It’s almost sinfully inviting, gazing upon the well-lit restaurant hidden on the hip Upper Kloof Nek corner, in Cape Town.
Kyoto Garden Sushi has a name that promises a taste adventure. One would think it takes on the ‘all glam and no substance’ premise of other Cape Town eateries, but the Sushi spot is not world (W-O-R-L-D) renowned and award-winning, for nothing.
The exterior design seems very carefully decorated to evoke a most zen Japanese ambiance, which is followed through with the warm minimalist interiors…and an incredible culinary adventure.
There is no roar of Wok being made, as you would hear in bustling traditional Asian restaurants and food markets(especially those scattered around Taipei).
What Kyoto Sushi has, is demure elegance, and its food elevates the establishments dining from reasonably good for a bite, to coveted gourmet dining experience.
Cape Town is blessed with quite amazing Winter Menus every season, and Kyoto offers you the opportunity to go on a Japanese culinary adventure with them, for the reasonable cost of R220.00c
The three course Winter special I enjoyed, began with Tuna Tartare.
A lesser kitchen god would have floundered to produce this clean and classic tartar(helped in part, by the smooth and thick accompanying seaweed), as the delicately chopped up mercury-filled fish, can be defunct in the wrong hands.
Perhaps a little charring (and some spicing with aioli-ginger) in the fish mixture, is in order though?!
The next in our Course 1, was Miso Soup – a Japanese cooking cornerstone, which can be found in fine dining restaurants and convenience stores alike.
Apparently this is a dish for Breakfast, lunch or dinner. The bowl I had, included Shiitake mushrooms, seaweed, and the savoury seasoning paste known as Miso, swimming in a simple stock broth. Along with the paste – resultant from fermenting soybeans with a mould (Koji) – is usually grains, seafood and vegetables.
My Miso soup came with a whole lot of broth, specialized large noodles, and spring onions doing more than garnishing. This was light, and rewarding…and that’s saying something from a spice-loving carnivore such as I!
Hello Rice & fish of the day – accompanied by some Linefish & vegetables.
If only the veggies at Kyoto Sushi, could be made in wok style, with a smidge of garlic, I’d eat more of them.
Anybody craving a little bitterness with their veggies?
The Duck Ramen and Japanese noodle situation here, is perfect for a winter meal you want to enjoy without it resting heavy in your tummy.
Beef noodle soup comes in 2 different styles – for the food aficionados who know. The first noodle soup styles is a classic, which Kyoto offers up: made with a clear broth (color & taste definition to the clear delicate broth, coming from ginger), house-made noodles, and tender slices of meat(or Tofu if you please).
Most places, like Hong Kong, make this dish with dark broth, and it tends to be spicy. This Udon Noodle Duck Soup, is subtle dish, and not meant to pack a punch.
It get’s a resounding 7/10.
Only thing missing from the menu is perhaps a traditional stir fry beef bone marrow.
I frikken LOVE Japanese Ice-cream ever since the last time I visited Kyoto.
I got to indulge in the Black Sesame Seed Ice Cream and the Green Tea Ice Cream.
The sesame seeds really do the damn thing to this otherwise one-dimensional dessert.
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 their Japanese take on warm Winter food, without forgoing spices like others usually do. The various textures and light flavors, from seaweed to noodles, were intriguing enough to keep anyone munching until an empty plate remains.
For its undeniable excellence,Kyoto Sushi get’s an 8/10
What about the health nuts & vegetarians?
You’re sorted. Just make sure to let your server know if you need any additional substitutions, or have any allergies.
Vegetarians can munch on fresh seaweed salad with shiitake mushrooms, vegetable tempura and exotic mushroom dishes. (that’s plural, so YAY! for options, right?!)
Please do consult their menu for a true idea of how accommodating they are for vegetarians.
What of the drinks & booze?
There is a world of drink options at this restaurant. Choose from a hot and cold drinks menu; try some extra additions to a drink you know, or to stick to simple water, and soft drinks.
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.
The Winter Special comes with a glass of some crisp local wine choices.
Kyoto Garden Sushi get’s an all-round 8/10.
Kyoto Garden Sushi
Monday to Saturday – 17:30pm – 23:00pm