The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Yudofu lunch @ Kikusui, Kyoto (Japan)

I remember the first time we ate tofu as a meal in Japan, almost seven years ago. It was the meal that opened our eyes to the beautiful and tasty variety of tofu available in Japan, and I was converted! To those who like me who grew up with the bland and rubbery tofu common in Chinese cuisine, I urge you to try the Japanese tofu. There are so many different types, and my favourite is gomadofu (sesame tofu). When we were in Kyoto a few months ago, we went to Kikusui, a dining ryokan near Nanzenji that served kaiseki ryori and yudofu (tofu hotpot). There was also a large beautiful garden on site, and the general atmosphere was peaceful and tranquil (until we turned up with a 5-year-old and an infant!). It was very relaxing, and I'm sure that Kikusui would also be a lovely place to stay at. Service was typically Japanese - polite and efficient. No English here, and it would seem that meal choices are limited to yudofu lunch set for walk-in patrons. I would have loved to try the mini kaiseki course, but it's not surprising that something like that will require advance reservations. The food was delicious, and it was a nice gesture of the host to show us the lovely garden.

The waiting area by the entrance:

Large tatami dining room, and hubby was grateful for the chairs instead of having to kneel in the traditional manner:

Each table had a plaque with a different kanji character engraved on it:

Yudofu set, which includes silken tofu in hot dashi broth, tempura and sashimi:

We also enjoyed some nimono (simmered dish) of bamboo shoot, egg and mochi, some tsukemono (pickled vegetables), and a tasty bowl of rice seasoned with bamboo shoot:

Gorgeous well-kept Japanese garden complete with some koi in the pond:

We enjoyed good quality traditional Japanese food in a beautiful setting at Kikusui.

31 Nanzenji Fukuchicho
Sakyo-ku, Kyoto
Japan, 606-8435
Tel. +81 75 (771) 4101

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