When it comes to dining experiences, there's nothing quite as intimidating as an omakase experience. From the get-go, you surrender everything to the chef who ultimately hands you each and every course. The whole experience is almost like a ritual – and then you leave. At GOHO, you get the good bits of an omakase experience – an impressive series of dishes that is seasonal and put together with the finest ingredients, but without the formalities that make it so intimidating.
When you first enter GOHO via Rappu, the music is booming – and it's meant to be so, the manager says. Once seated with all the guests, the show begins. I say 'show' because most of the courses are presented with some form of theatrics like the spritzing of edible gold dust, fancy smoke infusions and the dishes sitting in a bed of moss. While some I would have to say can be quite unnecessary (like the spritz of edible glitter in cocktails), the hassun (seasonal platter) presented on miniature garden made out of moss was really a sight to see.
It is hard to fault the ingredients – even throughout the 10-course Ume omakase (that's 15 dishes in total) we embarked on, we never hit a bump. The journey was very well-planned, mixing flavours, textures and temperatures, keeping it interesting and never too heavy despite the indulgence of it all. The word 'goho' itself refers to the five ways of cooking Japanese cuisine that is: nama (cutting), niru (simmering), yaku (grilling), musu (steaming), and ageru (frying). And you get to experience it all here.
Of course, there were some star highlights. A luxe take on monaka (usually a confectionery filled with azuki paste) that was stuffed with monkfish liver and fresh strawberries served at the beginning set the expectations high. What followed did not disappoint, from the trio of dishes in the hassun platter that included a chilled take on chawanmushi topped with uni and ikura, and lightly cured aged mackerel to the crowd-favourite miso butter engawa. There were plenty of pleasant experiences as well like encouraging guests to eat the ochazuke way with the seasonal donabe and lobster miso soup.
Before we proceeded to the dessert course, all the diners celebrated with a Mt. Goho in front of them. What a Mt. Goho is: an absolute mountain of extravagance served in a glass dome with layers of ikura, uni, wagyu beef, snow crab, caviar, toro and topped with bonito smoke and yep, gold dust to complete the end of the savoury courses. There are three omakase options to choose from – Sakura ($98), Sumire ($138) and Ume ($188) with the option to top up for drink pairings. Another thing worth mentioning, when dining here, opt for the alcohol pairing that will keep you satiated with natural wines, sake and even beer. You definitely won't find zen at this omakase experience – but that's okay.