Kyoto | Hyotei Hoten 瓢亭本店 (Breakfast)

Throw back to my summer foodie trip in Kyoto, the best word to conclude all my meals was ‘Ayu-overload’. Ayu, or Japanese sweet fish, is possible the most signature seasonal ingredients in Japan, equally favorites include abalone and eel etc. Even when we visited the Michelin-three-starred historical kaiseki restaurant Hyotei for the summer-limited breakfast, we had the grilled ayu fish with organs in their belly, the bitterness of the organs with a hint of sweetness of the fish is always one of the best delicacies to beat the summer heat. 

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The breakfast service is called ‘asa-kayu’, which means ‘morning porridge’. It is only available from July.1 to Aug.31st every year. With a fixed price of 6000 JPY, you can enjoy assorted appetizers includes Hyotei’s ever-famous soft boiled egg, soup, grilled dish and creamy porridge with a fairy view of Japanese garden. The porridge is also avilable from Dec.1~March.15th during lunch time, so-called ‘uzura-kayu’, price doubled.

Reservations can be easily made from hotel concierges or calling from Japan. My reservation was made 1.5 months in advance. You can choose anytime between 8 am and 10 am to start the lovely Japanese breakfast.

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View from our private room…

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Plum & kelp tea

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Assorted appetizers

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The appetizer set includes a three-tier dish includes: Long beans with white miso paste, steamed Tai, Tai sushi, a braised dish of deep-fried tofu with eggplant and Hamo (water eel)’s roe cake. On the side was Hyotei’s signature famous soft boiled eggs, served alongside Hamo, Edamame and Tai sushi (in previous photo) wrapped in the leaf.

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Clear soup with Kyo-tofu and seaweed

Because of the P.H. of water in Kyoto, the tofu here is ultra-aromatic and delicious, even with the clean soup and a thin seaweed crisp….

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Girlled Ayu with ‘Tade’ sauce

As mentioned at the beginning of this review, we had Ayu again. Possibly after having had some amazing Ayu dishes before visiting Hyotei, this dish was somehow the weakest Ayu dish i had in this trip. (Also visited Mastsukawa, Kyoaji, Kitcho Arashiyama, Suzue, Ren, Jimbocho Den, in late July to early August 2016)

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Porridge with pickles and kelp sauce

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The incredibly creamy porridge made with Japanese rice, naturally sweet and so delicious even without having any pickles and sauces….

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As a pure Chinese, i found it is quite weird for me to eat plain porridge with a savory sauce. We cook breakfast porridge using only grains, sometimes my mom put some red/green beans, or sweetpotatos, pumpkin inside, and the porridge is usually higher in liquidity compare those in Japan. Chinese also eat porridge with pickles or minced meat. I always prefer original tastes of food, but Hyotei’s creamy porridge with the kelp sauce was a nice try.

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My breakfast with Hyotei is more about the experience rather than the food itself.  Restaurant lovers must knew that this place is so famous and popular where is a top-pick for travllers, to be honest the service was below average for a three-star restaurant. Food was just okay, i loved the egg and porridge more. If you want to experience the traditional Kyoto breakfast, Hyotei is somewhere to try, but don’t expect too much on the food.


Hyotei Honten 瓢亭本店

Address: 35 Nanzenji Kusagawacho, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture

Reservations: by calling from Japan, or Pocket Concierge app (only for lunch and dinner)