Kyoto Food Roundup

In Kyoto too there was, of course, so much amazing food to enjoy! On our first evening here we stumbled upon a tiny little teppanyaki place, with one quiet chef and one friendly waitress. Here we got to try a Southern Japanese special: okonomiyaki. This is a sort of savoury yam-based pancake/omelette, filled with pretty much anything, griddled to golden-brown perfection, and topped with special sauce and plenty of bonito flakes.
2016-04-18 Kyoto

Collage Kyoto 08

The chef cooked everything on the teppanyaki griddle, and it was amazing to sit right in front of it, watching him manoeuvre his two little ‘swords’ so gracefully.
Collage Kyoto 07

The restaurant was very welcoming and also keen on remembering their visitors from around the world, so we joined their map. I don’t even remember the name; it felt like a magical sort of place that wouldn’t be there in the morning – off elsewhere to feed some other hungry tourists and warm their hearts.
Collage Kyoto 14

Another lovely little place we found did delicious yakitori skewers, with just the one chef/waiter/manager slaving over a hot grill.
2016-04-19 Kyoto

Over in our hotel, we also enjoyed some French-Japanese fine dining at one of their restaurants.
Collage Kyoto 13

And as expected, there was cherry blossom food and drink to be found.
Collage Kyoto 12
Locally brewed sakura beer, sakura mochi, and sakura red-bull (not a joke…)

One afternoon we had a cooking lesson which started with a walk round Nishiki Market, with our guide pointing out lots of exciting ingredients, and the sellers offering us some tasters as well. We bought some of the ingredients we needed later, and all four of us in the tour group had a go at asking for an item at each shop (after much training from the guide).
Collage Kyoto 09
Top: Pickle shop; Japanese cucumbers pickled in sake lees (yeast residue after brewing)
Bottom: Dried bonito tuna (shave your own flakes during cooking); Different grades types of miso paste.

Then over to the cultural centre where we got straight into our cooking lesson. Here are the ingredients for the sushi roll – the trickiest bit is making the rolled omelette, but we all succeeded!
Collage Kyoto 10
Rice; crab stick, shiitake mushroom, gourd, cucumber; rolled omelette; the final rolled sushi, ready to be sliced.

The final meal, a proud achievement for us indeed.
2016-04-21 Kyoto
Spinach with sesame dressing, rolled sushi, and miso soup.

The cooking lesson was held at the same WAK Japan cultural centre where we had the tea ceremony, so it was lovely to see Yukiko-san again and be taught by her. She explained that UNESCO has awarded the status of Intangible Cultural Heritage to washoku, traditional Japanese cuisine. It was lovely to try this, and it was actually quite straightforward with a little experience and knowledge of the ingredients.

We were also given a recipe booklet to take away, which we got home and put to good use (this spread lasted us two meals!)
2016-05-02 Sushi at home

On our final evening in Japan we had a bit of a blowout, at an unassuming office block which turned out to house several large restaurants.
We had a ‘stairway’ of sashimi, tried horse meat (which was really very tasty!), had fantastic sushi and meat skewers, and rounded it all off with a matcha green tea medley of panacotta, ice cream, and kit kat.
Collage Kyoto 11

And all too quickly, our trip was over. We were off to the airport the next morning, and back home in no time. And then we had all the fun of unpacking, and going through our souvenirs and photos. What a wonderful honeymoon we had, full of astounding discoveries, lovely little gems of experiences, stories and images from childhood come alive, and wonderful new memories for both of us. It was just perfect.

See all photos from Kyoto in Flickr
Japan: Nara, Himeji

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2 thoughts on “Kyoto Food Roundup

  1. How wonderful to see you still write about your travels. It’s the one way we get to keep up with you over here. Those are different types of miso, not different grades of miso. Akamiso (red miso), miso and shiromiso (white miso). They all have different taste and pungency. 😉 Hope ye well.

    • Thanks Nick! I am pleased that blogging has turned out to be a good way to keep in touch with everyone. I’ll catch up to the present day soon! Well spotted on the miso description – fixed. I tried all three and liked them all, but we got the middle one for our soup.

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