Chan and I took the shinkansen (thank you Rail Pass) from Osaka to Kyoto which was a breezy 15 minute ride. We met up with his friends Mai and Tomomi. Kiharu (NOT KIHARU Brasserie – also located in Kyoto) is Mai’s favorite restaurant, so much so that she makes the journey from Tokyo to Kyoto just to eat here. And when she’s in Kyoto, she’ll eat at this restaurant like 3 nights in a row. She loves it that much! Quite a tall order but my gosh, what a wonderful experience. Yet another restaurant we would never have found on our own, very small restaurant run by the master chef and him alone. It’s all by reservation so no walk-ins, you sit at the bar and he serves you dish by dish. It’s all omakase, you do no ordering, it’s based on his shopping finds that morning. If you’re a drinker, he serves up nice sake pairings with each course.
The master chef was so wonderful and happy, even though us tourists couldn’t communicate with him, he was excited and tried his best! He was also overjoyed to hear we were from Hawaii lol. This was an experience like no other! Highly recommend if you are able to make you reservations and can speak Japanese lol.
Green Pea Soup, Tofu wrapped in Fried Mochi Bits with Yuzu Miso
What an interesting soup, great starter. Awesome flavors, super fresh ingredients. The taste of fresh peas? Can’t be beat!
Green Salad with Fried Yuba and Goma Dressing
Simple enough dish but the fried yuba is so good. Light and crispy, loved this salad anad the different textures!
Buri and Hirame Sashimi
Can’t go wrong with fresh locally caugh fish. Delicious!!!
Big Daikon Oden with Aburage and Yuzu Zest
Simple dish right? But aren’t simple dishes the best? He visually showed us with his hands how big the daikon was that used to make the oden. I believe him. Perfect melding of flavors.
Roasted Onion with Homemade Salt and Fried Soba Miso Dip
Okay, not all dishes can be winners. This dish wasn’t bad but it wasn’t my favorite. He roasted the onion over his grill and…it’s not like the onion takes in the smoky flavor you know? He deep fries buckwheat and mixes it into the miso. It was okay.
Salmon with Giant Shishito Pepper and Garlic Sauce
Salmon? Check. Giant Shishito Pepper? Check. Garlic Sauce? Check. I’m just ticking off all the things I liked in this dish. Yum!
Fried Taro with Fried Pickled Sakura Leaf
Another winner dish! Taking a bite out of the taro and then a bite out of the sakura leaf, the balance or the dense starch with the sourness of the leaf? Delicious! I enjoyed it quite a bit!
Matsutake Mushroom Rice with Carrots and a Chicken Base
Closing dish of the night, to me, just simple home cooked style dish. Comforting on a cold night. Look at how brightly colored the carrots are! It was delicious. Thank you again to Mai and Tomomi for a wonderful dinner and the wonderful company!