Authentic Kyo-ryori using fresh recommended ingredients sumptuously on the day.
Text : Wakaso Sato / Photo : Kanako Takimoto
Once you visit Kyoto, you definitely feel like eating Kyo-ryori (traditional kyoto-style dish). It seems some places has its high entry levels... however, I would like to recommend ‘Kakou Okamoto’ located in Higashiyama Gojo area little bit away from Gion area which has a number of restaurants crowded. This is a restaurant managed by Ryota Okamoto, a young chef who trained himself at famous restaurants like Kiccho and Akiyama.
Once you step inside the restaurant, there is spacious 8 counter table sheets. The menu he has is only one, Omakase (chef’s recommended course: 11,800yen). He cooks about 10 dishes including classic styles to interesting modern style such as Takiawase (food cooked separately but served together on one dish), appetizer, Hassun (24cm dish with a various foods on) by using fresh vegetables from contracted farmers and fish from Akashi port. Not only the delicious dishes you can have, but also you can see how he cooks across the table since the height of counter and the kitchen is almost the same. a technique of cutting fish, and using kitchen knives to make foodstuffs look like the things, his dedicated but very beautiful moves are very attractive to see in live.
Sashimi dish has Tachiuo (hair tail), Tai (sea bream), and Sawara (Spanish mackerel). You can pour a kudzu sauce made from a little bit of Sudachi (Japanese citrus) and Tosa brand soy sauce. Fish is coming from Akashi and very fresh. Wasabi on top of sashimi goes with a sake really well.
Putting a grilled small rock on top of earthenware pan, spreading a fresh green bamboo grass on it, placing grilled Anago (conger-eel) on top, and pouring sake in it then putting a lid on. Once you take out a lid off, steams go up with a sound and it spreads a smell of Yuzu citrus all over the places.
Moreover, there is a dish containing pumpkin noodles mixed with okra and Anago eel with home-made pickled salmon roe.
The popular dish, Saba sushi, is served at the last of the chef’s recommended course. Honshiba is pickled only with salt and mixed with vinegar rice then putting saba fish and Shiso leaf soaked in vinegar and soy sauce on top of it. In winter time, instead of using Honshiba, Suguki will be mixed in rice.
They also have 60 kinds of Japanese sake from all over the places regularly, and they can select for your favorite and something goes with what you order. Since they serve you a small amount of sake in a small Ochoko (sake glass) so that you can also choose any sake you would like to have along with dishes you want to have. Variety of sake from fresh to rich, Mr.Okamoto said, “if the dish has a rich taste, then you might want to order something light and fresh, or something strong sour sake might go with it as well”.
Mr.Okamoto has a very cheerful mind and able to have fun time talking with him and I now totally understand why people come here by themselves alone.
ADDRESS : 470-4 Tokiwa-cho Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto City (MAP)
PHONE : +81(0)75-551-1055
HOURS : 5:30 p.m. ~ 10:00 p.m.(L.O)
CLOSED : Monday and Sunday on the last week.
★TRAVEL IDEA ‘10 Things To Do in Kyoto'
① Visiting Temples and Shrines
② Buying souvenirs
③ Visiting Arashiyama・Sagano
④ Having Kyo-ryori
⑤ Wearing Kimono
⑥ Having Japanese tea
⑦ Having seafood
⑧ Visiting shops in Machiya
⑨ Being exposed to a traditional culture
⑩ Feeling nature