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the Japanese in Madrid with the most expensive melon in the world

The restaurant Pilar Akaneya it’s not just a sumibiyaki deluxe; but a space where you can find the most coveted Japanese products. Suffice it to say that its tasting menu, in addition to a kobe that melts of extreme quality, ends with a Japanese melon that is around 200 euros a piece and that, until now, had not crossed borders.

Photo: Jose Salto
Photo: Jose Salto

We will start with dessert, jewel in the Crown and icing on the cake of this Japanese restaurant in Madrid opened just a year ago. And is that the piece of Crown Melon (‘Melón Corona’) served here is one of the most valued products in Japan but given the strict controls and the low consumption margin in optimal condition (between 10 and 15 days from the harvest date), the international sale it had hardly been contemplated. Nevertheless, Chiho Murata and Ignasi Elias, owners of the Pilar Akaneya, have achieved that such a suggestive piece is never missing in the letter of their Madrid local.

Pilar Akaneya
Photo: Edwin Vandevyer

What makes so special to Crown Melon?

Cultivated exclusively in Shizouka prefecture (mainly in the city of Fukuroi), this prized variety of melonmusk grows between expert hands and meticulous care that make the product, never better said, the jewel in the Crown. Sweet taste, smooth and honeyed texture and elegant musk fragrance, cultivate Crown Melon It is something, in the first place, within the reach of only a few, since currently only about 240 farmers work with certified seeds of this variety that began to be cultivated just a century ago.

Pilar Akaneya / Jose Salto and Edwin Vandevyer
Photo: Jose Salto

Daily work

its The cultivation process is around 100 days and requires a daily control where the daily presence of the worker is still vital. In fact, one of the first peculiarities of this round melon with light and rough skin Every day, the producer waters each piece by hand, grown, incidentally, on raised soil, using what is known as an ‘isolated bed’.

Pilar Akaneya / Jose Salto
Photo: Jose Salto

The best of the best

Once the fruit reaches the size of an egg, a selection will be made where all but one melons are removed from each tree. The lucky one will become the spoiled child, who to get the perfect shape will be wrapped in paper and will be massaged with gloves. Once ready, the product is sent to the market labeled with a quality certificate where the producer number is included to allow customers to verify the information.

Pilar Akaneya / Edwin Vandevyer
Kobe / Photo: Edwin Vandevyer

Only star products

Originally from Shizouka, Chiho knew about the product when she moved to Barcelona more than a decade ago and did not hesitate to get a direct distribution of these specimens «which come directly from some farms near my house, in Fukuroi» to offer them in this local of Madrid with an elegant design in wood and on the embers of the best charcoal in the world, from the Wakamaya forests.

The Japanese in Madrid where to taste the most expensive melon in the world
Photo: Edwin Vandevyer

Prime meat

In addition to its delicious dessert, ‘Pilar Akaneya’ can boast of being one of the 150 restaurants (and one of the two in Spain) licensed to serve Kobe beef outside of Japan. Certified its origin from Hyōgo, “Here we are talking about A5 quality, the most exclusive cut on the planet”, Chiho points out.

Pilar Akaneya / Edwin Vandevyer
Photo: Edwin Vandevyer

Because there are dozens of varieties of Wagyū but appellation of origin Kobe Beef there is only one. And within them qualities in the cut, being the A5 the highest possible score.

Pilar Akaneya / Jose Salto and Edwin Vandevyer
Kobe Certification / Photo: Edwin Vandevyer

Along with the most exclusive cut in the world, other carnivorous delicacies are served such as the lattice and the Japanese beef shank, all of them cooked by the diner himself on the artisan barbecue tables. They complete the menu of thirteen passes Hyōgo classic Japanese creations like Edamame, Gyozas or a Hotpot of vegetables and mushrooms with Mentzuyu sauce.

Pilar Akaneya / Jose Salto and Edwin Vandevyer
Photo: Edwin Vandevyer

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