Jiki Miyazawa 食宮ざわ (1 star)
553-1 Yaoha-cho, Sakaishijo Agaru Higashigawa,Kyoto 604-8123, Kyoto Prefecture
Near Gion Shijo station
Bridges, you would soon realise, is an integral form of architecture in the kansai region as they give these cities their unique character and charisma. While those in the more modernised Osaka exuberate a grander, sky-scraper laced skyline, those in Kyoto consolidate its rustic charm. Now we may seem to be slightly out of point here, but the gorgeous view you would get en route to Jiki Miyazawa 食宮ざわ じき宮ざわ from Gion Shijo subway is definitely unignorable.
Having searched for quite a few Japanese michelin restaurants previously, we have grown wiser to keep a lookout for the less conspicuous and quieter side road. And there we were, got past the curtain, ushered promptly to our comfortable counter seats, and got a Lager Kirin beer while waiting for the ¥3500 set lunch.
Starter – Plump and refreshing crab meat forming the base, topped with the lighter radish and salmon roe.
Clear soup – Perfumed throughout with the shimeji mushroom fragrance, while its refreshingness is further lifted by the citrusy yuzu zest; all with the purpose of bringing out the natural sweetness of the scallop encased tofu.
These Spanish mackerel sashimi were lightly steamed at the side yet still maintaining its tenderness, while the rawness is preserved within, thereby increasing the complexity of its overall texture.
Showcasing its culinary acumen, the Sesame tofu, topped with a blob of savoury sesame sauce and lashed with sesame sprinkles on top is definitely the star of Jiki Miyazawa. Lightly sweet, savoury, fragrant, the nuances in the sesame flavours have been brought out by the different textured ingredients. With so many elements in just a seemingly simple course, this is definitely not straightforward but has been prepared with much finesse. Notably, the tofu has a thicker and bouncier consistency yet still maintaining its silkiness, this is the first kind that I ever have had.
Rice course: Together with the peppercorn sardine, it was a good finish to the meal. Do not be shy to ask for more if you need more carbo as they will gladly scoop more for you!
Considered as the fruit in Autumn or winter, the fuyugaki (literally winter persimmon), with a meltingly soft flesh, tasted very sweet and juicy. All ended by the sweet hojicha macaroon counterbalanced by the ultra bitter quality matcha.
While I wouldn’t say that this lunch is mindblowing as most of the tastes, we were already familiar with. However, at just ¥3500, that includes the brilliant sesame tofu, I say it is worth a visit.
Verdict: A good restaurant.