Gion Okumura (Est. 1998) is one of the earliest proponents of L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon’s approach of preparing and serving French food in a Japanese -style counter setting. Here at Gion Okumura, customers sit at a u-shaped counter and watch the chefs at work right in front of you.
Despite describing itself as more of a French restaurant, I found the dishes served here to be 70% Japanese/30% French. Service was typical Japanese - efficient, meticulous, almost clinical.
- Amuse geule - fish-tomato concasse on short-crust pastry.
Bread basket - sublime.
- Seasonal selection of appetisers:
The sasamaki - sushi and salmon wrapped in bamboo leaves - was a standout:
Scallops with selection of seasonal vegetables.
Seafood tempura on steamed egg and consommé.
Sea bream sashimi with tomato sorbet, chilled cucumbers, okra and mandarin orange.
Hot stone for one to personally cook a seafood selection (abalone, shrimp & scallop) and a halved Brussel sprout.
Tian of fish fillets on potato puree, zucchini, tomato and herbed crumbs.
Grilled local fish with asparagus, baby-corn, and anchovies;
Crab quenelle and lump crabmeat.
- Pan-fried foie gras on potato puree, topped with grilled mango, drizzled with balsamic vinegar.
Palate cleanser - Yomogi (Japanese mugwort) sorbet as a palate cleanser before the grilled beef main course is served.
- Grilled Kyoto beef, sprinkled with crisp garlic chips, and served with wasabi and mustard.
Rice with Japanese-style curry sauce served as an accompaniment to the grilled beef.
- Selection of French cakes and macaron for dessert, with coffee/tea.
Superb dinner, with some really refreshing and inventive twists to the usual Japanese kaiseki meal. Definitely a place I’d like to return to and explore further.
〒605-0078 Kyoto Prefecture, 京都市東山区Higashiyama Ward, Gionmachi Kitagawa, 255
Operating hours: 12 noon-1.30pm, 5.30pm-9pm daily.