Featured restaurant: IsechōPosted: July 9, 2013
Established almost 300 years ago, with its distinctive character and deep awareness of the seasons, Isecho has a long and prestigious tradition of Kyoto cuisine. In 1715, Isechō, named after the founder Matsuzaka Ise, started out as a small catering shop in front of the main entrance to the Imperial Palace. Long admired by local Kyotoites as the traditional keepers of Kyoto’s culinary arts, Isecho is now located in the former residence of statesman and industrialist, “father of the trolley trains”, Gentaro Tanaka, which is built in the refined sukiya-zukuri style. It is located on Shinmachi-dori, and each year the spectacular floats of the Gion Matsuri pass by the front of the restaurant.
From the Isechō website:
“Kyoto: the imperial capital for a thousand years. Kyoto cuisine has been gradually refined from this beautiful and culturally rich environment. Compensating for the lack of availability of seafood, Kyoto cuisine turned its focus to developing superior grade vegetables, and elevating its culinary technique to the point of fine art. As season follows season, one by one the fresh ingredients are carefully scrutinised: contemplating the various colours, arranging the various shapes, drawing out each individual taste. Taking the time and effort to diligently prepare the ingredients in this way, breathes life into the meal so that the truly delicious taste of the seasons comes alive.”
One of Isechō’s signature meals, which you can see in the video below, is focussed on celebrating the Gion Matsuri, which happens throughout July with the grand parade on July 17th, including summertime favourite hamo (dagger-tooth pike conger eel) served as sashimi in a dish poetically called yakishimo “grilled frost”. Hamo comes into peak season in the few days before the parade and, in fact, the Gion Matsuri is also known as the Hamo Matsuri.
Kaiseki cuisine: ¥12,600 – ¥31,500 (plus tax & service)
Take-out bento also available ¥3,675 – ¥8,400 (please order the day before)
Open: 11:30 – 21:30 (last order 19:30)