Well praised by locals, a Chinese cuisine in traditional Kamishichiken area
Itosen, a restaurant serving Chinese cuisine is tucked inside Kamishichiken, the oldest Maiko Geiko district in Kyoto. It is a quiet area where locals reside for generations and are familiar with each other. Locals know this restaurant as a place for comfort and simply delicious Chinese food. Because many Maiko and Geiko of Kamishichiken regularly eat at this restaurant, the food served does not include strong spices in it thought retaining elegance. Within the simplicity are chef’s warmth, determination, and loyalty towards cooking that are shown through the dishes. Chinese cooking have its own particular style in Japan. Many Japanese people feel familiarity for Chinese dishes such as Spring rolls and Subuta (sweet and sour pork). Cooking for 35 years, the chef stands in the kitchen when the restaurant is open. Aside from cooking, he is also in charge of Kamishichiken community developing organization, “Takumi Kai.”
Subuta (Sweet and sour pork) / ￥750
The chef’s style reflects on this Subuta, or commonly known in U.S., as Sweet and Sour Pork. You will not find anything like it anywhere else. The golden color of the sauce is slightly sweet and very simply presented. Lean pieces of meat are fried and combined with sauce and some pineapples.
Harumaki (Spring rolls) / ￥800
The chef rolls each one by hand filling it with a good ratio of mushrooms. They are crispy fried and can be enjoyed with some soy sauce and chili or soy sauce and vinegar combination. There are no rules in how to eat it; you can even just simply eat it by itself and still tastes exceptional. They are cut in bite size pieces making them very easy to eat.
Kashiwa Tamagoyaki (Egg and chicken omelet) / ￥650
A dish full of sauce is something to crave about in Chinese food. This is an egg dish with several pieces of white-meat chicken and onions. Fluffy egg and moist chicken cooperates together in the sea of “an” sauce. It goes well together with any dish.
Ankake yaki soba (fried noodles) / ￥700
The chef hand makes the noodles from scratch! The process is rather tedious. After the noodles are formed, it is semi-dried then goes into the steamer. From there, it is dried again and used for noodle dishes on the menu. It’s a yakisoba you can only have it here. Ankake means that noodles are covered with thick sauce.
3.5 food4.0 service3.0 atmosphere3.5
Itosen / 糸仙
|Address||729-16 Shinsei-cho, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto-shi|
|Directions||・4-minute walk from Kyoto city bus Kamishichiken stop ・10-minute walk from Randen Kitano Hakubaicho station|
|Open Hours||5:30pm - 9pm (L.O. 8:30pm)|
|Closed||Tuesdays and 3rd Wednesdays|
|Credit cards||Not accepted|
|Good for||With Friends|
May be difficult to communicate with staff without Japanese
|Number of seats||14 seats + 10 seats room, 32 seats room upstairs|
|Private dining rooms||Yes|
|Non smoking / smoking||Smoking|