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Kyoto
Kyoto Dan Toren
Ever wondered what the secret of success of a restaurant was?
In commonsense reasoning, if a business endures longer than others, this probably means it is successful, well organized, wisely managed and enjoys a loyal, growing client base. Ever wondered what the secret of success of a restaurant was? I did. I guess a part of the secret is in the serving - of colorful, up-to-date interesting food for 15 years and counting.

Herzliya's Kyoto, the chain's flagship branch, manages to surprise most and even all of its regular diners. If you have not yet had the chance to taste this restaurant's wonderful products, I hope my following depiction will get you going.

Roman and I put on our best cloths, wore perfume, and generally prepared ourselves for a night of food and alcohol. Kyoto is not your regular Japanese restaurant. Here every last detail is noticed, service is devoted, and the 200 different entries on the menu are being examined by professional staff members as if they were served to food critics.

The music is nice, which compliments the fact that this restaurant is stunningly beautiful: its warm space is decorated with Japanese elements manifested in wood, stone and bamboo materials. The atmosphere is vibrant too. But the food – why don't we talk about it now.

Kyoto's kitchen is divided into two parts: sushi at the front, everything else at the back. The restaurant's chef is of course true to the Japanese tradition, but still inspired by some Asian trends.

We got to share a table with the restaurant manager and soon to be chef's wife, Tali. Having started her career as a waitress here in Kyoto, Tali slowly made her way up. As we got to talk she told us about Kyoto's big professional family of waiters, bartenders, cooks, hosts and managers who are periodically trained, so that guests' needs and desires are answered.

It might have been the Sapporo beer or the Sake, but something got us hungry. Tali, who probably knows Kyoto's menu better than the chef, read us very well.

We started with New Style Sashini – thin slices of raw white tuna and salmon fish in a delicate marinade and crispy cabbage hair decorations. It was served with a bowl of chicken broth, root vegetables, soy and mirin, cabbage stripes, carrots and bamboo; a dumpling filled with minced chicken meat; a rich seafood mixture with sea aroma; and tuna tataki, which was one of the best ones I ever got to taste here in Israel.

Then came some Sushi: a very large serving of different colors, shapes, sizes and flavors of sushi; a rare combination that rose above the normal level. It was an absolute pleasure. There are many exciting restaurants in Israel, and Kyoto is most definitely one of them. You should give it a try.

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