Enjoy authentic Korean food inside this fun, eye-catching restaurant
Opened just northeast of the Kyoto Imperial Palace in early 2018, Demachi Stand is an authentic Korean restaurant that gained popularity on social media for its neon signs and colorful interior.
Over two years on from the restaurant’s initial opening, Demachi Stand still boasts crowds of young restaurant-going Kyotoites.
The owner of Demachi Stand is an avid fan of Korean food and makes it a point to take the restaurant's staff to Korea for research.
This love for Korea and its food has allowed Demachi Stand to serve Korean food that’s as authentic as can be.
While the restaurant offers everything from single dishes to massive hot pots, its two signature dishes are cast-iron Korean barbeque pork and budae jjigae hot pots.
It isn’t just the food that’s authentically Korean either – everything from the pots to the spoons to the chopsticks come straight from Korea as well.
Aside from the overflowing hot pots and delicious looking Korean barbeque platters, one of the most eye-catching things Demachi Stand is its colorful neon signs.
Boosting the notoriety of the restaurant on social media, these signs greet you as soon as you step foot in the door with great big Japanese characters saying words like “エンジョイ” (enjoy).
Keep an eye out for some of the other signs around the restaurant as well, like the “ココロオドル” (kokoroodoru – lit. dancing heart) and “ででで” (dedede) ones.
Korean Barbeque Pork – Premium Boneless Ribs
Korean barbeque pork is one of Demachi Stand’s signature dishes.
While there are nine different cuts of meat to choose from, we went for the premium boneless pork ribs.
As this is your classic Korean barbeque, it comes with big leaves of lettuce, sliced onions, orange mustard, sesame oil, bean sprouts, and kimchi.
After grilling the pork on the big iron hot plate, take your choice of kimchi, bean sprouts and condiments, wrap them in the lettuce, top it off with the meat, and enjoy the delicious umami flavors of the pork as it fights for dominance in your mouth over the refreshing flavors of the veggies.
With every new battle fought between the two, your stomach only opens up to make room for more.
Some of the other cuts on offer are special Korean marinated ribs and pork tongue – and at such a reasonable price, who said you had to choose one!
Budae Jjigae Nabe Hot Pot
Packed to the brim with over ten different ingredients, this is Demachi Stand’s wildly popular Budae Jjigae nabe hot pot.
Looking at the bright red chili flakes that pepper the dish, you might assume it to be deathly spicy, but in reality, the chicken-based broth used in the hot pot has a refreshingly light umami flavor that mellows out the overall spiciness of the ingredients.
Packed with tons of ingredients, including tteokbokki rice cakes, leeks, tofu, garlic chives, pork, instant noodles and spam, this hot pot and its whole world of different textures make it fun – and delicious – to eat until the very last bite.
When you’ve almost hit the bottom, leave some of the soup behind and order the cheese risotto – both your body and soul will thank you.
Cream Cheese Tofu
This cream cheese tofu is a dish recommended by Demachi Stand themselves.
Boasting a rich, somewhat gloopy texture, this dish beautifully fuses the mild saltiness of cream cheese with the unmistakable flavor of tofu – not only that, it’s super healthy for you.
The gentle flavors and smooth, fluffy textures will have you reaching for spoonful after spoonful.
This dish can also be an awesome bar snack if you’re looking for something to accompany a drink.
Another reason people come to Demachi Stand is for their drinks!
From classic Korean Makgeolli to fruity chuhai cocktails, Demachi Stand have a ton on offer.
However, the one drink in particular that always seems to be in everyone’s hands is the seasonal chuhai. We visited Demachi Stand in spring, so the seasonal chuhai we were served was a super cute looking strawberry one!
The aroma of the juicy strawberries carries well into the after taste, treating you to a sweetness from start to finish.
However, this isn’t to say that like many of the strawberry flavored things during this time of year it’s overpoweringly sweet. The strawberries have a refreshingly delicate sweetness that’s definitely a welcomed change of pace.
As we mentioned above, in addition to chuhai cocktails, Demachi Stand also serves Korean Makgeolli.
Originating in Korean, this murky off-white rice wine has a slightly sweet, astringent flavor that’s proved to be a hit with Demachi Stand’s female patrons.
Staying with the trend of fermented drinks, Demachi Stand also serves their Makgeolli with bottles of Yakult. Add the fermented probiotic milk to the tangy Makgeolli to create a match made in heaven that helps the Makgeolli to be easier to palate.