Sep. 17, 2020 UPDATE
Story & Recommendation
A new kind of Kyoto cuisine in a down-to-earth vibe
About 15 minutes’ walk south from Nijo Castle is this restaurant. Masaki is in a quiet residential street not far from the Sanjo shopping arcade, a place where locals come and go to shop. This inviting restaurant is run by a warm and friendly owner-chef. The chef has a storied career preparing kaiseki-style cuisine at Kyoto restaurants like Kodaiji-Wakuden and Mizuki - The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto. His long years of training have produced an innovative cuisine that can be enjoyed at the 10,000 JPY mark. It’s a delight to be able to enjoy authentic kaiseki cuisine at a reasonable price. The standout appeal of Masaki is the generous portions of delicious food carefully selected and prepared by the owner. If you want to relax, have fun, and eat Japanese food, this is it. What is great is that the chef is a fan of Western food, too, so he actively incorporates non-Japanese touches into the menu. All the same, the fare is decidedly Japanese, with these little twists kept to a subtle degree. Each and every dish at Masaki is unique in this way and well thought-out -- and they’re delicious and satisfying. The chef does not speak English, but his hospitality cannot be beat. He will be sure to greet you with a smile. If you want to eat delicious Japanese cuisine in Kyoto, this is a great bet! *You’ll need a reservation, so we recommend making one through your hotel’s concierge.
Courses / Lunch: ￥8,500(+tax)・Dinner: ￥11,000 (+ tax)
The dishes incorporate seasonal ingredients. Pictured is deep-fried sweetfish. It goes without saying that the idea to deep-fry sweetfish is a novel one. Not only that, but it comes with tomato sauce for a clean taste. These and other touches are a twist on the usual Japanese fare, making the entire course interesting.
The shop’s recommended sake
The chef will select sake pairings to go with your meal. This includes rare sakes that are hard to come by -- you might encounter very unusual sake that is seldom available! The owner hails from Aomori, so he also carries a stock of Aomori-exclusive sake. In addition to sake, there is wine, shochu, fruit liquer, and more.
White rice cooked in an earthen pot
One signature rice dish at Masaki is the white rice cooked in a traditional earthenware pot. Steaming rice in a pot like this lets the temperature rise slowly, giving the grains a fluffy texture not obtained with a normal rice cooker. That means the rice is simply delicious! The accompaniment to white rice at Masaki is also unique and interesting. One is egg yolk steeped in soy sauce, which lends a gentle and fragrant flavor. The egg pairs perfectly with the rice.
How to Order
The shop emphasizes use of seasonal ingredients, so menus change slightly each day. That means you will almost never eat the same dish twice. This is a chance to eat dishes that are genuinely one-of-a-kind for that day only.
- Order Tips -
・If you have allergies or dietary preferences, tell the restaurant when you make your reservation. ・If you want to leave the sake selection to the restaurant, ask them for the "osake" and "omakase".