On your own and after a quick counter style Wagyu fix around lunchtime in Kyoto?
Hafuu isn’t a haafu bad choice.
Sorry, couldn’t help myself.
The restaurant, with a focus on beef, is Yoshoku style. Yoshoku translates as ‘Western Food’ however it is in fact gloriously Japanafied western food – which I am totally loved up with when done well. If I’m honest with myself it is probably more about the nostalgia from my earlier years living and/or travelling in Japan when we didn’t really know what else to order – or how to. And I was too scared to go in to those tiny hole in the wall places that I love so much these days. That seems so far away. Um. It is I guess. 30 years and counting. Ouch.
I didn’t get to try their famed 5000 yen ($50 Aud Approx) Premium Katsu Wagyu Sandwich as I felt a full meal with salad and rice was not only a good example of their straight up beef which I wanted to try but it was also a little more affordable…
So I’ve eaten better beef in Japan and the spaghetti on the side didn’t endear me – even if it did hark back to old-school Yoshoku style… But all up it certainly filled a spot and everything was efficiently ‘tasty’. I can so hear my father in my voice. A little take it or leave it in tone. I’d recommend this restaurant to travellers who are ‘safer’ eaters. Don’t get me wrong – I love me a perfectly cooked bit of unadorned quality Wagyu – I’d just rather have it somewhere really high-end or at home. Which is why I suggest it for lunch rather than dinner. (That and the fact that the service is super speedy if you are between meetings!) Although if you are a small eater it might see you through the day!
There are 2 Hafuu restaurants within close proximity of each other in Kyoto town (a testament to its popularity with the locals I’d be guessing) and I went to the more modern offering on Ebisu-gawa street as the original was booked out but I believe it may have an edge over the newbie so perhaps I should have waited. Anyone else been who’d like to share their experience? If you ate the Katsu sando and it was ‘gold’ I already hate you so perhaps just go away now please. No really. Just kidding – I’d love to hear if you had a great meal at one of the restaurants.
Oh and whilst I was too proud to use it when they offered it to me – they do have an English menu.
Note that if you don’t eat beef there are a couple of alternatives eg ebi furai (fried prawns) another yoshoku favourite.