”You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces – just good food from fresh ingredients”- Julia Child
Oh Julia, you are too right.
Kyoto Sushi Garden is well-known for their sushi, but this is not what I want to rave on.
I’ve been fortunate enough to have experienced authentic Japanese cuisine during my missions back home to Taiwan. Since my home-country used to be under Japanese-rule from 1895 and 1945, there are still many obvious traces of the culture there. From fluent Japanese-speaking folk from my grandparents generation and back, to of course, Japanese cuisine. It’s been a while since I’ve been back, so after receiving an invite to check Kyoto out, I was more than excited.
The venue is slightly hidden on Kloof, as it’s situated next to Power and Glory, and Rafikis, both loud in sound and décor. Unlike its neighbours, there’s a comforting peaceful atmosphere to the elegant and minimalistic design of Kyoto Sushi Garden. And like the décor, the food provided a similar experience.
What I mostly love about Asian cuisine is the simplicity of the dishes. Since most Asian countries are surrounded by ocean, there’s an abundance of fresh seafood. That being said, one of the main features of great Asian food comes from how fresh the seafood is and the quality of the trade. Chef Koshi Koyama is the reason behind the 2014 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards for the best Asian Restaurant in South Africa.
With every dish I tried at Kyoto, I couldn’t help but close my eyes and drink in all the gorgeous fresh flavours. Kyle and I ordered different items from the Winter Special, so that we could taste as many different dishes as we could, and of course Kyle tried out the cocktails. We also asked for a small plate of Tempura items.
– Miso Soup with Mushrooms, seaweed and tofu
Wow, this is a definite must.
– Warm Scallops in their shell
– Rice with Kingklip
– Sautéed noodles with prawns
– Black Sesame Ice Cream
– Matcha Ice Cream and Crêpe with Crème Anglaise
Sushi – At Kyoto Garden Sushi, the type of sushi-quality you get is what you can expect in Asia. The Japanese rice used in the sushi was perfectly steamed and had the right balance of rice vinegar, sugar and salt. I love good sushi, and seeing restaurants offering cream cheese and mayonnaise in sushi is a foreign concept (by foreign I mean ‘not-Asian’) – so it was quite refreshing to see good quality sushi served using traditional methods.
The menu isn’t on the cheap side, but you’ll feel that the prices are justified once you taste the clashing difference between Kyoto’s sushi and the generic R99-all-you-can-eat. This place is great for special occasions, but a bit too costly for regular dining. Their Winter Special, however, is quite a bargain – at R170 for three courses, of which you have three options to choose from for the meals, plus a glass of wine.
Thank you to Scott and the team for an amazing Japanese cuisine experience, I can definitely say it offers authentic Japanese foods with the right flavours and incredible practised techniques. I will be back.
Pictures below, courtesy of Claire Gunn Photography.