Wednesday, March 26, 2014

JAPAN: Kitcho Arashiyama Honten 吉兆 嵐山本店 @ Arashiyama, Kyoto

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Arashiyama - a beautiful part of western Kyoto. Although Arashiyama is famous world wide for its beautiful temples, river and gardens, but it is relatively less crowded than Kyoto central. Probably because many people choose to go only to central Kyoto. Nevertheless, we made a special trip down to have lunch at this world famous restaurant.

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We finally arrived at the world famous Kitcho restaurant, and the headquarters of Kitcho is here in Arashiyama, Kyoto. It was opened in 1948, and now helmed by 3rd generation owner-chef Kunio Tokuoka. We are full of anticipation to try out this 3 Michelin stars restaurant, after having try out Kunio's culinary skills in Singapore some time back.

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Started our wonderful and 2 hours lunch with this Cold tea with puffed rice

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Each reservation made will be given a spacious VIP room, and all rooms face their beautiful garden. It's so quiet and peaceful here.

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Our beautiful appetizer: Ikura, cod fish milk(sperm), prawn, egg cake, plant caviar with abalone, kuni crab. The seafood and everything here is so delish.

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We ordered their in-house unique cold sake Kunio Teio

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Next was this Spike eel, matsutake mushroom soup. The clean and aromatic taste is mind blowing

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Look at how detailed the bowls are. How I wish I could bring them home.

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Sashimi dish - Kelp grouper, iwatake mushroom with gold flake, soy sauce and ponzu sauce

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Tuna belly, ika (squid) with wasabi and ginger soy sauce and grilled sesame. Everything's so fresh and yummy

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Soft shell turtle chawanmushi with truffle and green onion. Super silky smooth

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Surprise Surprise! The waitress brought this package of leaves into our room! Open up the leaves basket with fresh bamboo chopsticks.

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Guess what's inside: Grilled items consist of butterfish, matsutake, chestnut and turnip. The smoking through the leaves give the grilled food another dimension of taste.

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Steamed food. Simmered taro, carrot, shiitake mushroom and Kujyo green onion

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Cooked Koshihikari rice (from Niigata) with matsutake mushroom and grilled Kyoto beef

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Pickled vegetables to go with the rice

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I had many servings of the Koshihikari rice with Matsutake mushrooms! They brought in the whole bucket. Also, they had a spare bucket of white Japanese rice, just in case you want something different. So much attention given to details!

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Dessert. Shizuoka Melon. Pear. Fig. Peony Grape. Basil sauce for the pears. Sweet sweet sweet.

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Sweetened mashed chestnut with adzuki bean jam

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Finished off the wonderful kaiseki meal with matcha. The meal costs a lot but worth every penny. This is one of the 7 restaurants rated 3 Michelin Stars in Kyoto. Very good indeed

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Roasted tea houji-cha. Candied wall nut in purple sweet potato powder and sugar
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Souvenir and sweet memories to take back home. Bottom line: This place is very expensive even for lunch. But every single cent (or yen) is well worth the money spent. The food's great, service excellent and is one of the best experience we had in Japan. Highly recommended!

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Kitcho Arashiyama Honten 吉兆 嵐山本店
58 Susukinobabacho,