[Kyoto, Japan] Kaiseki dinner at Kinmata (近又)

The 216-year-old Kinmata is a traditional ryokan steeped in the old Kyoto ways. Service was graceful and efficient. The kaiseki set which I had, prepared by Chef Ukai Haruji, was beautiful, incorporating fresh seasonal local produce from nearby Nishiki Market.

Most of the items uses Japanese fish/seafood and local vegetables/ferns which I’m not able to translate into English, so am just showing the beautiful creations here to whet your appetite. The tastes were simply amazing.

  1. Tuna, clam-like shellfish, with mandarin orange segments, green peppers, dressed in a homemade rice vinegar-egg yolk dressing.

  2. Shellfish consommé with Yomogi wheat gluten, batter-fried fish, shitake mushrooms and local root vegetable.

  3. Sashimi and tofu

  4. This delicate dumpling enclosed a minced meat (chicken?) filling.

  1. Tempura of fiddlehead fern, sea eel and pumpkin.

  2. Bamboo leaf-wrapped sushi, with local vegetables.

  1. Miso-rubbed fishcakes and eggplant.

  2. Steamed rice with peas, grilled fish, miso soup and pickles.

  3. Dessert: fresh cherries and Japanese cake/jellies, served with matcha green tea.

Address
Kinmata
〒604-8044 Kyoto Prefecture, Kyoto
中京区御幸町通四条上る大日町 407
Tel: 075-221-1039
Operating hours: 12noon-1.30pm, 5.30pm-9.30pm daily

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How much did this cost? How do you make reservations?

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I had my hotel concierge call up and make reservations on the same day. Including drinks, it was around JPY21,000 (US$185).

Curious about the dumpling, the skin looks thick, what is it made of? My guess is some kind of rice flour, maybe sticky.

I think it’s made of potato puree and more akin to gnocchi, but not as toothsome even.

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Make sense. Haha, my first thought was molecular cuisine, but hey this is Kyoto, they couldn’t do that!

LOL! No, they are pretty traditional here in Kyoto. In fact, I’d had some really inventive kaiseki in Tokyo something like 2 decades ago - but over here, they still pretty much stick to tradition. But then, they do it so well.

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold