Dec. 11, 2019 UPDATE
Kyoto Oden Guide – From Classics to the Unconventional
Part 4

An Explosion of Originality! The Most Unique and Out There Oden

Part four of our oden feature is all about new, unique and out there oden. While each restaurant introduced here has its own unique ingredients, recipes and techniques, they all utilize the umami flavors of dashi to achieve brand new flavors.
Each and every dish highlighted in this article is the result of trial and error and the embodiment of curious minds.
We have no doubt that whichever restaurant you choose, you’ll be blown away by the food.
musubi Kyoto – Oden, Tempura & Sake
musubi Kyoto – Oden, Tempura & Sake
While only just opened in October 2019, musubi Kyoto has quickly cemented itself as an up-and-coming restaurant on the Kyoto scene. Only around 16 square meters in size, this small eatery is headed by longtime Japanese chef Hiroshi Hasegawa and offers carefully prepared dishes brought alive by the delicious flavors of dashi stock.
The name musubi, derived from the Japanese word for connect/bind, was born out of the notion of “connecting people, food and time.” Musubi immaculately embodies this concept by offering an unceasing air of warmth and impressive customer service.
Because of this, while they are only new, musubi has garnered so much attention in the Kyoto restaurant scene that they are already called home to a number of regulars.
The most poignant part of musubi, however, isn't their customer service. Instead, it's their east meets west original oden. On the menu at musubi, you'll catch a swath of original dishes that are a far cry from traditional Japanese cuisine. Including Daikon and Porcini Mushroom Cream Sauce and Konjac and Ground Meat Miso Bollagense.
The incredibly skillful fusion of the Japanese dashi's umami and classically western flavors is nothing less than exquisite. Every dish here will have you licking your plate clean and leaving not even a drop of soup behind.
Shioriya Sarasara
Shioriya Sarasara
Shioriya Sarasara is a laid back izakaya known for their oden. The oden at Shioriya Sarasara, however, isn’t your regular old mix of bonito flakes and kelp. No, this izakaya throws in duck fat for an added bit of umami. And it shows. The moment any of the oden hit your tongue, you’re instantly met with a magnificent concentrated umami flavor. The oden is served with a side of three condiments, Japanese karashi mustard, yuzu kosho pepper and miso, which each transform the flavors of the oden in their own unique ways.
One of the other draws of Shioriya Sarasara is its laid back, welcoming atmosphere. The bright, well-lit interior can be clearly seen from the street through the large roadside windows. With tables that feel like a tachinomi-ya standing bar and counters that face both the kitchen and the road, Shioriya Sarasara feels like a laid back bar where you can let your hair down and relax.
cabbage rolls
At this restaurant, you can enjoy unique and original oden such as avocado and giant cabbage rolls. Thoroughly soaked in dashi, the avocado features a soft, buttery texture that parts with the slightest bit of force. The hearty addition of the thick tartar sauce combined with the creamy flesh of the avocado makes for a simply irresistible dish.
The giant cabbage roll, on the other hand, is just as the name suggests, absolutely massive. While some restaurants do offer cabbage rolls in their oden, it’s not often that you see ones this big. Underneath the cabbage leaves hides a mass of juicy meat that makes this huge dish just that much more satisfying.
Located along Marutamachi St. near the Kyoto Imperial Palace, Sho is a specialty miso restaurant offering white miso covered oden. The owner and chef of Sho has such an unparalleled fixation with oden that she knew from a young age that opening an oden restaurant would be her future. Stewed over many hours, the ingredients in the oden at Sho are soaked to the core in dashi stock. Every bite of the oden here brings a new wash of delicious umami flavors over your tongue. Thanks to the magnificent flavors of their oden, Sho has been awarded Michelin’s Bib Gourmand two years in a row, in both 2018 and 2019.
white miso sauce
One of the decisive differences between Sho and other restaurants is its use of white miso.
While the oden is soaked in a mixture of regular bonito flake and kelp dashi and chicken soup and bursts with umami flavor, the white miso sauce topping adds a hint of natural sweetness and a smooth texture. The special white miso comes wholesale from famous Kyoto miso shop Yamari Shoten and pairs perfectly with the oden.
This incredible combination of the penetrating dashi stock and mildly sweet miso embodies everything good about Japanese cuisine with its profound mix of flavors.

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