass bowl that looks like a jewelry box. Concentrating on creating your own dish takes you into a kind of a sharp mental state like Zen. Of course, the freshness and the taste of the seafood are topnotch. The restaurant is also very meticulous about the condiments, and they serve home-grown microgreens that go well with each ingredient. Moreover, they also serve meat, such as roast beef and domestic duck meat, as well as crabs, puffers, and rosy seabass depending on the season. For seasoning, you can use broth-based soy sauce and citrus sesame sauce, as well as wasabi, ginger, plum gelatine, sudachi citrus, etc. We recommend that you leave a little bit of rice so that you can add freshly-shaved, fragrant dried bonito flakes and pour bonito broth over it to enjoy a rice soup at the end.

“Kanazawa Yakumi Shojin-don” (meaning “Kanazawa vegetarian bowl with condiments”) which contains no meat or fish is also recommended. With this one, you arrange eight ingredients—bell pepper, pickled daikon radish, cucumber, myoga ginger, thinly-shredded kelp, microgreens, shiitake mushroom, and mixed beans—just like the seafood bowl. It’s nice that they have a vegetarian dish so that vegetarians can also enjoy the amazing dining experience. In addition to these bowls, they also serve “Monaka Soup” (ingredients are packed in a monaka style wafer engraved with the TILE logo, and you open a hole in the wafer and pour broth into the wafer through the hole), as well as twig tea served in an iron teapot and carefully-selected seasonal Japanese sake. Each menu item is ingeniously designed so as to allow customers to enjoy the experience of “completing a dish by oneself.” It is guaranteed that everything including the taste, experience, and atmosphere will be a great memory of your Japan trip. If you are visiting Kanazawa, why not opt for the “seafood bowl experience” that is a bit different from eating out at the bustling market.

■DATA TILE Address: 4-18 Konohana-cho, Kanazawa City, Ishikawa Prefecture Tel: 076-255-2802 Opening hours: Lunch 11:00-15:00 (L.O. 14:00) Dinner 17:00-22:00 (L.O. 21:00) Closed: No regular holidays Official website: https://tile-japan.jp/ Instagram:https://www.instagram.com/tile_japan/?hl=ja

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