With Winter seeming to have forgotten about her cosy stop over the mother city, we have had a few blanket days cozying up on the couch. As we still wait in anticipation for rain there is one place in Cape Town that is bound to keep you warm, even if it is from the inside out.
Kyoto Gardens is an authentic new age Japanese restaurant in the trendy restaurant district near Kloof street. It’s humble exterior of tall bamboo shoots, a flicker of a lantern and a welcome greeting printed on the flag above the door left me quite inquisitive as to what lay behind the glass doors.
As I entered, nothing could have prepared me for the complete tranquility of the interior. It was as if all the cares and worries from the hectic work week had drifted away. The bona fide bamboo fans, genuine screen doors, paper lanterns, subtle wall paper and uncomplicated furniture brought a wonderful fung shwey to the room.
The charming 25 seater restaurant offers a unique and personal dining experience that is unpretentious and offers INCREDIBLE food, authentic Japanese beverages, faint colloquial music in keeping with the feel of the restaurant and an uncomplicated menu focused on flavour, seasonality and seafood at the forefront of its speciality menu. No shell, urchin or mussel covered rock goes unturned when looking for the very best in seafood to serve on the menu from all across the world. From farmed abalone to Mozambican conch, eel, sea urchin, and even Alaskan king crab, deep-sea scallops and wild salmon you can expect nothing but the best.
If you are celebrating a special occasion, a private dining room is available for your exclusive use. In keeping with the theme of the restaurant, you can be wined and dined in perfect style in the comfort of your own Japanese villa.
The completely zen interior of the restaurant is surprisingly shifting, transporting you away from the hustle and bustle of the busy streets and bars outside this hidden gem. The US born owner, Scott Wood hit the nail on the head when he planned this hidden masterpiece. He also offer a unique hands on experience by recommending and explaining the integrate menu to each of his guests.
As the sun set over Cape Town, we saw the restaurant completely transform. The soft lighting began to highlight special features of the restaurant and made us feel so peaceful.
Up first was the very interesting authentic Japanese beverages on offer. If you are going to be transported to another culture through food then best thing to do would be to pair it with something you would have when in that country. From Japanese Gin’s, whisky’s, rice wines, beers etc…you are seriously spoilt for choice.
After deciding on our drinks of choice we were excited to try the Winter Menu that has been one of the most talked about menus when it comes to pure variety. Set menus are usually there for a restaurant/establishment to show off their flavour combinations, interesting ingredients and new methods of cooking and that is exactly what the Chef had in store for his guests when he picked this menu.
I saw him begin to prepare our meal and I rushed over to watch the well known Master of his craft intricately prepare every element on the plate.
The Winter Menu offers a 3 course meal accompanied with a glass of wine for only R220pp.
Something to wet the palate:
Tuna Tartare or Vegetable Tempura
Udon Noodles with perfectly seared Duck or Japanese Rice with Special Fish
Cherry Blossom Ice Cream or Black Sesame Ice Cream
Accompanied with Roasted Rice or Green Tea
Each of the three courses offered a unique experience that had our taste buds jumping for joy. Each bite offering something new and exciting and the perfect meal to share between two by selecting one of each of the options are trying it all.
We had an absolutely incredible evening and I can not wait to be back for the turn of the season to experience the next best thing on the seasonal menu. If you would like more information or would like to venture onto the website to book an experience that you can click the following link: https://kyotogardensushict.com/
Although I was invited to Kyoto Gardens to experience the Winter Menu, all the views and opinions are my own, the photographs have been taken for the exclusive use of this blog post. Although the dishes came to the table on those plates, I styled a set in the restaurant to take the images of the food.