We travel because we love to eat. One of the joys we get from traveling to foreign countries is discovering and eating local foods. Dining at Giro Giro Hitoshina was top on my list to do while in Kyoto. It’s a famous restaurant, written up in guide books and in New York Times, with branch in Paris and Honolulu. As soon as we got to Kyoto Hyatt Regency hotel, I asked the hotel Concierge to make reservation at the restaurant for two seats at the counter of the open kitchen and indicated we would take any day, any time as we were staying in Kyoto for only 4 nights. We lucked out and got dinner reservations at 5:30pm on our last night in Kyoto. The counter seats (10 people max) allow diners to watch the Chef prepare the 8-course meal. Additional seats are available on second floor.
This unorthodox Japanese restaurant serves a ‘modern’ Kyoto Kaiseiki meal in a casual and converted warehouse in a nice residential neighborhood right by Takase–gawa canal. Definitely difficult to find, esp. it only puts out its portable sign only when they opened. Thankfully, we met a young Japanese man who speaks limited English and preferred to walk us to the exact location than give us directions.
Each course was a small serving, yet took a long time for the Chef to prepare. It was fascinating how he meticulously arranged each food item on the plate, resulting in a masterfully designed work of art. I did not jot down the name of each course we were served, but can tell you they were all gourmet delights!
The Chefs are so creative, thinking outside the box, such as using this leaf for artful presentation.
Kaiseiki dinner normally cost between $100 – $150 per person. At Giro Giro, it’s surprisingly affordable at about fifty bucks, a super real bargain without compromising quality, ambience or service. The place is really small and can accommodate only few diners; serving 2 seating per night. of dinner every night. Book way in advance or you’ll be disappointed. Their set menu changes seasonally. This place is truly a hidden gem in Kyoto, and will not disappoint any food lover. Giro Giro Hitoshina 420-7 Nanbacho matsubara sagaru Nishikiyamachi dori Shimogyo-ku Kyoto Tel: +81 075 343 7070 Daily: 5.30 – 11pm Closed last Mon of the month