Hana Kushi

Hana Kushi's light and elegant kushi-katsu (deep fried skewer), be careful not to overeat them!

Text & photo / Haruka Muta

Okonomiyaki (pan fried food) and takoyaki (fried octopus ball) is well known as Kansai's cuisine. Kushi-katsu (deep fried skewer) is another. It is often thought of a major food in Osaka, but it is also popular in Kyoto. Kushi-katsu differs according to the restaurants so why not explore them around.

Hana Kushi is located near to the Kyoto Station and often has a long line waiting to get in.


The lantern has a print 'Ku' 'shi' 'ka' 'tsu'

Let's start with Hana Katsu's original Japanese highball, a strong and dry chuhai cocktail.

Japanese highball

Shochu has less aroma than whiskey so they go well with kushi-katsu. It will push away the oiliness down your throat, says the master.

BTW, high ball made with whiskey uses nikka and is call the 'hige no high ball (highball of whiskers)'. 

Some cabbage came out with the Japanese highball.

The customers share the same bowl of sauce so be sure NOT to dip in more than once. If you want to put more sauce, you use the cabbage as a spoon to scoop it.

Sauce is rich with Japanese flavor. Sweet and fresh cabbage goes well with the sauce and so with the highball.

Here are my kushi-katsus. I ordered 10 set of recommendations.

First 5, from the left is beef, chicken, lotus, octopus, Japanese conger.

My first bite gave me a surprise by how light and crispy they are.

'Our owner does not like oily food, so we cook it light. Yum is blended in the batter, and also some bread crumb to fried it crispy'

Conger and big shrimp is popular.

Salt goes well with the conger. I didn't imagine that fried food will be so suitable for steamingly hot Kyoto summer. Yet, the gentle and lightness is so delightful.

From the left, big shrimp and lotus. The size of the skewer is also different.

Big shrimp is indeed so BIG and heavy, and the size offers a great texture. 

From the left, eggplant, cheese, pork and yum. The detail of recommendation set will change day to day, but they usually have conger and shrimp.

Despite being weekday, the place got full in more or less one hour from the opening.

Reasonable price, casual atmosphere, elegant and light kushi-katsu will all make you happy for sure. 


Hana Katsu

Address: 726 Shijo-dori Shinmachi Higashi Iru Ebisunocho, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto (map)
TEL: +81(0)75−351−1194 (advance booking is recomended)
Hours: 17:00-1:00 (L.O. food 12:15, drinks 12:30)
Holiday: Sunday (if the following day is public holiday, Mondays)