Sunday, September 9, 2012

Korean food in Kyoto

A Korean friend recently introduced me to some very good grub in Kyoto town. It was in a tiny, ramshackle place in the front of someone's living quarters. You could pretty much see their futon, in fact their entire tatami-matted bed-sit from your seat. 

It doesn't look much at all but wow - this woman knows her stuff. The food I ate here was better than I'd experienced in Korea! Really great iced noodles (above) with cucumber and vinegary soup (forgive me, I don't know the correct names for some of these dishes) - so refreshing on a hot Kyoto day. Bibimbap with crunchy rice base (being prepared below), excellent Kim chee and fantastic Chijimi (thin, crisp scallion and squid pancake). 
Don't ask me the name of the place.. I don't think it has one. But if you are hungry and diligent you might just find the joint. Walk east from Higashioji dori along the north side of Sanjo dori about one or  two blocks  and turn (north) left. A few doors up you will find a small doorway on your left (west) that looks straight into the place. I am sorry I can't be more specific than that but I was lead here on a chatty walk and wasn't taking a lot of notice at the time. Anyway - it is in this general vicinity so if it takes you 10 minutes to find it I am sure you won't mind -it'll be worth it -trust me. 
Get there early for dinner as there are only about 5 seats and it is very popular with the locals. We'd actually been invited for a private lunch-  which caused no end of gawkers -   you should have seen the folks desperate to get in the door...  the look of excitement on the faces of the regulars at the thought of it being open for lunch was priceless! The look of disappointment when they realised it was just a tease... Gold! Very privileged to have enjoyed such a delicious and unexpected encounter with Korean food in downtown Kyoto.

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