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Sep. 04, 2020 UPDATE
ao・onigiri - 青おにぎり -
Traveler Friendly
There is an English menu available and the owner can speak English, so no need to worry about any kind of language barrier!
Languages spoken
386 5 --- 0 reviews
Sep. 04, 2020 UPDATE


- 青おにぎり -
Traveler Friendly
There is an English menu available and the owner can speak English, so no need to worry about any kind of language barrier!
Languages spoken
386 5 --- 0 reviews
Story & Recommendation
ao・onigiri - All you'll Need to Recoup some Energy for your Travels
ao・onigiri is an onigiri rice ball specialist that offers fresh rice balls made right before your eyes. Onigiri are the triangular or sometimes round balls of rice which have been a cherished staple of Japanese lunch boxes and quick and easy snacks for millennia. Just like at a high-end sushi restaurant, here at ao・onigiri, you get to sit down at a counter and witness owner Aomatsu do his thing as he whips up the rice balls right in front of you. From making sure the kitchen is stocked to prepping the ingredients and making the onigiri, the experienced head chef and owner, Aomatsu, runs the ao・onigiri entirely by himself. That’s probably why when it gets busy, Aomatsu doesn’t waste time on formalities and can come off a bit direct sometimes. Depending on your timing, you might walk in and feel a bit of tension in the air. However, no matter how Aomatsu comes across, there’s one thing you can be sure of, that he’ll be in there every day, cooking up Japanese soul food, with the single purpose of bringing a little bit of sunshine to your day. This feeling certainly comes across too in every single one of his delicious handmade rice balls. When you come to ao・onigiri, don’t judge a book by its cover, go in with an open mind and save any judgments for after you’ve tried a mouthful of the absolutely mouthwatering rice balls. While ao・onigiri does have a fantastic English menu, they are certainly not trying to pander to Kyoto’s tourist crowd. ao・onigiri cherishes locals and works to be somewhere loved and frequented by them. That’s why we think ao・onigiri is the perfect place for anyone wanting to get off Kyoto's beaten sightseeing path and enjoy somewhere that’s, at its heart, by locals, for locals.
Salmon / ¥190 (excl. tax)
Salty salmon is a classic onigiri rice ball filling that's familiar to any and all Japanese people. This onigiri may be simple, with just rice, salmon and seaweed, but it's precisely that simplicity that allows the quality of the ingredients and the care that went into making it shine. When you bite into this rice ball, the fluffy rice—cooked to perfection in an old fashioned hagama rice cooker—crumbles in your mouth as it mixes with the delicious, salty salmon. If you’re lost as to what to order, then we recommend sticking with a classic and going for this salmon onigiri.
Sweet Soy Sauce Chicken
Sweet Soy Sauce Chicken / ¥190 (excl. tax)
This rice ball features a sweet soy sauce chicken filling, made from stir-fried marinated ground chicken. Usually, this kind of ground chicken is crumbly and goes all over the place, but ao・onigiri’s chicken holds together well and goes perfectly with the rice. The sauce is both salty and sweet, so you’ll down the whole rice ball before you know it. Just like the salmon rice ball, the ingredients here are simple, but they’re prepared in a way that gives them a surprisingly exciting soul food goodness.
3Let's Try!
Cream Cheese & Cod Roe *Take-out only available in winter
Cream Cheese & Cod Roe *Take-out available only in winter / ¥190 (excl. tax)
This out-there onigiri is stuffed with cream cheese and cod roe, a fantastically unique paring even in Japan, so we were sitting on the edges of our seats waiting for the chance to take the first bite. As you bite in, you’ll be hit with the exquisite pairing of rice, cream cheese, and salty cod roe, a flavor so delicious it'll have you hooked. From the mushy cream cheese to the starkly contrasting popping roe, the entire texture of this rice ball is just incredible We recommend this cream cheese and cod roe onigiri to anyone who is looking to try something unique.
4Let's Try!
Seaweed Wasabi
Seaweed Wasabi / ¥190 (excl. tax)
A special seaweed and wasabi rice ball. As you can see in the above picture, this rice ball is topped with roughly grated wasabi, which unlike wasabi paste, means that it maintains its original texture. One bite of this onigiri and the wasabi will hit you with an awesomely refreshing kick. The wasabi in this rice ball is actually more refreshing than it is spicy. And when paired with the fragrant seaweed, its spice is even further tempered. This rice ball manages to strike an incredible balance between two of Japan’s most famous ingredients, seaweed and wasabi, so we recommend it to anyone wanting to try something very classically Japanese.
How to Order

how to order - ao・onigiri 1how to order - ao・onigiri 2how to order - ao・onigiri 3

1. Regardless of whether you’re eating in or not, please use the pens and paper provided on the counter to place your order.

2. Check either the Japanese or English menu and decide which onigiri you want.

Then write the name of the onigiri, how many you want and place the paper on top of the counter.

3. After you’ve ordered and finished eating, please place your bowls and plates on top of the counter.

*If you’re eating in, it’s required that you order two or more onigiri per person.

(ao・onigiri does not allow sharing. If you are unable to finish the onigiri, they will wrap it up for you so you can take it home)

*Please enjoy your onigiri with one of the A to F side menu options

 (Only available during the 11:30 to 15:00 lunchtime)

*If you want to order another 1 or 2 onigiri, then not need to write it down, just let the owner know.

- Order Tips -

tips - onigiri

When you order more than three onigiri to go, they will come wrapped in a sheet of bamboo.

Not only does the bamboo have a great smell, it’s also naturally antibacterial, so your onigiri will be kept nice and clean.

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