After a successful debut of Kado No Mise — a sushi and simple Japanese restaurant in downtown Minneapolis — in early May, owners Shigeyuki Furukawa and John Gross are on to another project.
Kaiseki Furukawa is expected to open its doors atop Kado No Mise in the former Origami site at 33 1st Av. N. in late June or early July.
It will be a traditional Japanese kaiseki experience — meaning a set menu of many small courses, presented in sequence — from Furukawa, who learned the technique while cooking in his native Tokyo and Kyoto, Japan.
“I want to bring the food that I studied, here,” Furukawa said. “In the Midwest, no one is doing it. But if there is no market for it, I will make it.”
Furukawa, who last helmed the kitchen at Origami, said he plans to include eight courses in his kaiseki. Most kaiseki experiences include an appetizer (similar to the French amuse bouche), sashimi, a vegetable dish, a soup, a flame-grilled dish, rice dish and dessert, among other items. The focus will be local, right down to the serving plates.
One of the characteristics that make this style unique is that each individual dish is cooked separately — including the rice.
“I could make the rice all together but then nothing is special,” Furukawa said. “I want to say I am making this just for you.”
The ownership duo oversaw what turned out to be an almost total gutting of the brick building in the North Loop.
“We told ourselves it was close because it had two functioning kitchens and a lower-level basement prep area,” said Gross, who is also president of the Minneapolis Holding Co., a commercial real estate development firm. “But in the end, one elevator, one staircase and two hood fans were the only things that survived.”
Business has been strong at Kado No Mise (kadonomise.com), which serves unique temari “handball” sushi at lunch along with rice and noodle bowls. At dinner, the menu expands to include cocktails, an extensive sake list and a wider range of food options — such as Kumamoto oysters, shiso-wrapped crispy prawns and icefish in a clay pot.
Upstairs, Kaiseki Furukawa will have just 24 seats (reservations will be accepted) and be open only Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays initially. A small, dark, 18-seat Japanese whiskey bar — the name is forthcoming — will also find a home on the top floor, across the staircase.