Thursday, July 26, 2018

Winter Special menu at Kyoto Garden

Cape Town seems to be going through an Asian experience at the moment with so many new Asian and Asian inspired restaurants opening and being enjoyed. It has taken a while for SA to get there and we are loving it, as we so enjoy eating this style of food. Some of the successful Asian restaurants that have been around for a while are enjoying this revival and should never be ignored, as the reason they are still here is that they produce authentic Asian food. It is the season when we are invited to taste winter specials and Kyoto in Kloofnek Road invited us to visit and sample their Japanese offering

The very Zen front door with the bamboo and the cloth sign indicates that this shrine to good Japanese food is going to be authentic
Soft lighting and smaller tables; a sushi bar you can sit at while a sushi master prepares your sushi and sashimi from the freshest fish and other ingredients. They source top-quality, unusual seafood from around the world, from farmed abalone to Mozambican conch, eel, sea urchin, and even Alaskan king crab, deep-sea scallops and wild salmon.
The owner of Kyoto, American born Scott Wood, opened this restaurant in 2008, and it is a huge success. There is a cocktail bar and you can try a Green Tea Destiny or a Ginger Misuwari. An unusual beverage list includes Japanese beer, sake and twenty Japanese single malt whiskies, as well as wines from top Cape estates. And they have a private dining room which you can book for small parties
They are only open in the evenings and booking is a good idea. All food is prepared fresh to order, so be prepared to relax as it might take a little longer. These American children really enjoyed their sushi and had a game of chess at the table. So well behaved
The tiny but very busy kitchen
Love the parasols and lantern at the doorway
and a small shrine
This is a very good deal and the food is carefully chosen with something for everyone
You get a glass of white or red wine with the winter special. The white on offer on the night we were there was the Jordan Chameleon and the red was from Rooiberg
Table setting
This is the normal menu, should you wish to order from it rather than having the Special
Some of the very special dishes, with ingredients not often seen in Cape Town like King Crab, Lobster from NW Atlantic, huge Alaskan scallops and sometimes sea urchins (Uni in Japanese)
We decided to order two different dishes from each course and share them. This was the melt in the mouth Tuna tartare; beautifully pink and fresh tuna, cubed with a little taste of wasabi and soy, served with good sliced seaweed and grated daikon radish
One of our absolute favourite dishes at Kyoto is the Vegetable Tempura. The batter is so light and crisp and the vegetables inside are cooked to perfection. It comes with more daikon radish, salt and lemon and superb gingery savoury dip, which we would guess has soy and mirin in it. The vegetables were a slice of aubergine and sweet potato, courgette, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus and a whole sisho leaf. Warning: this is very hard to share!
Main course choices were the Udon noodles with duck; house-made noodles, generous slices of good duck, seaweed and some oyster and enoki mushrooms. John had to ignore the mushrooms, but really enjoyed the dish with its really satisfying broth
 The Special Fish was beautifully seasoned slices of well cooked kingklip on a bed of slippery rice with some bok choi. Also a very satisfying winter dish
For dessert we had the Black sesame ice cream, which is very nutty in flavour, like a sesame butter
The Green tea ice cream with lots of vanilla and some smokiness from the tea leaves. Do go and try this very good value special which will last until the end of August

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