NOW PERMANENTLY CLOSED
Grand Kitchen Tada opened in the latter part of last year in an old soy sauce brewery in the heart of town just north of Kyoto's famous Nishiki market. The building itself has been refurbished into a main restaurant area, private dining room and a very cute little shop to the left hand side selling a small selection of homewares, antiques and handmade Japanese decor items. Plus their soy sauce - yes the same family still own the building and are making shoyu! I spoke to the mother of the restaurateur one day when they were shut and she gave me the goss.
We sat up at the bar as they were pretty busy - and I prefer to check out the action anyway.
First came tea, pickles and Kombu tsukudani (kombu preserved in soy and mirin) then a couple of ice cold beers arrived. Not usually my thing but it was rather warm and we needed some cool relief.
The speciality of the house seems to be the beef cooked on a hot rock (although other meats/veg are available to be cooked a la rock too). Ours came by way of a set tray which included rare duck breast, yuba salad, dumplings in broth, spinach ohitashi with salmon roe, scallop and shishito tempura, soup, rice, pickles and tea - all for around 3000 yen (about $35 at the time). It wasn't the best beef I've eaten in Japan - but that is comparing it to other Japanese beef so it certainly doesn't mean it wasn't decent.
The food was fine - but nothing to jump up and down about. It is very convenient to Nishiki Market so if you get hungry mid way you can rest your legs for a while here and I'd say this food is less challenging to a western palate than some other Japanese restaurants so if you are new to Japanese food this is a gentle entree.
You'll find the restaurant on Tominokoji Street ( sometimes referred to as Tomikoji street) just north of Nishiki Market on the western side of the street.