Saturday, April 26, 2008

Tasty Kyoto Kushiyaki + Delicious Tsukune Meatballs! :)

So after a long day with the Kyoto Tour, and walking around Shijo, we wandered onto Kiyamachi Street, a quaint, peaceful and interesting small side street. There were so many eateries, and we finally decided to step into a simple, but brightly lit Kushiyaki / Yakitori restaurant just south of Sanjo Street (on Kiyamachi). I was so tired at this point, I forgot to get a business card and take my usual picture of the store front. (^_^;

We sat down and looked at the menu: Wow! Kushiyaki and Yakitori in Kyoto. They also had *10* different types of Tsukune (Marinated, Ground Meatballs), and they stated it was their specialty. We had to order that at least. (^_~)

The service was solid, and our food came out in good time. First up was a classic (and favorite of mine): Agedashi Tofu.

The Agedashi Tofu was nicely cooked, and the tofu was added in at the right time (so it didn't get too soggy, and it still maintained a nice texture on the outside). The broth was so good, and really tasty! It exceeded my favorite version at Kappo Honda back in L.A.

Next up, we had a Kushi-Age (fried skewer) of a local variety of Tori (Chicken), and it was delicious! It was perfectly fried, with a nice texture and not too oily. It tasted *fresh* as well, which sadly, many places back in L.A. can't claim (since they don't swap out their oil often enough). The chicken was moist and delicious!

Next up, we had a really moist Tebasaki (roasted Chicken Wings). Great seasoning, and perfectly cooked!

After that came the classic Chicken Karaage (Japanese Fried Chicken):

The seasonings were well done, if just a touch too salty for me (only slightly). Otherwise, it was a well-executed version of this classic dish.

Then, the specialty of this restaurant came: Tori Tsukune. We ordered it with the default sauce.

Normally I'm not a fan of Tsukune (it can be a little plain, or chunky and bland). And my CH friend also shares my sentiments. So we were hesitant, but took a bite and... awesome! (^_^) Their Chicken Tsukune was *so* wonderfully marinated, and supremely moist and truly succulent! We couldn't stop eating it. It was easily THE best Tsukune I've ever had (not even close)!

After that, our trio of Kushiyaki skewers came out:

We ordered Sunagimo (Gizzard) and Nankotsu (Chicken Cartilage), and they were well-executed. They weren't as good as the Fountain Valley Shin Sen Gumi Robata-Yaki, but very close.

The last order was for classic Butabara (Pork Belly):

It was also very well-executed, really tasty and perfectly cooked! Overall dinner came out to only ~1500 Yen ($15 U.S.) per person, which was a bargain. It was a great, simple dinner to end our Kyoto Tour Day.


Peter said...

I had kushikatsu once in Tokyo at Kushinobu @ Roppongi Hills. It was absolutely delicious. I've never found a decent kushikatsu/kushiyaki place in L.A. If you know of one please do tell.

Exile Kiss said...

Hi Peter,

Thanks for the info on Kushinobu. I'll have to try that place next time I'm in Tokyo. :)

If I find a good Kushikatsu place in L.A. I'll definitely let you know / post about it. (^_~) If you find one, please feel free to drop me a line. Thanks.

Peter said...

Forgive my loose use of the language...I meant kushikatsu specifically but I see you knew I what I was referring to. :) Sure thing, if I ever find a kushikatsu restaurant I'll be sure to drop you a line. However, given your track record of eating at local Japanese restaurants I'm certain it'll be you who encounters the next kushikatsu restaurant first :) I'm consistently inspired and motivated to try a few of the places on your laundry list of Japanese restaurants. Thanks again for sharing. Best wishes.

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