Hyakushokuya

Hyakushokuya, "100 meal shop," makes 100 meals a day — and that's it. The daily challenge for staff is to make and serve them as fast possible, so that they can take the rest of the day off. It seems that this is typically ...

Moriwaki

One of my favorite occasions to eat out in Japan is after returning from a long trip abroad. I have learned to empathize with those Japanese tourists who can't wait to get home and eat Japanese rice after a whirlwind tour of Europe. But, incidentally, ...

Grill Aoi

The Japanese guriru ("grill" meaning a restaurant, not a cooking tool) is an interesting mix of new, borrowed and adapted ideas. Grill Aoi, a family-owned diner tucked away on a quiet side street between Gojo and Shijo, has no shortage of such ideas. Aoi is ...

Pacuchi Deli

When you've been to enough Japanese restaurants, you come to realize that a bowl of rice or miso soup can foretell the quality of an establishment's other dishes. I like to think this rule also applies to a serving of pad thai at a ...

Inakatei

When faced with a six-page menu allied with a supplementary page loaded with specials and all in a language that makes less sense to you than abstract art, what do you do? Get up and leave is one answer, as proven by the nearby ...

Cafe Salon

Kitayama is five stops on the subway from downtown Kyoto, but it might as well be a million miles away for the tourists who trudge around the city in search of Kyoto tropes: temples, shrines, teahouses and geishas who are more than likely tourists ...

What’s

Culinary epiphanies don't happen often, but when they do, they are food for thought. I had one recently dining on prime Japanese beef and it was an experience that, on reflection, recalled a childhood event. Not that I grew up eating wagyū — far ...

Chocolat Bel Amer

First established in Tokyo, Chocolat Bel Amer has now opened a boutique in a gorgeous traditional machiya (town house) fronted by a Japanese maple tree. In a rather bold move, it is directly opposite Inoda, an institution among Kyoto's cafes. What connects both these ...

Sara

Midway through lunch at Sara, a family-run restaurant in northern Kyoto, I started to suspect that the chefs subscribed to a philosophy of daintiness. The food was as pretty as it was good to eat, but the portions were decidedly petit. This was especially so ...

Awomb

Before getting into Awomb, a few observations on queues and queuing. Or, in American parlance, standing in line (or on line). 1. Nothing turns me off queuing like seeing a queue. 2. Besides staging a crash outside your new shop or restaurant, nothing generates ...