2012/09/24

【Charred flavor】 Gogyo Ramen 【Nishiki Food Market】


Hi! Welcome to Machi's Taxi Restaurant Guide.

Today, I would like to introduce you to a ramen restaurant near the Nishiki Food Market.

This restaurant is located on the west side of yanaginobanba, north of nishiki.


This ramen place is run by the "Chikara-no-minamoto" group, which also manages famous ramen chain "Ippudo".

Although they have many branches of "Ippudo" in cities such as in NY, Singapore, and Hong Kong, there are only 5 restaurants with the name "Gogyo", three in Tokyo, one in Kyoto, and the other is in Fukuoka.
The name "Gogyo" literally means "five lines", a reference to these five restaurants in Japan. So with this name, it's my guess that the number of "Gogyo" restaurants will not be increasing any more.

This "Gogyo" boasts of their unique "charred-flavor" ramen. The charred flavor stimulates your appetite.
Although they have regular ramen as well, I recommend that you order "Charred soy sauce ramen", or "Miso-charred ramen".

Myself being Japanese, I'm assuming that every Japanese loves the savoriness of charred soy sauce and charred miso.


This time, I ordered " Miso-charred  ramen".
After waiting only a few minutes, I suddenly saw a big flame erupt in the kitchen. This is what they use to create the charred flavor.




" Miso-charred  Ramen" -price 850 JPY


Because of the black substance, it may not look really nice to you. Once you try it, however, you'll realize that its taste is fabulous.

In and around The Nishiki Food Market, there are many great places to eat.
Definitely, this restaurant can be listed as one of your choices!


If you show this picture to your taxi driver in Kyoto, he’ll have no trouble taking you to this diner.


Taxi fare will be:
1040JPY from Kyoto station,
1040JPY from the Kiyomizu temple.
The above prices are just my approximate guess.


______________________


GOGYO

075-254-5567

Open

Weekdays 11:30~15:00、18:00~翌0:00
Saturday 11:30~16:00(LO15:30)、17:00~翌0:00
Sunday 11:30~16:00(LO15:30)、17:00~23:00



The green arrow shows the right place.

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2012/05/03

【Kaiseki】 Kinobu 【one of the best Ryotei】



Hi! Welcome to Machi's Taxi Restaurant Guide.


Throughout its long history, Kyoto's cuisine has continually developed for court feasting and meals which are served in a proper tea ceremony.
Today, this type of meal which I'm describing is called "kaiseki".  It is a type of multi-course menu, and I encourage you to give it a try while you are in Kyoto.



If you visit a "ryotei" (traditional high-class Japanese restaurant) in the evening for dinner, this type of meal is quite expensive.
For having lunch at this restaurant, however, it is still affordable.


I visited here June of 2011, and ordered "mini-kaiseki"-price 5000JPY. It consists of 9 dishes.


1. Goma-tofu with ikura (salmon roe )
   Goma-tofu literally means "sesame-tofu", but it's not really tofu. The curd is made from powdered arrowroot.

2. Tsukuri or Sashimi
   At this time, there were three kinds of fish ( sea bream, tuna, and squid ).

3. Broth with conger myriaster, burdock root, and winter melon.

4. Steamed rice with red sea bream, and lily root.
   This is an original recipe of this restaurant, developed by the present owner and chef who is a third generation proprietor of the restaurant.

5. Udon noodles, with mozuku-seaweed and sea urchin.

6. Tempura ( shrimp covered with shredded potato, fish, and corn )

7. Ginger rice

8. Watermelon pickled with sake lee and pickled cucumber.

9. Six kinds of dessert.

The dessert is amazingly sophisticated.  The center of the upper side is a coffee flavored bavarois.
The lower left is a Japanese sweet "mizuyoukan" made of red beans.  This mizuyoukan is delicious and not too sweet.
The next is watermelon jelly - it's juicy and nice.
The lower right is also a Japanese sweet "warabimochi", made of bracken starch and covered with kinako ( toasted soybean flour ). It has a very unique texture.  Almost all Japanese like this sweet, although some foreigners don' t take to it right away.


Please make a reservation.  This restaurant is very popular and loved by the people of Kyoto.
When relatives get together to hold a Buddhist memorial service, for example, after the service many people choose to come to this restaurant for a banquet.




If you show this picture to your taxi driver in Kyoto, he’ll have no trouble taking you to this restaurant.



