Heavenly Hayashi

Once again I’ve stolen an old post from my other blog eatspeakjl.blogspot.com to share with you a ryotei (traditional restaurant serving Kaiseki cuisine) I ate at around 7 or 8 years ago in Kyoto…  I really can’t believe it was that long ago because I still remember the meal so fondly.  I’m not sure if Hayashi , or more formally Oryori Hayashi had a Michelin star when I ate there but it certainly deserved one and I’m pleased to report it’s absolutely in the book thesedays and looks to be better than ever.

So here’s what I had to say way back then  –  with some visual accompaniment to give you an idea of the chef’s style. All I can say is GO. It was very good. Get someone to book on your behalf and if possible go with a Japanese friend or guide.

 “A couple of weeks ago (as per above – 7 or 8 years ago now!) I enjoyed a wonderful Kaiseki lunch at Restaurant Hayashi with  a friend who had been wanting to check it out. I had not heard of the place before so went without expectation.

The flavours were fresh, clean and spot on. It was the type of food that feels as good for you when it hits your belly as it tastes when it passes your lips.  Some of the dishes were quite unique in their particular balance of flavours and in execution – and, I might note,  in a very good way. I can’t wait to get back there for dinner and see what they conjure.

The lunch was around 5000 yen – so pretty reasonable considering the quality of the food and the work involved. The junior chef we looked to for more information on his master’s cuisine was not the most forthcoming, possibly feeling either a little shy or annoyed by two overly-zealous foreigners – even though my dining companion’s Japanese is excellent, so details are sketchy (and to add to the mystery I didn’t write anything down as I was a little too in the moment) but the menu went something like this….

Fresh warabi (bracken), wasabi greens and crisp udo – simple but sensational

A trio of daikon tied with kombu/ rolled, twisted yuba/ and preserved roe with yuzu with broad bean and chestnut

Handmade mochi in a clear soup with baby turnip

Perfect Sashimi including an unusual addition of fresh yuba

Yurine (Lilybulb) dumpling filled with duck meat in a thickened broth with fresh ginger

Tempura of minced prawn and uni, vegetable kakiage and Shungiku (edible chrysanthemum leaf)

Simmered yuba (soy milk skin) in thickened broth with kinome (sansho leaf)

Ochazuke (with dashi not tea) and lots of fragrant shredded shiso and great pickles


 We ended the meal with match and wagashi (a traditional Japanese sweet) but unfortunately I was not permitted to take photos when other guests entered the room…

The restaurant details are in the address above – but if you find it tricky to hunt down – here are some additional instructions:

Locate the Kawaramachi/Imadegawa intersection and from the south east corner head south a minute or so to the next street on your left. Turn left and follow the short street a few moments east and turn the corner with it as it heads south. On your right a few buildings down is the restaurant. The number is 075 213 4409 but to my knowledge no english is spoken.

After all this time – I really think it’s about time I returned – don’t you? When I do I’ll report back.. stay tuned.

Pssst! If you are a discerning foodie traveller and would like to experience Japan with Zenbu Tours then please check out our 2018 Tour Schedule!  Zenbu Haru (spring tour) is almost sold out and there are just 4 spots left on January’s Zenbu Setsubun (as of 19 August) – Hurry!!  Still plenty of space on Zenbu Zen at this stage however this popular tour usually fills up quickly from end August early September

And if you’ve fallen in love with the Japanese aesthetic you might like to hop over to our sibling store  ZENBU HOME

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