Sunday, March 20, 2011

Heavenly Hayashi はやし

A couple of weeks ago I enjoyed a wonderful Kaiseki lunch at Restaurant Hayashi with my friend Michael aka the "Kyoto Foodie" who had been wanting to check it out. I had not heard of the place before and am most grateful to Michael for sharing it with me. 

The flavours were fresh, clean and spot on  - the type of food that feels as good for you when it hits your belly as it tastes when it passes your lips.  Some of the dishes were quite unique in their particular balance of flavours and in execution - and, I might note,  in a very good way. I can't wait to get back there for dinner and see what they conjure.  And yes - I plan to be back in Kyoto in the not too distant future..

The lunch was around 5000 yen - so pretty reasonable considering the quality of the food and the work involved. The junior chef we looked to for more information on his master's cuisine was not the most forthcoming, possibly feeling either a little shy or annoyed by two westerners - even though my dining companion's Japanese is excellent, so details are sketchy (and to add to the mystery I didn't write anything down as I was a little too in the moment so hopefully if you are reading this MB you can fill in any gaps??) but the menu went something like this.... 

Fresh warabi (bracken), wasabi greens and crisp udo to start - simple but sensational
A trio of daikon tied with kombu/ rolled, twisted yuba/ and preserved roe with yuzu with broad bean and chestnut
Handmade mochi in a clear soup with baby turnip
Perfect Sashimi including an unusual addition of fresh yuba
Lilybulb dumpling filled with duck meat in a thickened broth with fresh ginger
Tempura of minced prawn and uni, vegetable kakiage and chrysanthemum leaf
Simmered yuba in thickened broth with kinome
Ochazuke (with dashi not tea) and lots of fragrant shredded shiso and great pickles
We ended the meal with a traditional Japanese sweet and matcha but unfortunately I was not permitted to take photos when other guests entered the room... 

I don't have the address but if you want to hunt it down here are the instructions on how to get there - find the Kawaramachi/Imadegawa intersection (in Kyoto) and from the south east corner head south a minute or so to the next street on your left. Turn left and follow the short street a few moments east and turn the corner with it as it heads south. On your right a few buildings down is the restaurant. The number is 075 213 4409 but to my knowledge no english is spoken. 


  1. The problem with such beautifully executed dishes is the diner doesn't quite know whether to eat or admire it.

  2. Jenny you can rest assured that I admired my meal for a respectful period before demolishing it! In Japan you always eat first with your eyes..