Kyoto

Kyoto

Featuring Fushimi Inari-taisha, Ichiran 一蘭 (Kyoto Kawaramachi), Shoraian (松籟庵), Guilo Guilo Hitoshina (枝魯枝魯ひとしな), Honke Owariya Japanese Noodle Restaurant Since 1465 (Original Store), Izuju Sushi - 祇園いづ重, elk 京都河原町店, Chao Chao Gyoza (チャオチャオ餃子 三条木屋町店), nokishita711, Vermillion
Jason Wong
Jason Wong

Whimsical cocktail names and quirky ingredients feature prominently at Nokishita 711, but that's all part of the magic of this artisanal gin and cocktail bar.

Don't be taken aback by the inky blackness of the Live Forever, because it actually tastes pretty damn good. Made in Kyoto KI NO BI gin is turned a shade of midnight through the use of bamboo charcoal powder, and has a wonderful citrusy bitter tang from sacred bamboo bitters and matcha infused Fever Tree tonic. The Japanese cypress shavings dangling on the rim of the glass imparted a pleasantly understated whiff of woodiness with every sip.

Taste: 4/5

1 Like

Great coffee made the drip way. Strong, robust, with chocolatey afternotes. Most importantly, no queue in a very popular central area of Kyoto!

Taste: 4/5

2 Likes

Every now and then you stumble upon a hidden find that's so amazing you want to keep it all for yourself. Out of sight in a small alley behind a car park is a tiny cocktail bar that can barely fit 8 people. It's owner is a consumate craftsman, absolutely dedicated to concocting out of this world gin cocktails with outlandishly creative flavour combinations you've never seen elsewhere. A gin genius if you will. Think libations made from charcoal and wood shavings, white miso and yuzu pepper, shrimp gin and clam soup, et al.

The decor is reflective of his mad brilliance as well -- a dim wizard's cavern filled with dangling lights, dried plants, assorted knick knacks and a mind-boggling array of gins from all over the world.

So good we had to visit it again on our last night, and a final quick pitstop at their new gin & cocktail stand The Roots Of All Evil at Kyoto Tower just next to Kyoto Station.

Taste: 5/5

4 Likes

I'll straight out say that this is better than Ichiran in every way. Fresh handmade noodles with a toothy bite in a creamy, concentrated, salty pork broth that's so intense it almost hurts. The chashu is a thing of beauty -- Thick yet tender slices of pork aburi-ed right before your very eyes by the chef behind the counter. It's charred countenance and smoky aroma immediately activates your salivatory glands.

Much like Ichiran, you order via a vending machine, except everything is in Japanese. To get the Pork and Egg Tonkotsu, choose the fourth blue button from the top left. This tiny, intimate 8-seater is off the beaten track in a quiet neighbourhood and is refreshingly devoid of tourists.

Taste: 5/5

5 Likes

The only letdown of the excellent Shorai kaiseki here was the dessert -- slightly icy and powdery tofu ice cream that lacked much in the way of flavour.

Taste: 3/5

2 Likes

I think this is one of the best agedashi tofu's I've had. Slightly gooey skin soaked in tsuyu sauce gives way to a creamy interior that's velvety smooth on the tongue.

Taste: 5/5

4 Likes

Meaning "hot water tofu". A silken, custardy block of the freshest handmade tofu simply cooked in hot water seasoned with a piece of kombu, is the epitome of quality and craftsmanship, forcing you to contemplate and fully concentrate on its natural flavour. An almost zen-like dining experience at this acclaimed tofu restaurant in Arashiyama.

Taste: 4/5

3 Likes

Japanese cuisine doesn't get more refined than Kyo-ryori(Kyoto cuisine). Our third course of delicate dashi came with a wedge of tender bamboo shoot and kamaboko(Japanese fishcake). The special touch was a print of the restaurant owner's personal artwork that was presented alongside the dish. The lavender hues of the painting tied in with the purple fishcake nicely. We got to take home the print as well!.

Taste: 4/5

7 Likes

Burrata-like in its consistency, the tofu was slightly firm, creamy and tasted like no tofu I've ever eaten.

Taste: 4/5

6 Likes

Kyoto's tofu is widely regarded as the best in Japan, and this restaurant - considered the best in its field - specializes in just that. Each dish of our 8 course kaiseki was mostly some variation on their choice ingredient, simple in appearance yet a joy to eat and the epitome of dedicated artisanal craftsmanship. Soft, smooth, silken and brimming with natural flavour, everything was housemade and of the highest quality. Of particular note was the yuba - think a savoury mille-feuille made from layers and layers of satin soft beancurd skins, with an almost creamy mouth feel, submerged in light soya sauce and topped with a dab of wasabi.

Taste: 4/5

5 Likes

Just off the main tourist stretch of Arashiyama, hidden from plain sight and cloistered in a lightly wooded area on the mountain's edge overlooking the Oi river bank, lies a rustic building that is home to one of the best dining experiences we've had the pleasure to have on our maiden trip to Japan.

Kyoto's tofu is widely regarded as the best in Japan, and this restaurant - considered the best in its field - specializes in just that. Each dish of our 8 course kaiseki was mostly some variation on their choice ingredient, simple in appearance yet a joy to eat and the epitome of dedicated artisanal craftsmanship.

The Hassun(second course) was a departure from the tofu-centric bent of the other dishes, and was immaculate in its presentation. So beautiful I was almost loathe to eat from it, each lacquer box was filled with a variety of colourful bite-sized morsels, including squid with beetroot sauce, fresh prawn, tofu, smoked duck, bamboo shoot, savoury mochi, cod, baby squid and strawberry with cream cheese.

The top notch food, wonderful ambience of the tatami room setting and excellent service makes this a must try if you are visiting Kyoto. Reservations recommended.

Taste: 4.5/5

5 Likes

A string of thin, crispy skinned gyozas stuffed with moist, porky goodness is the signature item here.

This gyoza chain originating from Osaka has the distinction of being a two-time winner of a national gyoza competition. Tasty certainly but not the best.

Taste: 3.5/5

3 Likes

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