Taxi fare will be:
960JPY from Kyoto station,
880JPY from the Kiyomizu temple.
The above prices are just my approximate guess.
______________________

Kinobu 075-352-0001
Closed irregularly
Open 11:30~14:30 17:00~21:30(L.O.19:30)




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2012/04/01

【Ramen】 Ichibanboshi 【Heian Shrine】

Hi! Welcome to Machi's Taxi Restaurant Guide.

It is not strange to say that "ramen" could be considered as one of Japan's most well-known and well-liked national foods.

The noodle dish which originated in China has developed into various styles in Japan.

Because of the numerous ramen diners located throughout town and the enormous number of the varieties of ramen which can be found in these places, Kyoto can be said to be a "ramen-paradise".



So starting now, I am going to introduce to you several good ramen places.


The first one is "Ichibanboshi" which literally means "No.1 Star". (In Japanese, this name also has a reference to the planet "Venus".)



This diner serves one of the best types of ramen, and it comes with a light soup.
So for this reason, I don't recommend this place to people who prefer the rich broth ramen.

It seems that this soup is made from pork bones.
Whenever I visit here, I have a small talk with the owner, but I've never asked what this soup is made from.

It's generally understood that most ramen chefs are very cautious and sensitive about sharing details of the ingredients of their ramen dishes.

I have a group of regular customers from HongKong, and they always like to have ramen as their lunch.
I've taken them to several ramen diners, and this "Ichibanboshi" is their favorite place.



"Ichibanboshi" is on the east side of "Heian Shrine", and is a 5-minute walk away from there.

If you show this picture to your taxi driver in Kyoto, he’ll have no trouble taking you to this diner.


Taxi fare will be:
1520JPY from Kyoto station,
960JPY from the Kiyomizu temple.
The above prices are just my approximate guess.
______________________


Ichibanboshi

075-751-9692

Closed on Thursdays

Open
11:00~15:00
16:30~19:00



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2012/03/21

Kishi-Sushi(Kishizushi)【Small suhi restaurant】

Hi! Welcome to Machi's Taxi Restaurant Guide.

Visiting a "sushi-go-round" is an easy way to savor some low-priced sushi throughout Japan.
Sometimes, however, I feel like eating better quality sushi (at a reasonable price).

So, this time I visited "Kishi-Sushi(Kishizushi)" near Shijo-Kawaramachi, the busiest shopping district in Kyoto.


This small sushi-restaurant has been open since 1914, for almost 100years.
Now, it seems to be run by a two-generation family.

When I initially visited it, I ordered the "sushi-lunch"-price1200JPY.
It includes 7 pieces of nigiri and 4 hosomaki.
Toppings are octopus, sea-bream, salmon, omelet, shrimp, tuna, and squid.

In an authentic sushi restaurant like this, there are no weird-looking rolls such as the spider roll, red devil roll, or snow mountain roll.
Everything is simple, so that we can savor the tastes of the ingredients.

Look at the thickness of the tuna.

The chef chooses fresh fish by himself at a wholesale market in Kyoto, or at the Nishiki-Market every morning.
Therefore, they can serve good quality sushi at reasonable prices.

The texture of tuna and sea-bream is proof of the chef's skill at finding good ingredients.


On a second visit, I ordered "Maiko-lunch"-price 1000JPY.
It includes chirashi-zushi, sashimi, a cup of broth, and mozuku-seaweed.

"Chirashi-zushi" literally means "scattered sushi". Several toppings such as crab, and shiitake-mushrooms are scattered on venegared rice.

Mozuku-seaweed is usually taken in the sea in the southern warm area around Okinawa.
The mozuku-seaweed here, however, is collected in the Sea of Japan, which is a rough, cold northern sea.
Being able to survive in its harsh environment makes this seaweed rich in taste and nutrition.
The texture of the thin seaweed is comparable to silk.



The restaurant has English menus, and so it's easy to order.
There are plenty of photos in the Japanese menus as well, so you can order from them by pointing.
(Not all the restaurant's available items, though, are shown on the English menus.)

"Kishi Sushi(Kishizushi)" is a 5 minutes walk away from "Takashimaya Department Store".

If you show this picture to your taxi driver in Kyoto, he’ll have no trouble taking you to this restaurant.
Taxi fare will be:
960JPY from Kyoto station,
960JPY from the Kiyomizu temple.
The above prices are just my approximate guess.
______________________


Kishi-Sushi(Kishizushi)

075-351-3341

Closed on Wednesdays(Though open when Wednesday is a national holiday)
Open
Weekdays 11:30~14:00, 17:00~20:00
Saturdays and Sundays 11:30~20:00



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2012/02/27

【Vegan Diner】 Morpho Cafe 【Natto】

Hi! Welcome to Machi's Taxi Restaurant Guide.


