Sep. 01, 2020 UPDATE
Nijo-jo Furuta- 二条城ふる田 -
Make sure to go with someone who can speak Japanese and interpret for you, since they don’t have an English menu and the owners cannot speak English either. However, the restaurant’s owner and proprietress are very friendly and hospitable with guests.
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Story & Recommendation
A personable owner and traditional kaiseki cuisine right around the corner from Nijo Castle!
Nijo-jo Furuta is located on the eastern side of Nijo Castle—a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. This up and coming kaiseki restaurant just opened its doors in April of 2016. The owner previously trained in Kyoto and Tokyo at noted 3-star kaiseki restaurants before heading out on his own to open Nijo-jo Furuta. His current restaurant focuses on traditional Japanese cuisine prepared with fresh, seasonal ingredients that distinctively highlight each season. Head east on Oshikoji Dori from Nijo Castle and you’ll find Nijo-jo Furuta situated along a quiet residential block. The entryway is built with delicately toned wood and they have a noren (curtain sign) hanging in the doorway with an eye-catching deep green color. Once you step inside the two owners come over and welcome you at the door with a friendly smile. The interior has a quiet, reserved atmosphere to it, but it still feels cozy and informal since the two owners are very approachable and easygoing with guests. The owner handles all of the food, while his wife shares her knowledge of Sake to provide guests with thorough descriptions of each bottle. You can tell they are husband and wife just by seeing how well they work together as a team. They both help to create a comfortable dining atmosphere with a perfectly coordinated sense of hospitality. Nijo-jo Furuta is a great choice for enjoying authentic Kyoto kaiseki cuisine in a relaxing setting, which is especially nice after spending the day at popular sightseeing spots with packed crowds. *Reservations are required in advance. It’s essential that you go with someone who can speak Japanese and help interpret. Make your reservation ahead of time via a hotel concierge or other service.
Evening Kaiseki / ￥15,000～ *Excludes service charge and tax.
Kaiseki is served as one complete course meal, which features a lineup of dishes prepared with fresh, seasonal ingredients that correspond to the time of year. The ingredients they use for their takikomi gohan are also slightly different depending on the day. The counter seating gives you a firsthand look at the cooking process while you wait. You can take in the delicious smells from each ingredient the owner has cooking on the grill. The photo shows their “ayu,” or sweetfish, which have been grilled with salt. These bright and glossy sweetfish are incredibly striking.
They have about ten varieties of Sake available to order, as well as some bottles of Sake that aren’t listed on the menu. The female owner at Nijo-jo Furuta is extremely knowledgeable when it comes to Sake and she provides guests with detailed descriptions for each bottle of Sake in their inventory. She picked out a beautiful serving cup for us that featured a unique shape and clear blue color to highlight the summer season. This adds a lot of fun and excitement to the meal, since she picks each and every serving cup based on the time of year and the flavor of the Sake.
Takikomi Gohan (seasoned rice cooked with various ingredients)
During our visit the takikomi gohan was prepared with a large and plump Japanese sea bass, as well as beans and soft, flaky taro cormels. This all made for an extremely flavorful dish. The seasoning for the rice is quite simple, but that lets the other ingredients take center stage in this well-textured takikomi gohan. They also offer a to-go box if there are any leftovers. *The ingredients used in the takikomi gohan change depending on the day.
How to Order
The menu is only available in Japanese, and their menu changes each season since they use seasonal ingredients for each dish. Eating here is a unique experience limited to that occasion since their traditional Japanese cuisine changes with each season. Their drink menu offers a well-rounded selection of drinks, including not just Japanese sake, but beer, shochu, and wine as well.
- Order Tips -
・There aren’t any staff members available who can speak other languages, so it’s essential that you go with someone who can speak Japanese and interpret for you. The owner and proprietress are very friendly and sociable, and they courteously answer any questions regarding their food and Sake. ・If you have any allergies, dietary preferences, or questions regarding the menu, make sure to let your hotel’s concierge know when you make the reservation so they can pass that information along to the restaurant.