Monday, May 13, 2013

Japanese dinner at Kyoto Garden

The front of the Kyoto Gardens restaurant. It is an authentic Japanese fine dining restaurant with well trained and experienced chefs, rather than a very good sushi bar 
Warm lighting, and comfortable seating this is a view of the bar and the sushi station. The kitchen is on the left.
They can accommodate larger parties in a private dining room
A view of the other side of the restaurant and our helpful waiter for the evening
And so we begin... the first page of the menu
We started with The Sea – a pale miso soup tasting of the sea, containing a beautiful selection of seafood and seaweed: Scallops, razor clams, mussels, octopus, prawns and clams add a depth of flavours and complexity even though the dish is very simple.
Our next course was a very simple raw ceviche of kabeljou in fresh lime juice.  So fresh and so delicious
In between courses, a dish of warm steamed edamame soya beans lightly salted.
This is one of the main reasons to return to Kyoto gardens.  A mix of fresh vegetables, bay scallops and prawns cooked in the crispest tempura batter.  Served with a lime wedge, grated daikon radish to refresh the palate and a bowl of ponzu with ginger added to it.

The Japanese version of Kimchi - pickled and spiced cabbage served as an appetiser

Our main was steamed fish served in a basket. Again wonderfully fresh fish, filleted and just cooked to perfection. Topped with seaweed.
We could only manage a small plate of sushi and we shared it.  Mainly nigiri and sashimi the quality of the fish was again exemplary.
We drank a bottle of Krone’s new release Chardonnay Pinot Noir which we had been sent to try by Krone’s Public Relations company.  It went very well with all the food. The components are the same they put into their MCC bubblies but with slightly riper grapes.  Reminded us of a similar one from Franschhoek.
The restaurant has three simple niches or home altars honouring the ancestors and the Zen gods called Butsudan.  You find these in many Japanese homes
Our extremely helpful and attentive waiter Conor, a true professional – but he is also a student
Conor and the owner, Scott Wood, taking an order from the next table
The dessert Menu is also followed by the most extensive list of Japanese Whiskeys we have ever seen in South Africa
Lynne’s choice was a Green tea crepe with Green Tea Ice cream. She drinks green tea every morning so is very familiar with the fresh hay and grass flavours of green tea. The crepe was very green and very light and the ice cream also had vanilla flavours.
John’s choice was Cherry Blossom Ice cream and chocolate beans. The ice cream had a lovely deep cherry flavour and the beans were dark and delicious with goji berries inside them.
We will be returning.  This tour de force of the menu would have been expensive, but they do have a special running at the moment and we probably would limit ourselves to just two or three courses next time.
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2013

Note: the colour in these photographs is quite yellow. The light level in the restaurant is very low and neither Nikon’s nor Photoshop’s white balance software could cope.

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