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Kyoto restaurant follow-up

This weeks “full” review is a touch delayed due to some technical problems. Cafe Madrid is this weeks main story and should be live by the end of the weekend. As a stop-gap before then, I thought I would share a recent visit to one of our favourite haunts, Kyoto.

We dropped by last Saturday evening and were intrigued by the staffing changes afoot behind the sushi bar. A new highly experienced chef (Tetsuo) was evaluating whether to join the already formidable team. We were told Tetsuo was a chef with vast experience, working in over 30 states and more than 70 restaurants. A number of specials were available that evening as a consequence. The most visually dramatic newcomer was the whole Snapper Head ($10.50):

kyoto snapper head

The head was steamed for 20 minutes in sake, lemon and asparagus. When the finished plate finally landed in front of me, it elicited more than a couple of curious stares. The flesh around the neck and cheek areas were especially delicate and flavoursome. Wendi commented on how much the sake had permeated the meat, this was a real treat.

Another new unusual item was the Tuna Skin Salad ($4.50):

kyoto tuna skin salad

We were told that Tuna has a comparatively thick skin for fish, this was particularly evident in the tasting. The marinated skin had a pleasingly chewy texture. Indeed, a little extra chewing went a long way in providing a rich lasting flavour. Also creating quite a stir at the sushi bar was the heart stopping Crunch Roll ($14.50):

kyoto crunch roll

This was essentially a dressed up Prawn Tempura roll. A standard tempura roll is topped with heaps of “crunchy bits”, namely the left over bits of tempura batter from the fryer. Finally the mountain of deep fried goodness is drizzled with spicy mayonnaise and eel sauce. The plate was certainly Americanized and anything but healthy, it was however delicious, in that kind of guilty-pleasure way. Best enjoyed in moderation for sure!

These were just three new items on the menu that night. A variety of ‘dragon rolls’ also featured that, although we did not have room to sample them. It was unclear if Tetsuo will be joining the Kyoto team permanently, nor am I sure if these items are still available. If they are though, I would heartily recommend you give them a try.

While on the subject of Kyoto staffing changes, I should say goodbye to Mike, our friendly sushi chef at Kyoto for the last year, we will miss you Mike! At least Akira and Katsu will be there to console us with their great sushi in your absence. For our original Kyoto review please see here.

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1 thought on “Kyoto restaurant follow-up”

  1. Kyoto is incredible! They have it all, beautiful (looking and tasting) food, excellent service, balanced atmosphere, and on and on. I am so lucky to have Kyoto as my neighborhood sushi place. I almost feel a little japanese walking down to Kyoto, submitting my appetite to their hospitality and cuisine, and leaving warmed by sake to brave the short walk home. When it comes to Japanese food, although I respect differing opinions, traditional preparation hits the spot every time and Kyoto has mastered this skill!

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