Located in the small town of Ajisu in Yamaguchi prefecture, Wa DINING Taka is a creative Japanese restaurant found within the renovated home of the former head chef of Teshima Ryokan, a popular Japanese inn located in the town, as well as his wife who was the inn’s proprietress.
Despite being located in a small town, which isn’t even a sightseeing area, Teshima Ryokan is well-known on the national level due to the work that was put into the design of its guest rooms, as well as its cuisine and service. Currently, while the ryokan is being run by the son of the family and his wife, the parents are running Wa DINING Taka as they wanted to “serve customers in a cozy atmosphere”.
As you can see from the photograph below, from the outside, Wa DINING Taka looks like a normal Japanese house. Although there is a signboard by the gate, most customers visiting for the first time walk straight past it at least once.
Similarly, yours truly, even though I checked the route in advance and input the information in my GPS, went past it.
The first floor of the building is used for the restaurant. On the right, as you go in, there is a private room that fits six. Moving down the corridor, at the end on the left there are two more rooms, which can fit a total of around 16 people. They have even been used for Buddhist ceremonies, and engagement ceremonies.
The restaurant menu contains kaiseki courses at both lunchtime and dinnertime (the regular course and the “Fuku course”), which according to the price class includes 5-6 types of dishes that change monthly. They also offer a special lunch at JPY2000 (tax included). By the way, in the photograph below you can see part of the regular course served in March. The restaurant serves a variety of drinks including coffee, tea, wine and sake.
The course includes starters, sashimi, stewed items, a fried dish, a palate cleanser, a whole grilled dish, rice, and dessert, which are all brought to the table together. All the dishes made using the veteran chef’s techniques are absolutely delicious.
This is the sashimi made with fresh seafood. It’s so beautiful it’s almost a pity to eat it.
The fried item offered in March was fried scorpion fish. The savory piece was fried so that I could even enjoy its fins and bones.
This is the blancmange served for dessert, which of course there is always room for. Naturally, the vessel it’s served in is Hagi-ware. Made by young creators, Hagi-ware for daily use is becoming very popular of late, and this cup was indeed lovely.
The owner who served as the head chef of Teshima Ryokan for 35-years is apparently also good at making ice sculptures. When he receives reservations for celebrations he entertains the guests by making sculptures with ice, as well as with vegetables. Even on the day of our visit, although busy he still prepared this beautiful ice sculpture as well as vegetable carvings. The owner’s heartfelt consideration is also one of Wa DINING Taka’s charms.
Apparently, the owners wanted to keep the atmosphere of a regular house so that “diners can relax, feeling like they’ve just arrived home”. Chatting with the friendly owner and the cheerful proprietress, I was filled with warm emotions and really felt like I’d come home.
Lastly, here is a photograph of the couple’s pet dog, Maron-chan. He was so cute that I had to get a photograph. Although he is very people-friendly, when the shop is open he apparently evacuates to grandma’s house. If you’re lucky, you might see him though.
Wa DINING Taka
Address: 4856-20 Ajisu, Yamaguchi city
Open: 11:30-14:00, 18:00-21:30
Closed: No regular holidays
Access: Located about 400 meters from Ajisu station
Capacity: 22 seats (16 table seats, private room, 1 table with 6 seats)
Parking: For 8 vehicles
The Setouchi Finder Editors
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