Friday, October 23, 2015
Now, Back to Japan - Restaurant Things
We were staying near Kiyomizudera, in southern Higashiyama, Kyoto. It is an old neighbourhood full of tiny streets, on the side of the hill. We discovered a cool coffee shop/restaurant and decided to make a breakfast stop there. I love Japanese "coffee" shops because they are great places for an inexpensive breakfast set and nearly always include a Japanese option; think grilled salmon, pickles, rice, miso soup, green tea for about CAD $8.
This place was newly renovated and was a cool mix of traditional Japanese lines with smooth, exposed concrete and stainless steel. The owner/server was a slim, artsy looking guy with a pony tail. He had a lovely, unflapped manner and was managing all aspects of order taking, cooking and serving, himself. I could tell as soon as we sat down that the service would be slooooow, which gave me lots of time to capture his groovy concrete countertop, complete with multiple rice cookers, stacked plates and bowls, chopsticks and cutlery.
The best of Japan is surrounded by beauty, down to the last culinary details. This tiny, gourd shaped thing holds the chill pepper to sprinkle on soba and ramen. The ball at the top comes out as a peg and the pepper is shaken out the top. We stopped for a zaru soba snack in the late afternoon sunlight at a tiny restaurant, served by a charming middle aged woman and her sweet faced, elderly mother.