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What is Kyoto Cuisine?

What is the most important aspect of Kyoto Cuisine? The answer is in the artisitc expression of the seasonal beauty of foods.

In Kyoto Cuisine, only the most selective fresh foods and ingredients are prepared. All tableware is carefully selected for their highest aesthetic qualities. Even the designs of the chopsticks are tastefully selected and respectful of the food being prepared and served.

In Kyoto Cuisine, the most important ingredient is Dashi broth made from kelp. Each restaurant has their own unique way of making Dashi broth and is carefully made over a long period of time. The most important ingredient in Dashi broth is water. The water in Kyoto is excellent and very good in making Dashi broth as the water is soft (less chemicals) when compared to the water of Tokyo.

Dashi broth is the base of every dish in our cuisine. At Yachiyo, every morning, we boil pure water with high quality Rishiri Kelp for nearly an hour. After taking the Rishiri Kelp from the water, the broths simmers without boiling. Then, Kezuribushi (flaked dried bonito) is added. Residue is removed to keep the Dashi pure, and after about 20 minutes left standing, the broth is filtered. It is time consuming, but is the secret of excellent Kyoto Cuisine.

Kyoto is famous for its dishes of fish and seafood. You can enjoy home made food or obanzai in certain restaurants. Seasoned vegetables or tsukemono and local sweets or wagashi are quite popular among the local people. Sumptuous wheat cakes or fu and yummy yuba are some other specialties. You can also savor the delectable yudofu at Yachiyo restaurant, special tofu dishes at Tagoto Meigetsu-An, Kaiseki platters at Tokanso, exclusive yuba meals at Seike, dishes like udon chiri and sukiyaki at Gion Heihachi Shinsen-En, and suppon or soft-shell turtle platters at Kyogaki. Other restaurants where you will get an array of pure Kyoto cuisine are Tamahan, Setsugekka, Gion Oishinbo and Daruman. Dishes made from Kyoto vegetables like Kamo egg plants, Kujo leeks and Shogoin turnips, are not only wholesome but also quite delicious. The addition of various sauce and cream makes them taste even more yummy ! Kyoto is also famous for its varied hot soups and pickles. You can pamper your sweet tooth with kanmi or sweet dishes like anmitsu, dango and yokan. You can also try out monzengashi (sweets found in front of the shrines).
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