I don't think it's easy to find good vegetarian restaurants in Kyoto.

So this time, I am going to introduce you to an informal diner-"Morpho Cafe", which specializes in vegan meals.


On my first visit, I ordered this.

"Avocado and Tomato-don (donburi) with Natto and Yam"-price 850JPY

It seems that they use brown rice for this meal. Since brown rice includes bran, it is healthier than white rice.

Natto (some people describe it as "sticky-stinky little beans") is fermented soy beans, and it's usually necessary to first acquire a taste for it. After that it is delicious!

When someone tries natto for the first time, he usually puts it into his mouth and, with a wry face, says "This is terrible!"


Japanese people usually add mustard and soy sauce, mix it up well, and put it onto white rice.

In my opinion, this is a very good dish for encouraging or challenging people to try natto for the first time.
Actually, from the Japanese point of view,  this is really tasty.



On the second visit, I had a "Veggie-Burger"-price 850JPY.

There are no big burger chains which serves veggie-burgers in Japan.

I think it is quite nice, although I have not experienced tasting any other veggie-burgers.


"Morpho cafe" is a 15 minutes walk away from Kyoto Imperial Palace.


View Larger Map


If you show this picture to your taxi driver in Kyoto, he’ll have no trouble taking you to this restaurant.


Taxi fare will be:
1520JPY from Kyoto station
1120JPY from the Golden Temple
The above prices are just my approximate guess.
______________________


Morpho Cafe

075-432-5017

Closed on Tuesdays
Open
Weekdays 9:00~21:00
Saturdays and Sundays 11:30~21:00



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2012/02/21

【Excellent Dashi】 Daruman 【Heian Shrine】

Hi! Welcome to Machi's Taxi Restaurant Guide.

Good dashi (a broth used in Japanese food) is an integral part of Kyoto cuisine, since excellent dashi makes everything good.
The restaurant "Daruman" can boast about its tasty meals, made with their excellent dashi.

Although they have a buffet style lunch on the 1st floor, all the tables on the 1st floor were taken when we visited.

So, we sat on the 2nd floor which was a Japanese style room.

We found out that the view from the 2nd floor was really nice!
A canal can be seen through the window.


This is what I ordered.  "Oyako-don"-price 1000JPY.

Oyako-don is a very popular menu item throughout Japan.

"Oyako-don" literally means "Parents and kids-donburi".
Because chicken and eggs are put on top of rice, this meal was named "Oyakodon".

The melting-like texture of the half-heated eggs is so nice! ( Raw eggs in Japan are safe to eat.)


My wife ordered this.
"Tempura soba"-price 950JPY (Ebiten or "deep fried shrimp" on top of soba-noodle.)

A noodle dish is one of the best choices to savor the dashi.
Of course, I tried the soup a little, and I can vouch for it.

Daruman is a 5 minutes walk away from the Heian Shrine.
The entrance of "Daruman"

If you show this picture to your taxi driver in Kyoto, he’ll have no trouble taking you to this restaurant.


Taxi fare will be:
1280JPY from Kyoto station,
1040JPY from the Kiyomizu temple.
The above prices are just my approximate guess.
______________________


Daruman

075-751-1123

Closed irregularly (mainly on Mondays).
Open 11:00~15:30





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2012/02/08

【Superb Udon】Kendonya【Fushimi Inari】

Hi! Welcome to Machi's Taxi Restaurant Guide.

The other day, I visited a Udon-noodle restaurant, "Kendonya".



Although they have special menus for winter, I ordered "tempura-udon", a staple of their menu -price 850JPY.





What makes their udon so special is the glutinous texture of the noodles.
I've never had udon-noodles which have the same kind of texture at other places.




To get this texture, they use a pressure cooker for boiling noodles.




"Beef curry udon"-price 670JPY



Since the curry is dissolved into a special broth, the soup is not very spicy.

You can sense the hint of bonito and konbu-seaweed, yummy!



Since they have English menus, it's easy to order.





If you show this picture to your taxi driver in Kyoto, he’ll have no trouble taking you to this restaurant.


Taxi fare will be:
800JPY from Kyoto station,
1200JPY from the Kiyomizu temple.
The above prices are just my approximate guess.
______________________


Kendonya (Udon-Noodles)

075-641-1330

Close on Wednesdays and one extra day off a month.
Open 11:00~15:00
        17:00~20:30


HP:Kendonya・Handmade Udon Noodle Restaurant




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