A work of art by any standards …

Illustration from China and Japan: Being a Narrative of the Cruise of the U.S. Steam-Frigate Powhatan, in the Years 1857, ’58, ’59, and ’60 (1861)

“Not a single Western food has a color that could be called beautiful — the only exceptions I can think of are salad and radishes. I’m in no position to speak of its nutritional value, but to the artist’s eye it is a thoroughly uncivilized cuisine. On the other hand, artistically speaking, everything on a Japanese menu, from the soups to the hors d’oeuvres to the raw fish, is beautifully conceived. If you did no more than gaze at the banquet tray set before you at an elegant restaurant, without lifting a chopstick, and then go home again, the feast for the eyes would have been more than sufficient to make the visit worth your while.” — Natsume Soseki, Kusamakura (1906)