Asai Shokudo – A renowned western-style restaurant beloved by locals born from a curiosity and love for cooking
Asai Shokudo is a western-style restaurant located in the suburbs surrounding the Shimogamo Shrine. Since its opening in 2014, Asai Shokudo has maintained a steady popularity that doesn’t appear to be going anywhere fast.
Including its famous hamburger steaks, Asai Shokudo is known for its tasty food, huge selection of over 40 wines and desserts, like it’s massive waffles.
Located in a suburban street just off one of Kyoto’s main drags, Asai Shokudo sees mostly a mix of locals of all ages and genders having fun and enjoying their meals together. With red being the mainstay of the restaurant’s interior design, Asai Shokudo’s retro atmosphere gives off a homely feeling that makes you wanna stay there forever.
Asai Shokudo works on the philosophy of “ridding yourself of preconceived notions.” The owner of Asai Shokudo, Asai, has a passion for cooking and a strong curiosity, so when it comes to things which are classed as “normal,” he can’t help but ask, “why?”
– “Why do we need filler in hamburger patties?” “Why does everyone use the same variety of shrimp? Can’t we use something different?” –
It’s questions like these that are the basis of many of Asai Shokudo’s now-famous dishes and is what gave rise to their passionate fan base.
Although located near the popular tourist spot “Shimogamo Shrine,” Asai Shokudo is still little known to tourists. While you may be used to western cooking, the refined flavors of Asai Shokudo’s dishes are sure to be a pleasant surprise. If you’re in the area, then definitely Asai Shokudo a visit.
Asai Shokudo Hambuger Steak (w/ salad, bread or rice)
/ ￥1,400 (inc. tax)
Asai Shokudo’s signature dish, the hamburger steak.
Opting not to use any bonding ingredients such as onions, Asai Shokudo’s hamburger steaks contain nothing but pure meaty umami flavors.
This unique hamburger steak came from the mind of Asai Shokudo’s owner, Asai, who asked, “Who decided that onions have to be in hamburger patties?”
Accompanying the patty is a hardy helping of delicious smelling stew sauce that fills the sizzling hot plate to the brim.
If you’re unsure what to order from Asai Shokudo’s colossal menu, then we recommend the hamburger steak.
Assorted Fried Foods (w/ salad, bread or rice)
/ ￥1,500 (inc. tax)
Asai Shokudo's Assorted Fried Foods is just that, an assortment of Japanese yoshoku classics like mince cutlets, fried shrimp and shrimp croquettes. However, while many fried foods share the reputation of being heavy on the stomach, Asai Shokudo flips that on its head and offers light, fluffy versions of these foods.
According to the owner, Asai, the lack of unnecessary ingredients makes these fried foods lighter, and since it's such a simple recipe, more importance can be put on the actual ingredients. The shrimp used for the fried shrimp is imported from Indonesia, where Asai rings the importers directly to make sure they are up to his standards.
If you want to get a taste of Asai's philosophy and passion for cooking, then you've got to try the Assorted Fried Foods.
/ Regular: ¥1,400｜Half-size: ¥800 (inc. tax) *pictured is the regular size
The Shimogamo Waffle is Asai Shokudo's huge American-style waffle. Sitting on top of this impressive beast of a waffle is a hardy helping of whipped cream. Although, don't be deceived, as this waffle is surprisingly light. The secret behind the waffle's airy flavors is Asai Shokudo's homemade strawberry jam. Or maybe we should call it preserved strawberries as the jam is made of whole strawberries that make it feel like you're eating just straight fruit — another notable aspect of this waffle is the 100% dairy butter and whipped cream. The lack of plant-based ingredients means that they simply melt in your mouth.
The regular waffle is quite sizeable, so if you're planning on getting it as dessert, then we recommend sharing it with a few other people.
/ Glass: ¥500–｜Bottle: ¥3,000– (inc. tax)
With a name like Asai Shokudo – Yoshoku & Wine, who could forget to mention the 40 to 50 bottles of wine and around nine varieties of glass wine on offer. Why so much wine, you may ask. Well, Asai actually holds a wine sommelier certification. You also may be surprised to find out that wine is included in the drinks available with the lunch sets too!
Since nearly all of the wines offered were subjective choices by Asai, if you’re unsure which to choose, then simply ask Asai himself for a recommendation – he won’t let you down.