Out of all dishes in Japanese cuisine, tempura (deep-fried seafood and vegetables in light batter) boasts of being one of the most popular, especially among tourists. Here are five shops near Kyoto Station where you can eat some delicious tempura.
1. Ten-ichi Kyoto Isetan Shop
Ten-ichi is a long-standing shop dedicated to tempura that was opened in 1930. The shop in Kyoto was built with the counter seats at the core, so you will be able to enjoy your freshly fried tempura while enjoying the chefs in action. Here, the recommended meal is the Ginza Course (4,212 JPY (incl. tax)). In this course, the eight-piece tempura set comes with small bowls of appetizers, rice, miso soup and pickled vegetables. The tempura that is fried in sesame oil is fragrant and has a crispy texture. For the last tempura dish that will be served, the kakiage (mixed vegetable and seafood tempura), you can choose to have it on top of rice, served on its own, or in the form of tempura chazuke (rice and toppings with tea poured over it), so you will be able to enjoy tempura dishes to the fullest!
2. Ginza Hageten Kyoto Porta Shop
Similar to Ten-ichi, Giza Hageten is also an established tempura shop, having been built in 1928. This shop’s masterpiece is tempura that is coated with batter that is made with a lot of eggs, and then fried in their original blend of sesame oil. When you eat here, the Edomae Tendon (1,080 JPY (incl. tax)) is recommended. This is a hearty course made up of deep-fried whole large shrimp, anago (conger eel), and vegetables. The tempura that is dipped in the light and sweet soy sauce-based sauce goes really well with rice! This shop’s tempura that has slightly absorbed the mild dipping sauce will surely become a habit. Note that the tempura here can be eaten quickly if you order it in don (on top of rice) style and that this shop is in the underground facility that is directly connected to Kyoto Station, so this is definitely a great place to drop by if you don’t have much time in your trip.
3. Nihonbashi Karari Kyoto Yodobashi Shop
Nihonbashi Karari serves freshly fried tempura and flavorful soba (buckwheat noodles) that uses a stone mill to grind the buckwheat into flour. Their free refills of rice and miso soup are one of the reasons this shop is famous. The Tokusei Tendon (Special Tendon) (980 JPY (incl. tax)), which is a special bowl of rice topped with tempura, is recommended here. This tendon, which can be served with a large rice serving if you prefer, has big pieces of around six types of ingredients on top. For the tendon sauce that is poured over the rice and tempura, you can choose from orthodox, sesame, or salt-based sauces. Now, tendon is easier to eat with the standard Japanese-style sweet sauce, but since you’re already there anyway, why not try their salt-based sauce? It will give your tempura a refreshing taste.
4. Tagoto Kyoto Station The Cube Shop
The Tagoto shop in Kyoto Station’s The Cube area is a branch of the long-established Tagoto restaurant that specializes in Kyoto cuisine. Here, you can eat tempura, as well as sushi, yuba (tofu skin) and o-fu (seitan) dishes. Isn’t it great that you can enjoy the flavors of a well-established Kyoto restaurant while you're around Kyoto Station? This shop’s popular item is the Satsuki (1,380 JPY (incl. tax)) Set, which comes with tempura, soba and sushi. It has tempura with a light texture, easy-to-eat soba that is paired with exquisite Kyoto-style soup, and Kansai-style sushi such as rolled and pressed sushi that do not have raw toppings. Tagoto is the perfect restaurant for those who think that tempura alone would be too heavy, so it would be better to have other Japanese dishes together with the tempura.
5. Tempura Kaisen Komefuku Shijo Karasuma Shop
Tempura Kaisen Komefuku is a place where you can enjoy a wide variety of tempura and seafood dishes. Here, the tempura is characterized by being fried solely in rice bran oil. With its crispy texture and the rich natural nutrients contained in the rice bran in the oil that is used for frying, it is easy to eat and light on the stomach. For lunch, it is recommended that you order the Komefuku Tendon (890 JPY (incl. tax)). You’d be glad to know that the centerpiece jumbo tempura of this dish, especially shrimp, will remain crispy until you finish eating it. And for dinner, they have more than 40 kinds of tempura available for you to choose from. Try the Densuke Anagoten (500 JPY (excl. tax) for the large serving and 290 JPY (excl. tax) for the half serving) and relish in the juiciness of the conger eels!
Don’t you feel like eating tempura now? You have to try to eat tempura, one of the representative dishes in the Japanese cuisine, at these restaurants that are conveniently located around Kyoto Station before or after your trip.
*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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