Indulge in 150 years of culinary experience on a Kyoto riverside terrace
Flowing down from by Mt. Heian, Shiragawa River makes it way through the Nanzen-ji Temple and Heian Shrine, to eventually arive in the Gion district.
Standing on the banks of this quaint stream is the storied soba restaurant, Sanmikouan.
Established as a wholesaler in 1861, Sanmikouan accepted the changing of times and began supporting the people of Kyoto as a restaurant and whole seller of Tsukudani preserves.
With its tsukudani, Sanmikouan firmly established itself as one of Kyoto’s most beloved Ozoyo (traditional Kyoto home-cooked side dishes) provider.
With a desire to share their generations of culinary experience with the world, Sanmikouan decided to rebrand as a soba restaurant in 2017.
At the forever changing Sanmikouan there’s been one thing which has stayed constant throughout the years; their undying dedication to quality ingredients.
In order to offer a consistent experience, the restaurant selects the perfect soba for each season and use domestically produced bonito flakes for their dashi, and an especially umami-rich soy sauce.
The above-mentioned dedication can be felt within each and every one of these ingredients and preparation methods.
Sanmikouan use a stone mill to ground their 100% buckwheat soba noodles, of which they serve freshly cut, boiled and plated.
Using two forms of rich dashi stock and two kinds of soy sauce in their mirin, sugar, and soy sauce mixture, Sanmikouan match their Tsuyu noodle dipping sauce to each dish they serve, changing the amount of each ingredient accordingly.
Make your way to Sanmikouan and experience the attention paid to each ingredient and over 150 years of traditional Kyoto flavors for yourself.
Tajima Gyu (beef) over W/ your Choice of Cold or Warm Soba Noodles
/ ¥2,500 (Excl. Tax)
Sanmikouan’s Tajima Gyu (beef) over Rice is a limited quantity set meal only offered at lunchtime. The meat used is the Tajimaguro strain of Kuro Wagyu (Kobe beef) and comes from a contracted farm in the Hyogo Prefecture. Borrowing techniques from ozoyo (traditional Kyoto home-cooked side dishes), Sanmikouan cook their wagyu in soy sauce give it both a sweet and savory flavor. This combination works to bring out the sweetness of the bed of white rice beneath the meat and is simply irresistible.
The high-quality soba will have you wanting to dig right back into the wagyu, while the wagyu will have you wanting to do the opposite; a never-ending loop of deliciousness.
We recommend this set for those times when you need to treat yourself.
Fresh Yuba Soba
/ ¥1200 (Excl. Tax)
This very Kyoto-esque dish features the unique pairing of yuba (tofu skin) and soba.
The combination of fresh yuba from the long-running yuba maker Fujisei, and the smooth, refreshing cold soba noodles makes for one delicious meal.
One mouthful of this full-bodied, soft and tsuyu drenched yuba will have you in tofu heaven.
The noodles come with a good helping of Nametake mushrooms, sliced omelet, sliced fried tofu and Kujo leeks on the side. These Yakumi side condiments allow you to enjoy a whole world of different flavors and textures.
We recommend this dish to anyone wanting to try a bowl of traditionally Kyoto soba.
Tororo Cold Soba
/ ￥1100 (Excl. Tax)
This bowl of Tororo Cold Soba, perfect for the summer, features a helping of perfectly grated sticky Japanese yam over cold soba noodles. The stickiness of the grated yam gives the already smooth soba an even more exceptional silkiness, allowing them to simply glide down your throat. This dish is also quite nutritious, making it the perfect meal for after a long day of trekking around Kyoto. If the noodles are too slippery and you're finding it hard to grab them with your chopsticks, try pouring the dipping sauce right into the bowl. Don't worry; no one will think you're rude for doing so.
/ ¥600~ (Excl. Tax)
Sanmikouan offer a range of packaged goods that are great for taking home or as souvenirs.
The line up of goods features a range of excellent ozoyo Kyoto home-style side dishes which utilize Sanmikouan's generations of culinary experience. Some items include, the award-winning Chirimen Sansho (dried whitebait and Japanese pepper), Iwashi Umeni (sardines stewed with Japanese plums), and Ume compote (Japanese plum jam). In addition to the regular Chirimen Sansho, there are also other, less common, flavors too, such as Yuzu, ginger, and beef. The best before date is roughly one month, and as they can be kept at room temperature, you can easily chuck them in your suitcase and take them home with you too!
For any lovers of white rice out there, we highly recommend any of these exceptional items; all of which go perfect on some steaming hot rice.