The care lavished on every aspect of dining is unparalleled here thanks to the conscientious attention of Kikunoi's owner, world-renowned chef and authority on Kyoto cuisine, Yoshihiro Murata. A lifetime study of French and Japanese cooking, a commitment to using the finest local ingredients, and a playful creative sense make every exciting meal hum with flavor. Once seated in a private dining room, you are brought a small sakizuke, or appetizer, the first of up to 14 courses, each exquisitely presented and unfailingly delicious. Dishes like cedar-smoked barracuda fillets, citrus-infused matsutake mushroom soup, or sashimi served on chrysanthemum petals keenly accord to the nuances of each new season. This restaurant sits on the northern edge of Kodai-ji Ttemple. Evening courses start at ¥15,500, lunches at ¥4,200.
May 5, 2014
Recently (Kyoto sakura viewing weekend of 4-6 April, 2014), was a most honoured dining guest at a lovely Kikunoi evening. Companions were the loved one and two members of a Kyoto 'clan' our respective families have hosted and entertained since the late 1940s. Exquisite evening with joyous, timeless company. (The gracious Kyoto couple hosted us with lodging at their residence and the fine dining; prior weekend, it was our treat at the Mandarin Oriental
Tokyo, as noted on my Fodor's review.) Kikunoi service was quite exemplary, in no small measure to our Japanese family friends being long-time, appreciative diners. Sublime Kikunoi cuisine, and no surprise: over the years of Tokyo business trip dining evenings, have learnt to put myself in the hands of Japanese business colleagues and 'go with the flow'. Kikunoi was no exception, with the Kyoto friends handling all with aplomb. So hope to return to Kikunoi with the loved one and our Kyoto friends by November, '14, as current Japan business takes me to Tokyo every ~ six months. (And will add a most grateful thanks to All Nippon Airways business class service, Osaka-Shanghai (NH153) for ongoing meetings, before returning home to Singapore; fine flight, with such gracious flight attendants.) Savour your Kikunoi dining times.