Chef Shota Nakajima puts together some of the tastiest and most artistic dishes in Seattle. Based out of his restaurant Naka which just celebrated its one-year anniversary, medical Nakajima has been on a quest to introduce Japanese Kaiseki to Seattle since winning the Washoku Itadakimasu Seattle event in 2014. Unlike omakase, a tasting menu based on the chef’s choice, kaiseki is a traditional Japanese multi-course meal based on culinary rules in form and structure. The result is a stunning array of delicious dishes that are also visually appealing. It’s a food photographer’s dream, and I leap at the invitation to shoot food at Naka.
Previous food photo shoots are Naka have produced some of my favorite photos such as the very first menu shoot and last summer’s tasting menu. However, this summer’s tasting menu may have been my absolute favorite Naka food photography shoot to date. A rundown of the menu is below, although it’s important to note that specific offerings may change on a daily basis depending on seasonal availability of ingredients.
Naka Seattle Early Summer 2016 Menu
Course 1: Ume Compote with Spun Sugar
Course 2: Seasonal Bites
Course 3: Tuna Aemono with Uni and Quail Eggs
Course 4: Cold Chawan Mushi with Salmon Caviar
Course 5: Grilled Black Cod with Corn Tempura and Abalone Mushrooms
Course 6: Shiso Sorbet
Course 7: A5 Wagyu Beef Steak
Course 8: Lotus Root Dumpling
Course 9: Salmon Rice / White Miso Soup / Assorted Pickles
Course 10: Amaretto Bavarian Cream