Pontocho Misoguigawa, Kyoto 先斗町禊川

On doing my research for a recent visit to Kyoto, I was intrigued by a restaurant I came across called Misoguigawa that specialises in 'French kaiseki'. As I am more than partial to both French food and traditional Japanese kaiseki cuisine, I thought it worth a try.
The restaurant is situated in a lane parallel to the river in Pontocho, and is well known to the cab drivers after being in business more than 40 years. My dining partner and I dined at the bar area on the ground floor. The interior is probably exactly the same as it was when the restaurant opened, and in perfect condition.

The food is faultless and true to the description of French kaiseki. What it lacks in innovativeness, it makes up for in care. The owner of the establishment went to the trouble of procuring a special melon for me when he thought that I did not want to eat the dessert he had planned. The request had been lost in translation as I told him I didn't like melon. Uncomfortable, but charming nonetheless. All in all, a very pleasant evening.

Our jolly host and chef watches over his kitchen and his customers with great care

Assorted amuses

 Sculpted butter

 Bavarois of new onion, prawn and caviar

 Foie gras with white asparagus

 Pea soup

 Scallop gratin

 Raspberry sorbet


 Roast beef

 Chazuke soup


 Strawberry mousse

 Petit fours



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