Tominokouji Yamagishi 富小路 やま岸
Tominokouji Yamagishi (富小路 やま岸), one of the most trendy restaurant in Kyoto nowadays.
The restaurant located on a quiet street full of machiyas (traditional Japanese houses) in the crowded Shijo area, just few minutes walk from the main shopping streets. The entrance was unconspicuous - just a white door curtain and a small door plate in a machiya. Behind the curtain is a narrow path to the main dining room.
The main counter is quite wide which can fit 10 people (approx), no private rooms are available. Chef Yamagishi-san wears a smile on his face all the time which makes me feel very warm and welcomed. The Omkasase course was priced at JPY 20K (approx).
The starters were outstanding. Beginning with a dish of grilled Matsutake mushroom on the top of Kamasu fish and eggplant - a combination of juiciness from both the land and ocean. Followed by a dish of somen (thin noodles) seasoned with abalone liver sauce. The noodle itself was deep in flavors which balance well the fresh trout belly and ikura (trout roe). This was my personal favorite of the meal.
Autumn and winter are the best seasons to eat Katsuo fish. Grilled with Wara leaf in front of the counter, the fish smells incredible even before it arrived at the table. It was nicely sandwiched by grated Japanese radish on the bottom, and grilled Iwashi on the top. The Katsuo itself has a deliciously crispy skin and umami flesh underneath, while i personally found the portion of the Katsuo was too big to maintain the balance of the entire dish.
Owan was made of Kue (grouper) on top of yuba dumpling, Chrysanthemum petals, and daikon radish. It was beautifully done, while nothing to shout out.
Next dish was Ayu Ichiyaboshi (dried overnight) side by steamed Tamba chestnut. I was pretty impressed by the huge chestnut, very sweet and creamy. Another dish i liked the most was the deep-fried Sawara. It was so perfectly done that the center remains moist to contrast its super crispy battering. The gingko nut mochi on the side was also worth-mentioning.
Before the real rice dish to arrive, two ‘sushi’ was served one after another. The Saba-bo-zushi was simply astonishing which driven me crazy (and ‘thick face’) to ask for one more. It was one of the top three saba-bo-zushi i’ve ever had by far. (First must be Saito, Secondly Ogata then here). After the saba-bo-zushi was one of the most Instagramable dish at Yamagishi - Sea urchin hand roll. It was delicious but not that mythical.
The rice dish was just average for my liking - great white grains on its own, matching with DIY toppings includes Mentaiko roe, Nmako mushroom and Jyako. I didn’t refill by bowl this time. If i was asked to choose, i prefer to have some more saba-zushi, or uni rolls.
We always have rooms for desserts. In Japan, most restaurants serves desserts contains red beans, so was Yamagishi. Here, simply scoop the azuki beans into the crispy wafer called ‘monaka’, and enjoy it with freshly-made matcha. Such a pleasant sweet ending.
In short, Tominokouji Yamagishi is a great restaurant to dine in if you can get a reservation. It can probably be ranked Top.10 on my Tokyo list, while not a MUST in my opinion. If i have a chance, i would love to revisit it in the future.
Tominokouji Yamagishi 富小路 やま岸
Hours: 18:00～23:00, Closed on Tuesdays
Date of visiting: Nov 2017