Mar. 19, 2019 UPDATE

Sakai Honten

- 中華のサカイ 本店 -
Sakai Honten is famous all over Japan for their excellent Chinese noodles which are served cold and make even the hottest summer’s day feel refreshing
When it comes to cold noodles in Japan, it’s hard to find a place that bests Sakai Honten’s offerings. The cold noodles of this restaurant are so famous that in the summer there is often a line of people waiting in front of the restaurant, each wishing to refresh themselves with the cool noodles with a mustardy bite. Although the restaurant is not centrally located, it’s easy to get to, as it’s right next to Daikoku-ji Temple in northern Kyoto. So you to get to the restaurant, you can either take a bus to it, or you can enjoy the around 15-minute walk from subway Kitaoji Station. Note that if you want to enjoy your refreshing noodles on a hot summer day, you need to be prepared to wait in line.
Reimen Yakibuta with Fried Rice
Reimen Yakibuta with Fried Rice / ¥1,090
This is the dish you should order at Sakai. You not only get to taste their famous reimen cold noodles, but you also get to have their fried rice, a specialty in itself. The best way to enjoy this dish is to first have the salad, then savor the noodles, and after you’ve eaten the noodles, try pouring some of the noodle soup onto the fried rice. This will make the taste of the fried rice even better.
Reimen with Ham
Reimen with Ham / ¥680
You can either have your cold noodles with yakibuta, roasted pork, or ham. If you have it with ham, the taste won’t be as strong, and you can enjoy the taste of the noodles more, whereas yakibuta has a meatier taste. Reimen with ham is 680 yen and with yakibuta is 720 yen.
Ebi Chili
3Let's Try!
Ebi Chili / ¥1,200
This dish doesn’t need introducing: it’s chili shrimp. Very good, but in Japanese style, not too spicy. A great thing to have with your noodles!
4Let's Try!
Harumaki / ¥950
Harumaki is Japanese for spring rolls, but in Kyoto spring rolls are a bit different. They are actually rolled into a thin omelet, making the taste very delicate and not too strong. A taste of Chinese cuisine Kyoto-style!
How to Order

Sakai menu

Their menu is in English so ordering is easy. 

3.0 food4.0 service2.5 atmosphere2.5
Overseas Tourist-Friendly
3.0 food4.0 service2.0 atmosphere3.0
This place is famous for their cold noodles, and for a good reason. There is something about them that reminds me of the great cold noodles I had in Taiwan; the vinegar in the sauce, and the way the noodles just feel so refreshing. The noodles themselves also deserve a special mention, as they’re much chewier than noodles normally are. This “chewiness” is a bit akin to the kind of a mouthfeel an excellent Neapolitan pizza has, compared to a normal one.
3.0 food4.0 service3.0 atmosphere2.0
What can you say; this restaurant is famed for their cold noodles, so much that when you say cold noodles in Kyoto, most people think of Sakai Honten, and when you say Sakai Honten, most people will automatically think of cold noodles. You can enjoy cold noodles here all through the year, so you can try this dish Kyotoites favor in summer any time of the year. Of course, their other dishes are delicious too, so keep this restaurant in mind when sightseeing around Daitoku-ji Temple.
3.2 food4.0 service2.0 atmosphere3.5
Overseas Tourist-Friendly
3.2 food4.0 service2.0 atmosphere3.5
Sakai Honten / 中華のサカイ 本店
Category Chinese
Phone +81-75-492-5004
Address 92 Murasakino Kami Monzen-cho, Kita-ku, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture
Directions A 17-minute walk from subway Kitaoji Station.
Open Hours 11:00 a.m.-9:30 p.m. (Last orders at 9:20 p.m.)
Reservations Accepted in autumn, winter, and spring, but not in summer.
Closed Mondays, but if Monday is a national holiday, the following day.
Notes There is often a line of people in front of the restaurant in summer.
Price range
Credit cards Not accepted.
Good for Solo, With Friends
Overseas Tourist-Friendly
They may not speak that much English, but their menu is in English so ordering shouldn’t be that hard.
Menu Japanese and English.
Lanuages spoken Japanese and some very simple English.
Number of seats 38 on 1st floor, 50 on second.
Private dining rooms No
Non smoking / smoking Nonsmoking
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