Sagakamenoocho, Ukyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 616-8386, Japan
Near Saga-Arashiyama JR station or Arashiyama StationGiving way to winter already, Autumn has but just reached its peak only recently in Kyoto last week. With the lively colours of golden yellow and fiery red bursting in the many different parts of Kyoto, this former capital of Japan never fails to turn into a tourist hotspot every Autumn season. Lucky to be there last week and one of the spots that should never be missed is the ancient-looking Arashiyama region that is littered with tranquil peaceful temples, the famous serene bamboo forest and small but beautiful mountains that form the perfect backdrop in every season. You could check out the important places in the Arashiyama region here.
Having been here 6 months ago in the summer, the number of tourists streaming into Arashiyama, or perhaps the whole of Kyoto has definitely skyrocketed during the Autumn season. From relatively emptier streets to hordes and hordes of people everywhere this season, lunch would be a headache for most as every restaurant along the main street sees a super long queue that may potentially turn a simple lunch into a high tea.
We kept walking, taking in the sights fully while trying to get into a less crowded restaurant for lunch. And luck was with us as we only waited for a short 30min to get into 亀山家 Restaurant; from which you could have an unhindered view of Arashiyama moutain while filling up the growling tummies. Not expecting much, thinking that this would just be some normal tourist restaurant that serves the normal Japanese fare, I reckon this was a splendid lunch and definitely a small family restaurant that has put in loads of sincerity and effort in their cooking to complement the magnificent view ahead.
Starting with this piping hot Oden, the generous variety of traditional ingredients present has whetted our appetites greatly, from the juicy daikon, savoury Yaki Chikuwa (Fish paste cake), spongy Mochiiri Kinchaku (purses), to the springy Konnyaku (savory jelly), they were all bursting with the dashi broth flavours. So well marinated and no short cuts taken, the oden calmed the stomachs. About ¥600.
Nishin teishoku – The herring set meal was another spot on set, with the meaty herring taking centrestage. Bones removed, substantial springy meat served that is completed by the lightly sweet shoyu marination, this was a worthy set for about ¥1000.
Oyakodon set – A semi runny omelette sweetened up by the sliced onions and tender chicken, I could never have imagined but peppercorn powder has been cleverly added that beautifully cuts through the umami fragrance. Definitely an impeccable bowl! About ¥800.
While for dessert, the hand made cream puff and Matcha cake were both on point. So refreshing it is as chilled, milky vanilla cream is stuffed within the flaky crust!
While this humble family restaurant may not be as conspicuous as the rest, it is definitely a gem hidden at the end of the road. And what’s more, the wait isn’t as unbearable as the rest.
And what lies ahead of Restaurant 亀山家, at the top, live these cute rotund, fluffy wild monkeys which you could come in close contact to. Loving the one that is perched on the pole with its fat butt facing the camera.
And while trekking in this region may seem tiresome, some commonly sold sweets could keep your day going. This semi-mashed red bean mochi were baked lightly to give a light crust.
And this was the beloved picture captured in the Arashiyama region of the day!
Verdict of 亀山家 Restaurant: An excellent restaurant.