Master of Japanese Cuisine at Mallorca’s Kairiku Restaurant

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Drink / Eat

The original version of this post about Kairiku was published in September 2019 and has now been republished, reflecting changes applicable from July 2020. 

Have you ever had an omakase experience? If you’re a fan of Japanese cuisine—or have been fortunate enough to visit Japan (I know I’d love to)—you probably know that omakase translates as ‘entrust’; in this case, it means you don’t know what the restaurant’s chef will serve you, but trust that it will be good.

Japanese Restaurant in Campos? Yes!

See this and you’ve found Kairiku

The cuisine at Kairiku—Mallorca’s only omakase restaurant—was delicious when I visited this intimate cellar restaurant in Campos (within Sa Creu Nova Petit Palais Art & Spa) in May 2018. Since then, things have moved to another level, thanks to the arrival of Ryuichiro Katano, who’s a Master of Japanese Cuisine. I noted greater precision in the preparation and presentation of dishes and an almost-tangible passion emanating from the open kitchen.

About Ryuichiro Katano

Ryu is a venerable Japanese culinary master, with a long family tradition in the catering industry. He’s originally from Otaru, the northern coastal city and port that’s been called ‘the Venice of Japan’. He began working in Kaiseki, his grandfather’s restaurant, at a young age and trained further in different restaurants in Japan to develop his skills.

Ryu arrived in Spain at the age of 46 and has since been Master of Japanese Cuisine in various restaurants, including Shibui and Fishshop. He’s an earnest-looking chef, with excellent knife skills honed over the decades.

The Master’s cuisine is technical, simple, and traditional—but at the same time innovative and creative, based on high-quality raw ingredients.

About Kairiku

Kairiku is one of two restaurants within the 5-star Sa Creu Nova Petit Palais Art & Spa in the centre of Campos. A small flight of stairs leads down to Kairiku’s intimate cellar restaurant, which has stylish understated Japanese décor. (Guests with mobility issues may find access difficult.)

Only ten diners are accommodated at one long table, but you don’t have to go as a party of ten. Whether you go on your own or with one or more people, you all eat at the same time (starting at 20:30h) and no doubt share conversation about the food and sakes—as we did with the Mallorcans who were dining there on the same evening.

As an omakase restaurant, Kairiku has no printed menu, and the table setting is minimalist.

In the open kitchen, we watched Ryu assembling the dishes; each one was met by exclamations of surprise and approval—and phone cameras were pressed into action. Below are some of my own photos from our 2019 dinner.

Sakes on the Side?

In 2019, Ryu Katano’s exquisite cuisine was paired with a variety of sakes but, for 2020, Kairiku’s diners have a choice whether or not to have the sake pairing. I think this is a good decision; not everyone appreciates sake and, for motorists, paying for alcoholic beverages you can’t drink because you’re driving, is a bit of a turn-off.

The omakase dinner costs 80€ this year, including tax, but excluding drinks.

If you’re a fan of Japanese cuisine and visiting (or living in) Mallorca, I can recommend restaurant Kairiku as a different, interesting, and informative eating-out experience. Who would have expected to find a Japanese restaurant of such sophistication in the agricultural town of Campos?

Price correct at time of writing.

Open: Wednesday to Sunday, with one sitting at 20:30h.

Jan Edwards ©2019/updated 2020

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