4 Outstanding Restaurants to Enjoy the Summer Kyoto Specialty, “Hamo”
The fish, "hamo" (daggertooth pike conger), which live in the seas around the middle and south of Japan, is famous as a food that represents Kyoto in the summer. It can be eaten in a variety of ways, such as sashimi, marinated, in pot dishes, and as tempura. Here are 4 famous restaurants you can enjoy good hamo at.
1. Uryu Pontocho Branch
Introducing first is a restaurant where you can enjoy outstanding Japanese food on a type of terrace called "kawadoko". A kawadoko is a gallery that protrudes over a river built as a place to stay cool. It is very popular for the elegant style representative of Kyoto in the summer (open between May and the end of September).
The recommended menu item is the Hamo Kaiseki (8,000 JPY/person (excl. tax)). It is a course offered between late April and November, and consists of eight dishes. Hamo is cooked in a variety of ways, such as Hamo Otoshi, where hamo pieces are blanched then cooled in ice water, tempura, and rice cooked with hamo.
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2. Hondatei Yanaginobamba Branch
Introducing next is the Yanaginobamba Branch of Hondatei, which prides itself in serving dishes made with fresh seafood. The owner goes to the market early in the morning to select fresh fish from around the country, including rare fish. There is also great consideration given to the sake selection, which includes items not commercially distributed that are procured directly from the breweries.
The restaurant of course serves hamo food from the early summer through the summer. The Hamo Shabu Course (5,000 JPY and up) of fresh hamo procured directly from the source is popular.
Next up is a popular restaurant for Japanese food in Nagaoka-kyo City. This restaurant serves primarily dishes made with pufferfish in the winter, but in the summer, hamo takes over as the star ingredient. The hamo are procured live and kept in a fishtank in the restaurant, so they are served extremely fresh. The course full of hamo dishes, including shabu shabu of hamo, is recommended. The hamo is also available a la carte as sashimi, grilled with a sauce, and in tempura (1,500 JPY/each (excl. tax)).
4. Kameya Shijo-Omiya Branch
Lastly, Kameya Shijo-Omiya Branch is a well-established Japanese restaurant that has been in operation since 1913. This restaurant offers hamo not only during the summer, but all year round (reservations required). You can enjoy hamo cooked in a variety of different ways, either a la carte, or as a part of a course (4,000 JPY (excl. tax) and up). There is also a special dish, the Hamotendon (1,500 JPY (excl. tax)), that is only available on weekends and holidays. It is an outstanding dish of light and elegant hamo tempura on rice drizzled with sauce.
Hamo has a lot of small bones, but thanks to a Japanese cooking method called "honekiri" (bone-cutting), it is served with a smooth and pleasant texture. We hope you will enjoy its elegant flavors.
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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