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Kyokabutoya

For lunch you can choose between the basic Fuchidaka (¥3,000) and Tofu Steak Courses (¥3,800), and two seasonal multicourse kaiseki menus priced at ¥5,000 and ¥8,000. I settled on the basic kaiseki course, which seemed to have larger portions than the lower-priced lunch my neighbors ordered. Cheaper options may be better if you don’t feel like splurging or are pressed for time. Lunch opened with a late-summer vegetable concoction: A dainty collection of sweet corn kernels, okra, edamame and diced tomato held together with jellied dashi. The combination was a swan song to summer. This was a followed by another single-bite dish, a delicious serving of katsuotadaki (seared bonito) that came on a cushion of sweet ponzu (citrus soy sauce) jelly that was so delicate it was difficult to steer toward my mouth. The third dish was slightly warm hamo (pike conger) served on a bed of crushed ice, under which were hidden two slices of mizu-nasu, a “water aubergine” and a specialty of Kyoto. Try to find one before summer ends — they are about the only aubergine you can eat raw. Next was the futamono (lidded dish, or soup) course, typical in kaiseki cuisine, which contained a tofu-like square of sweet corn reduction and junsai (water shield), a seasonal water plant that looks like a tadpole, which is used more for its texture than flavor.