Located in Saga Prefecture, Arita (有田) is a town known for their porcelain – Arita Yaki. With only half a day in Arita, we visited the Kyushu Ceramic Museum and ate lunch at the nearby cafe. Liked many towns in Japan, there is a local food “experience” in Arita called the Arita Yaki Gozen. Here’s what this special meal looks like.
About Arita Yaki Gozen – 有田焼五膳
We went to the cafe in Gallery Arita to try this 5-course meal which debuted in 2011. There are 2 unique features of Arita Yaki Gozen. First, the meal is served in Arita porcelain that is specifically created for this. And second, the local specialty, Arita chicken, is served grilled, simmered, pickled, steamed and deep fried. At Gallery Arita, this meal cost ¥1,300 and they only serve 20 sets during lunch. In addition, you can add a drink and a dessert to your meal for an extra ¥400.
The 5 Dishes of Arita Yaki Gozen
When the meal arrived at the table it looked like we were served a present! The meal came in two trays. On tray one, we have rice, miso soup, godofu (ごどうふ) and some pickled vegetables. On the second tray, there was a beautiful porcelain box tied with a ribbon. Inside were 5 different porcelain containers of mini dishes. Each chicken dish has different flavours and texture so it was hard to choose a favourite. Also worth a mention is the godofu. The texture of the tofu is very elastic-y. It’s almost like a cross between soft tofu and mochi.
Choose Your Own Cup for Tea
When you walk into the cafe in Gallery Arita, you’ll notice that the walls are lined with porcelain cups. When you order a drink, you can choose one of the cups from the wall. It took quite a while for us to choose our cups because there were so many! If you can’t decide, you can ask the staff to pick one for you and they’d choose from one of the cups from behind the counter. In fact, not only the cups but the creamer and the sugar container are also Arita Yaki!
Here’s the cup I picked
We thoroughly enjoyed Arita Yaki Gozen at the Gallery Arita cafe and would definitely recommend you pay a visit if you’re in town as this special lunch was well priced. The cafe is within 5 minutes walk from the Kyushu Ceramic Museum, making it an ideal place for lunch after a visit the museum. I had a lot of fun deciding on which cup for my drink. There is also a shop where you can buy some Arita Yaki home. We found a few pieces in their discount section which are unique and very affordable! If you are worried about bringing back porcelain, have no fear. The staff wrapped each individual pieces in paper and bubble wrap. We then wrapped each piece with some of our clothing and everything arrived home safely!