The relentlessly border-hopping, time-traveling restaurant Next is about to change once again. Its creator Grant Achatz has spun his culinary wheel and this time it has landed on… Japan. (For those not familiar with this genius concept, the entire restaurant from menu on down to flatware changes roughly every three months with seatings available by pre-bought ticket only.)
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Next Kyoto Dishes up Kaiseki
Debuting September 19 and running through December 31, Next Kyoto comes previewed by a two-part film noir-style video teaser featuring a Japanese man in black holding a mysterious deck of cards. But as usual it's Achatz who is holding the cards close to his chest. Next Kyoto's Japanese kaiseki tasting menu plays off the chef's strengths, allowing him the kind of inventive, multi-course creativity that is his forte. And after Next's earlier concepts, starting with the haute Escoffier Paris, 1906 that launched the restaurant in 2011—followed by menus inspired by Thailand, Childhood, elBulli, and Sicily—the newest incarnation seems to herald a refreshingly minimalist aesthetic.
Expect ingredient pairings like chestnuts and hay; yuzu and dulce seaweed; abalone and red sea grapes; pine and mastustake chawanmushi fungi; and roasted fig and yuba, a silky fresh tofu skin. (Hat tip to fellow top chef Graham Elliot, who tweeted a photo of the menu during a preview dinner.)