Food & Drink | KYOTO RESTAURANTS

Sept Bistro: Japan-style hamburgers in a French-style restaurant

by J.J. O'Donoghue

Special To The Japan Times

Japan does adaptive innovation well: just look at the nation’s cars, video games and, yes, hamburgers.

Who would have thought to extricate the burger from the bun, beef if up and ladle sauce all over it?

Just as it’s hamburgers are a little different at Sept Bistro, so is it’s culinary identity. There may be checkered table cloths here, but this is a restaurant that doesn’t flaunt its “Frenchness” — there is no accordion music or Left Bank memorabilia. Instead of symbols there is substance, in the form of a well-judged wine list and the cheese menu. Aside from the interior decor and menu, I was also encouraged by the sounds from the kitchen: a chef smashing meat patties into formation and hard-boiled eggs being cracked.

During a few recent visits I tried the curry and hamburger set menus. Both are filling lunches and come with a choice of soup or salad starter, and though these are often a letdown in set lunches, Sept Bistro puts in more effort. The curry is rich with sweet tones, but the hamburger was my favorite, loaded with flavor and complimented by a rich red wine infused demi-glace.

Sept Bistro recently downsized from two restaurants to one. Here’s hoping this one stays.

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