Mar. 26, 2019 UPDATE

Shishin Samurai Café & Bar

- 士心 -
Shishin offers samurai cuisine in the heart of Kyoto
Shishin is located conveniently close to the Nijo area of Kyoto. The restaurant is quintessentially Japanese, as they have a Japanese garden and tatami seating, but they also take their samurai theme very seriously as you can see from the armor of Date Masamune which greets you as you enter the restaurant. This restaurant offers “samurai food,” meaning many of the dishes they offer are inspired by the things famous samurai loved to eat. For example, they offer grilled Oumi beef with miso that is said to have been the favorite of Nariaki Tokugawa, and braised pork belly on rice that was the favorite of Takamori Saigo. Most of the customers who visit this restaurant come from overseas, so the staff can speak fluent English and Chinese, so this is a really easy restaurant to go to even if you don’t know any Japanese. So this restaurant offers you a chance to not only enjoy great Japanese cuisine, but also to understand Japanese history more.
Oumi beef with miso
Oumi beef with miso
This is one dish in the Samurai Course, Oumi beef with miso. Oumi beef is one of the top three famous wagyu beef brands in Japan, and this beef from Shiga is so full of umami it’s sure to make your taste buds sing of joy. The beef is cooked to perfection: the pinkness of it is really inviting, and the taste of miso just makes the experience even better. To think that Nariaki Tokugawa used to eat this same dish!
Braised pork belly on rice
Braised pork belly on rice
The pork you have on top of the rice is really fatty, but it is braised so nicely that the fat just melts in your mouth, and the rice that also has a bit of a salty taste to it goes perfectly with the pork. There is something delightfully rustic about this dish, and together with the pickles, the taste is just something that will make you want to go to Shishin again.
Tofu steak
3Let's Try!
Tofu steak
This tofu steak is topped with miso that has a slightly sweet taste to it, and the tofu itself also tastes a bit salty, so they go together really well. The tofu is served to you piping hot on a teppan, so everything is fresh. This dish is especially liked by women.
Shishin samurai salad
4Let's Try!
Shishin samurai salad
This salad uses seasonal ingredients grown in Kyoto, so you get to enjoy the tastes of this ancient capital through this bowl of greens. What’s special about this salad is that it also contains beans, kombu seaweed, and sesame seeds, which are said to have been the secret to the longevity of some of the famous samurai. The salad dressing has a salty touch to it, making this salad the perfect start for your meal.
How to Order

Shishin menu

They have a menu in English and speak fluent Chinese, so you should have no problems ordering here. 

- Order Tips -

tips - Shishin

They have all kinds of dishes at Shishin, but if you can’t decide on what to order, I would like to recommend you order a course, this way you get to taste many different things. 

3.3 food3.0 service3.0 atmosphere4.0
Overseas Tourist-Friendly
3.7 food3.0 service4.0 atmosphere4.0
This restaurant is in a traditional machiya style town house, and inside you can feel like you were living the life of a samurai. I had the vegetarian course, and really enjoyed it, it was really varied. And as there are not too many vegetarian choices in Kyoto, it’s great that this restaurant is here to fill that void! And the staff are absolutely great, and the atmosphere at the same time Japanese and international, and what’s most important, the food is also delicious!
3.0 food3.0 service2.0 atmosphere4.0
This restaurant offers an unique look into the culinary life of a samurai. Many of the dishes here are inspired by famous samurai, and it's interesting to think that some famous samurai used to like this very same taste. I had the samurai course, and my absolute favorite was the Omi wagyu beef which just melts in your mouth, but still had a much stronger taste than wagyu usually has. All in all, the experience here was akin to samurai-kaiseki.
3.5 food3.3 service3.3 atmosphere3.8
Overseas Tourist-Friendly
4.0 food4.0 service3.5 atmosphere4.5
Hong Kong
2.8 food2.5 service3.0 atmosphere3.0
Shishin Samurai Café & Bar / 士心
Category Izakaya
Phone +81 75-231-5155
Address 230-1 Kamimyokakujicho, Koromonotanadori Oshikoji-agaru, Nakagyou-ku, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture
Directions A 5-minute walk from subway Karasuma Oike Station.
Open Hours 5:30-11:00 p.m. (Last orders at 10:30 p.m.)
Reservations Accepted.
Closed Mondays.
Price range
Credit cards VISA, MASTER, JCB, AMEX, Diners / Accepted. *China UnionPay not accepted.
Good for Solo, With Friends, Families with Children
Overseas Tourist-Friendly
They have English, Japanese, and Chinese speaking staff who are all really nice, and you also get to have an authentic samurai culinary experience, so there is nothing to complain about!
Menu Japanese and English.
Lanuages spoken Japanese, English, and Chinese.
Number of seats Seating for 40.
Private dining rooms No
Non smoking / smoking Nonsmoking.
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