Cape Town foodie escapades: Kyoto Garden Sushi Review

Forgive my plebeian dining palate, but I’m rather an unadventurous foodie.

However, when given the opportunity to dine somewhere new in Cape Town, I was quick to accept – because my 2017 goal is to stop exclusively frequenting my regular haunts.

So, into high-end sushi joint Kyoto Garden Sushi I went…and out of character, I dined.

The rapture of purist edomae sushi at Kyoto Garden Sushi, predicates itself on

“sourcing top-quality, unusual ingredients from around the world, from farmed abalone to Mozambican conch, eel, sea urchin, and even Alaskan king crab, deep-sea scallops and wild salmon.”

I’m mildly pretentious, so I covet an opportunity to occasionally revel in the exclusive. Kyoto’s specialization gave me Japanese cuisine, cheesy minimalist Japanese paper and light wood textured decor, the opportunity for my friend to perish with laughter at my chopstick blunders, and a bit of a new lease on fresh seafood (because ordinarily I am seriously always like: why can’t you fry everything?!)

The New Menu

(Suggested 6-course menu for 2 – R780)

Tuna Tartare

Seaweed Salad

Small Chef Creation of: Sushi, Sashimi, and California Rolls

Vegetable Tempura

Ramen Noodles with Prawns

White Sesame Seed Ice Cream


A filling dining option for regular folks on a night out, but an absolute shrine to a discerning sushi and sashimi-loving palate.

Regular ol’ me, appreciated the delicate and fresh flavors. The various fish textures were weirdly yummy and intriguing on my tongue and throat, as I dug in.

Where the good-looking waiters were slightly somber, Kyoto’s ace-in-the-whole is the US-born owner, Scott Wood, who offered up hands-on advice on specialties and combinations for me – an initiate to the world of fine Japanese dining.

Have you ever wondered what a fresh plant looks like?

You really won’t see this in many sushi places in Cape Town (because they likely use other substitutions, the cheapskates!), but you will see it at Kyoto Garden Sushi.

When asked whether we were enjoying our meal, my friend and I noted how the presentation could be better…and?

Rather than a burst of anger, the owner rushed away with the plate promptly, and returned with a new, better plating of our Tempura.

What else they offer:

Combinations such as the Kyoto Garden Sushi’s signature broth – dubbed ‘the sea’; sake-steamed clams, crayfish miso soup, sushi from the bar, dressings infused with mirin, dashi, ponzu, ginger and soy, and more.

What about the vegetarians?

Turns out, there’s something in Kyoto Garden Sushi, for vegetarians too. Huh? Go figure!

Vegetarians can munch on fresh seaweed salad with shitake mushrooms, vegetable tempura and exotic mushroom dishes. (that’s plural, so YAY! for options, right?!)


I had the absolutely bomb White Sesame Seed Ice Cream – Seeds in Ice Cream yo! I really didn’t see that combination working out as awesome as it did.

There’s also other options, like: the green-tea crêpes, or toasted tofu, with ginger and cherry blossom ice cream.


I’m not even done with their beverage list, which includes drinks like: Green Tea Destiny, Japanese beer, sake (my absolute smooth new fav!), Ginger Misuwari infusion, twenty Japanese single malt whiskies, as well as wines from the top estates in the Cape.

I shall return to finish this drinks menu.


(Image courtesy of Claire Gunn Photography)

Kyoto Garden Sushi get’s a 6.5/10 for its balanced evening dining experience.

The new menu is a distinct, qualified combination of dishes – worthy of ushering a novice into the realm of fresh seafood; and providing Japanese food aficionados with another zen dining stop in Cape Town.

Kyoto Garden Sushi

11 Lower Kloofnek Road, Cape Town

For Bookings Please Call +27 21 422 2001

Monday to Saturday 5.30pm-11pm

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