I’m not sure if the fragrant seafood rice at Kappo Sato is even more heartwarming because it comes in a pot that carries with it a thousand years of Japanese culinary history — but it sure as heck doesn’t hurt. The pounded copper hagama and its rustic kibuta hinoki wood lid are made by a master craftsman in Kyoto. The copper has natural high heat conductivity, making it possible to cook rice in a shorter amount of time with a smaller amount of water. Handy, since chef Takeshi Sato cooks the entire 16–course meal in front of us.
The Year’s Bests
Tableware of the Year
At Kappo Sato, food is prepared in front of guests using custom cookware and pottery from Japan.
It’s not just faster, the rice has a luster, firmness and sweetness like no other. Plus, the pot is gorgeous to look at when Sato sets it on a trivet in front of us. We enjoy the rice, studded with ocean trout and sakura shrimp, from glazed ceramic chawan bowls, using sturdy wooden chopsticks made from Japanese cedar (the best you can get). Each dish of each course is gently placed upon our personal traditional black lacquered wooden placemats — reserved for special occasions only, like this one.