Kaiseki ryori (会席料理) is traditional Japanese multi-course haute cuisine. Its origins are found many centuries ago in the simple meals served at the tea ceremony, but later it evolved into an elaborate dining style popular among aristocratic circles. Today, kaiseki is served in specialized restaurants or can be enjoyed by staying at a ryokan (Japanese style inn).
Kaiseki meals have a prescribed order to their dishes, most of which are prepared by using one of the common techniques of Japanese cooking. However, kaiseki chefs have considerable freedom to add, omit or substitute courses in order to highlight regional and seasonal delicacies and personal style. Below is a list of courses as they typically appear in a kaiseki meal:
Kaiseki courses are categorized by cooking method, with each dish representing one of the methods. Not all dishes may be present, however, as chefs will often include or omit dishes depending on the season and the chef's individual style.