Furuta then presented Kampachi with the ‘Recommended Overseas Gifu Ayu Restaurant’ certification by the Globally Important Agricultural Heritage System (GIAHS) and ‘Ayu of the Nagara River System’ Promotion Association; making the restaurant the first in Malaysia and second in the world to receive the honour.
Cherished by the local community for centuries, the river also helps to give rise to and nurtures traditional "Cormorant Fishing" with 1,300 years of history; and "Hon Mino washi paper", handmade Japanese paper registered as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage.
Our Gifu dinner commenced with Ayu Kanroni, simmered sweet fish in sweet soy sauce. The surprisingly firm albeit boney fish had fine flesh; its stomach was roe-filled. I like how the caramel-like shoyu that enhanced the fish’s natural sweetness.
The raw slices of Hida Gyu Carpaccio gave my jaw quite a workout. Luckily, the pleasant meaty richness accompanied by fresh greens and baby tomatoes made sampling the beef a distinct experience.
For the speciality of Ayu Gohan (rice with sweet fish), the chef grilled the fishes separately then deboned and filleted them. The fish bones are used to make fish stock to cook the rice. To serve, the fish fillets are placed atop the cooked rice for presentation before everything was mixed together. While the rice tasted acceptable, the fish was too broken up to make its presence felt.