[Japan: Wakayama] Villa Aida ヴィラ・アイーダ

Rating: 4/5

One of the main reasons I was back in Japan earlier this month was to eat at Villa Aida in Wakayama! Awarded 2 Michelin Stars and #14 on Asia’s 50 Best, Villa Aida is a rustic restaurant run by Chef Kanji Kobayashi and his wife Yumi. The couple serves just one table of 6 guests per day in a house reminiscent of an Italian villa in rural Wakayama. Vegetables are the main stars here as the chef grows much of the produce he uses in the fields nearby with over a 100 different types of vegetable. As we had visited in May, we had the special spring beans menu which featured fava beans and tear drop peas.

Our menu:

【和歌山風味 晩春と初夏のあいだ】

“Flavors of Wakayama”

新玉ねぎ さや大根
Pickled Onions with radish and Parmesan

Tear Drop Peas

こごみ 鰹 赤玉ねぎ
Bonito with fiddlehead fern and red onions

そら豆 熊 山椒
Fava Beans with bear and sansho pepper

島賊 ズッキーニ
Squid with zucchini

Squid with pasta

花ズッキーニ スズキ
Japanese Sea Bass with zucchini flower

春鹿 根まがり
Venison with parsley root

河内晩柑 カモミール
Citrus with camomile

そら豆 タピオカ マスカルポーネ
Fava Beans with tapioca and mascarpone

After our meal, Yumi San kindly took us on a tour around their property to see the gardens and farms where they primarily grow their ingredients.

While our lunch on the whole was enjoyable, we did find the price to be a bit too high for the ingredients and cooking we were getting. When you factor in the costs of the wine pairing plus travel to the area, the meal becomes pretty expensive and for me, I'm not sure it's really worth it to go out of your way just to eat at Villa Aida.

Villa Aida
1209-6 Osawa, Minamiuonuma, Niigata 949-6361, Japan


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