Text: Keiko Nakamura / Photo: Yuki Sato
Shunsaigyoan started off as a fish shop in 1978 They are now known as a small restaurant serving Kyoto cuisine using fresh seafood directly from the Central Market of Kyoto. They welcome customers with a relaxing jazz BGM and a whole lists of seafood menu. They also do catering around the area.
The popular menu is ochazuke (green tea, dashi, or hot water poured over cooked rice) with fresh tuna. Brilliant looking cut tuna is placed on top of the rice where a hot Uji green tea will be poured. Once soaked in the tea, tuna will turn mildly cooked. The green tea lessens the fishy smell making the ochazuke all the more a light meal. Mr. Katsumi Hasegawa, who took over the restaurant from his father, and his son prepares the tuna by just sprinkling some salt to keep the taste of freshness fish and Uji green tea. It is served with chopped wasabi and daikon.
'White flesh fish like sea bream tastes too plain, but if we marinate tuna in soy sauce it will become too strong. We tried out many ways and came to a simple seasoning' says he.
A ochazuke set with homemade matcha chiffon cake and ousu green tea. The chiffon cake has a great balance of sweetness and bitterness. Ochazuke can be ordered alone so you could enjoy this to finish up a dinner after having sake.
Beside ochazuke, they have other fish dishes for lunch. Shunsaigyozen is a set with 9 dishes including sashimi/grilled fish. Not only the fish but also side dishes like lady salad, steamed red daikon, is also tasty. Kaisendon comes with 5-6 sashimi like huge red shrimp, ikura, seasonal fish, in a rice bowl.
Now the restaurant is passing on to the third generation, who is 24 years old, who had been working at a different Kyoto cuisine restaurant. He was supposed to get longer training outside, but the 1st master, his grandfather, had passed away in 2014, so he joined his father earlier than he planned.
'My grandfather had always wanted people to enjoy fresh seafood. I would like to carry that on with my hands together with my father from now on'.
ADDRESS: 85-1 Uji Ichiban, Uji City (map)
HOURS：11:00-14:00 (Lunch), 18:00-22:00(Dinner L.O.21:00)
CLOSED: Tuesday, 3rd Sunday, Monday dinner is available only upon reservation