Toraya has the most ass-kicking, garlicky motsunabe in Kyoto
The winters in Kyoto are as cold as the summers are hot. And is there anything better than hot pot for these cold winter months? Actually, there is. And that something would have to be motsunabe, meaning garlicky beef offal hot pot. You have beef offal, cabbage, onion, garlic and garlic chive, bean sprouts, and burdock, among other ingredients. Toraya is a restaurant in Kyoto located in the atmospheric and old restaurant and bar alley of Ponto-cho, and although it has only been in business since 2003, it has already become one of the most famous motsunabe restaurants in Kyoto.
Beef offal hot pot
Beef offal hot pot / ¥1500 + tax
The classic motsunabe. There is nothing better than garlicky motsunabe when the weather gets cold, but there is a catch to this, as Toraya is so popular, it may be a good idea to have their hot pot in the hot summer months when you sometimes don’t have to line up at all. The garlicky, strong taste of motsunabe has some mellowness to it because of the white miso base. The sweetness of the miso contrasts nicely with the garlic. They also have many seasonings to enjoy with the hot pot like yuzu-pepper, but be careful with these as the taste of the hot pot is pretty potent even without adding anything to it.
Stewed beef tendon with egg
Stewed beef tendon with egg / ¥780 + tax
While this dish is made using beef tendon, the tendons are not even chewy: they just melt in your mouth. The taste is quite strong, but you also get an egg with the beef, and the egg has also sucked up all those tasty beef tendon juices, making it a creamy treat straight from heaven. If you just get one thing from their a la carte menu, I recommend you make it this one.
Deep fried tofu
3Let's Try!
Deep fried tofu / ¥780 + tax
This dish truly looks like what a traditional Kyoto-dish should look like. You have deep fried tofu, chopped green onion, and a soy sauce based sauce to pour on the tofu. This dish may look simple, but the taste is everything but: you have the sweetness of tofu, but you also have the tanginess of the green onion and the saltiness of the sauce to mix things up. The taste is also not as strong as many of the other dishes, so this tofu-dish makes a nice change from them.
4Let's Try!
Warabi-mochi / ¥470
After eating the spicy hot pot, it’s nice to have something as a dessert. At Toraya you can get their warabi-mochi, a chilled rice cake that has a jelly-like texture. For those who like Japanese sweets, this is a classic you can’t pass.
How to Order

how to order - Toraya

If there is a line in front of the restaurant, the staff will show you where you should line up. Once you get inside, if you are guided to the second floor, you have to take off your shoes. 

- Order Tips -

Everyone needs to order one portion of the hot pot. The taste of motsunabe is strong so it goes well with sake. 

3.3 food4.0 service2.0 atmosphere4.0
Overseas Tourist-Friendly
3.3 food4.0 service2.0 atmosphere4.0
I have no idea why I hadn’t gone to have motsunabe before. I like horumon, which is grilled beef offal, so of course, motsunabe was also to my taste. The garlic in the hot pot made me like it maybe even more than the grilled horumon I’ve had before. Of course with Toraya you also have to respect the quality of the beef offal they use. There is none of that unpleasantness in the taste that is sometimes present in beef offal. This was my first time trying motsunabe, but it was certainly not the last.
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Toraya / 寅屋
Category Nabe (Hot Pot)
Phone +81 75-222-1660
Address Shimokoriki-cho, Nagakyo-ku, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture 604-8016
Directions An eight-minute walk from Hankyu Kawaramachi Station. The restaurant is in the Ponto-cho alley opposite of the jazz bar Hello Dolly.
Open Hours 5 p.m.-12 midnight
Reservations Reservations are accepted only on weekdays, and starting times for reservations are 5, 7:15, and 9:30 p.m.
Closed Open unless otherwise noted. (Sometimes not open on Wednesdays)
Notes This restaurant is really popular so be prepared to line up, especially on Fridays and Saturdays.
Price range
Credit cards VISA, MASTER, JCB, AMEX, Diners / Accepted.
Good for With Friends
Overseas Tourist-Friendly
Ordering is easy, as you just need to get the beef offal hotpot, something to go with it, and drinks. The service is also good.
Menu Their website and menu are partially translated into English.
Lanuages spoken Japanese but they understand and speak some simple English.
Number of seats 22
Private dining rooms No
Non smoking / smoking Nonsmoking
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