Kyoto is a very quaint city compared to Tokyo. Considering the size, I am still surprised at the amount of French cafes and patisseries. Everywhere we go, there is another one to look at and maybe try some kind of a confection. Today, we took all kinds of buses to get around Kyoto. Just like the subway system in Tokyo, the buses here are very well run and quite easy to track. We started the day at the Golden Pavilion, which was gorgeous. A rock garden and the silver pavilion later it was time for lunch. It was a hilly area around the silver pavilion, lined with restaurants as well as homes. We scoped out a few while walking towards the temple. As we came back, we chose a small, quaint restaurant which seemed to be run by a family. We ordered bowls of rice with pork cutlet and egg for me and tofu and egg for my husband.
We relaxed with some beer and sake. The meal was simple, yet delicious. It is amazing how different the portion sizes are when you leave the US… As we walked out, I remembered I wanted to have a soft serve cone with green tea ice cream. I had noticed the shops everywhere and kept forgetting to try one. Well, it was out of this world- creamy with a fabulous earthy, green tea flavor. Not too sweet- just perfect. I am really loving all the confections made with green tea- they are all over the place.
For dinner, we actually did some research and checked on tripadvisor. The number one rated restaurant in Kyoto is called Issian. I am a big fan of tripadvisor since it has never lead us wrong. Well, we decided to go to the restaurant and asked our concierge to guide us and surprisingly we found it. It is part of the famous main street full of restaurants- which is kind of a maize since there are tons of restaurants and very hard to find. It is a Japanese stone grill and they cook all kinds of meat in front of you- to perfection. The meat and fish were delicious and yet again trip advisor did not disappoint us.
The meal started with shrimp and fish. Chicken came in between- and the meal ended with pork and beef. The taste of the meats was unbelievable. We dipped the meats either in salt or ponzu sauce. Miso soup and rice were served, including a salad. We finished off with a delicious sorbet.
Overall it was a great dinner and best of all, the chef told me about a 450 year old knife shop in Kyoto which is world famous- guess who will be buying herself a knife tomorrow??- stay tuned.