Seems to me there's this on-going contest, the past few years, to create expensive dishes. The goal isn't the best tasting dish of its kind, or one that shows imagination and creativity that pleases the palatte. The aim is to make it expensive for it's own sake.
Somehow or other I missed the announcement.
It's not only in restaurants and private banquets that this shows up. Look at any of the celebrity chefs, particularly those involved in competitions. One of the things you see is them piling on posh foods for no reason other than that they can. Caviar where it contributes nothing but a salt element, truffles just because somebody paid for them, fois gras added to dishes where the flavors compete rather than compliment.
But, of course, when they started touting $45 hamburgers as value for the money I knew the industry could get away with anything.
Hey, have y'all tasted my truffle sandwhich? It's a simple appetiser: a mixture of caviar and seared fois gras sandwiched between 2 thin slices of white truffle, sitting in a puddle of lobster cream sauce. A mere $436 each. Wash it down with a champagne shooter for a mere $92 extra.
Any produce in Japan is relatively expensive compare to U.S. (e.g. One small apple cost $1) They're also smaller so if you calculate by pound it becomes even more expensive. But still, regular people like me never had chance to try Yubari Melon or Mattake... those are either for a gift or special people. I've never heard of Densuke watermelon so it must be a new kind or something.
Of those listed, only the mushrooms and maybe the wagyuribeye seemed reasonable to be on the list. All of the others were specific single items that were priced based upon being the largest or "best" out of a group. The dishes which aren't raw ingredients at all, really don't belong on the list (or should be the only things on the list). It's hard to compare a whole wagyuribeye to an ounce of truffle. If they want to report that "per serving" the raw ingredient is the most expensive, or that the single entree portion of a menu item is the most expensive, that's fine. However, an eggplant that looks like George Washington could have made the list, which really defeats the purpose, IMHO.
I entirely agree, Kuan. Such excess of excess is inexcusable. The amount of good that could be done with the money spent by those in excess overdrive would do the world a world of good.
Have never had a chance to try truffle, but a description that I've heard of it's smell and aroma as being a "Combination of sweaty socks and sex" puts me right off it. I like shrooms, a lot, but this is just ridiculous.
And a melon is, well, a melon. And a good steak is a good steak. You want caviar? Just add some salt or melt some anchovies into a dresing..