Tuesday, May 23, 2017

New winter menu at Kyoto Garden

Earlier this year, in February, we were invited to review the Kyoto Garden's Menu for Two which was obviously a success, because this week we were invited to review the new Winter Special menu. On offer are three courses and a glass of wine for R220 pp. This also includes an appetiser of Edamame beans, not counted as one of the courses. This authentic Japanese restaurant in Kloof Neck Road can be a tad pricy, but they do serve some of the best sea food in Cape Town. This menu is good value and an excellent introduction to authentic Japanese food
The restaurant is in Lower Kloof Nek Road, at number 11
The interior with the bar and sushi station
The main restaurant
The new Winter Special Menu. 
We decided to order one of the dishes each and then share them
Our taster of Edamame beans, warm and sprinkled with flaked salt. You just open the pods and eat the beans, not the pods. We both chose to drink white wine and the wine on offer was Gabrielskloof Sauvignon Blanc, crisp, dry and full of Overberg sunshine with Sauvignon flavours of Cape gooseberry and lime
The Tuna Tartare, gently flavoured with wasabi and soy, topped with spring onion and accompanied by seaweed and grated daikon radish
A dish to recommend is the Vegetable tempura, we could eat this again and again. They really do this well. The crisp fluffy batter is perfect, but so are the vegetables inside, not hard and unyielding. The sweet potato, courgette and aubergine slices are sweet; delicious and soft inside their crisp coating. There is also crisp broccoli, carrot and green bean. Served with an intriguing, slightly sweet soy dip with rice vinegar and shreds of ginger; daikon, fresh lemon and salt.
Then the two main courses. The bowl of Udon noodles with duck comes with these special wooden ladles so you can enjoy the broth
The dish is topped with seaweed, spring onions, baby leeks and some very thin slices of duck, which is cooked in the broth. The hand cut Udon noodles are made at the restaurant. The meaty broth is a delight, so deep and flavoursome
Entitled Rice with special fish this was our favourite dish and we will be returning for more. Simple but an absolute knock out. A bowl of well-cooked flavoured rice - stock? mirin and/or rice wine vinegar? we can only guess. This is topped with slices of perfectly cooked hake, which has a seasoning that resembles umami barbecue flavours. It was super fresh and flaked beautifully. On top of that is Tatsoi, an Asian green, sliced leeks. We devoured this dish, very satisfying
Time for dessert. This is the Black sesame seed Ice Cream. It is a small portion of creamy Halva like ice cream, not too sweet and sprinkled with lots of black sesame
Then the Cherry Blossom Ice Cream with nice cherry flavour and sour cherries. Very good. It has been sprinkled with chocolate shavings
We could have had the roasted Rice tea but had to rush home to write this review, as we are off to Europe in two days. As we left, Scott the owner did give us a quick taste of a very interesting Japanese gin, which is full of Juniper and herb botanicals at first and then changes to lots of lemon lime and citrus flavours. Powerful but delicious. Kyoto Garden also serves very good cocktails and, of course, good sushi

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