My initial plan for Kyoto was to have a meal at 3 Michelin stars kaiseki restaurant Kikunoi Honten and revisit Kichisen which has now upgraded from 2 stars to 3 stars but they were all unavailable when I tried to make reservation via my hotel 3 weeks prior to my visit. I decided that 2 stars don’t sound that bad either and decided to try sister restaurant Roan Kikunoi which would serve the same food but of course with a different chef executing. In Kyoto, you must have kaiseki meal at least once. Otherwise you shouldn’t even bother being here.
The restaurant had a modern façade.
I indicated my choice of course while booking, opting for the ¥7000 course. Autumn just started and the menu for October features the seasonal ingredients.
Aperitif – Sake with a fragrance of chrysanthemum
Amuse – Poached baby turnip, walnut miso sauce, yuzu
Hassun – Marinated shrimp in Chinese rice wine Grilled, pacific saury sushi, hamo (pike conger) roll, grilled chestnut paste
Hassun – Pine needle-shaped tea noodles, sake-glazed gingko nuts, gingko shaped sweet potato
Sashimi – Tai (red sea bream)
Sashimi – Uoze with ponzu jelly
Sashimi – Koshibi (baby tuna), egg yolk sauce
Dobin-mushi – Hamo (pike conger), matsutake mushrooms, mitsuba, yuzu
Baked – Anago (sea eel) baked custard egg, shimeiji mushroom, carrot, yurine (lily bulb), wood ear mushroom
Rice – Rice with matsutake mushroom, Japanese pickles, chestnut soup
Dessert – Sweet adzuki beans jelly, lemon ice cream
I liked my meal here and everything was quite special and unique, thus quite a delight to see and taste, even though the particular ingredient may not be my daily favourite. However, I wonder how different Kikunoi Honten would be. To me this isn’t the best kaiseki even though it was definitely one of the better ones around.
118 Saito-cho, Shijo-sagaru, Kiyamachi-dori, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto-fu, Japan