Hanasaki is typical of Gion district’s discrete dining and entertainment hideaways - ensconced away in a dimly-lit passageway and marked by red lanterns.
Counter seats are available for the lone diner, besides the private rooms where geishas flit in and out fleetingly, like a vision one sees from the corner of one’s eyes.
Start with a cool, fizzy Japanese beer:
Sesame-flavoured tofu, topped with sea urchin (“une”)
A selection of seasonal appetiser items follows, including shellfish, pickles, and bamboo leaf-wrapped sushi:
Sashimi and tempura followed - Kyoto cuisine is still very much steeped in tradition.
Grilled Kyoto beef - one of the best I’d tasted in the city thus far.
A sushi platter and a deep, flavoursome miso soup were served at the end.
Dessert was “warabi-mochi” (蕨餅) - bracken starch jelly, covered with “kinako” or toasted soybean powder.
Hanasaki (祇園 京料理 花咲)
〒605-0074 Kyoto Prefecture, Kyoto, Higashiyama Ward, 祇園町南側 570-17
Operating hours: 12noon - 2pm, 5.30pm-9pm daily