Kyoto Style Sushi @ Izuju (いづ重)

Saturday, 6 January 2018

After visiting Nishiki Market (錦市場), we then went to Gion (祇園) to meet up with Sharon's friends, who were also in Kyoto, for lunch. We decided to eat at Izuju (いづ重), one of oldest traditional Kyoto style sushi restaurants with over 100 years of experience. Located in the heart of Gion just across from Yasaka Shrine (八坂神社), Izuju is a very small place with only about 5 tables but it was probably one of the best meals I had in Japan.

We arrived at 1:30pm and had to wait about half an hour before getting a seat. They do, however, give you the menu to look at while you're waiting inside, so you can order right away when you sit at your table.

Between the four of us, we ordered a share platter, two bowls of Kyoto style soup and two bowls of miso soup. For drinks, we ordered a cold sake and yuzu beer, but we were also given hot sake as well by mistake. (I personally prefer to drink sake cold rather than hot, and even experts say that sake is actually best served cold.) We even got to choose our own sake cups from a basket. I picked a small blue and white porcelain one.

Kyoto style soup (left) and miso soup (right): The Kyoto style soup is a very light simple soup with tofu skin. It's much more bland in comparison to the miso soup but it's something that I haven't seen before in any other Japanese restaurants. The red miso soup was hearty and flavourful. I would recommend trying both!

Now for the highlight. The share platter consisted of saba sushi (makarel sushi), inari sushi (tofu pouch sushi), maki sushi (rolled sushi) and deluxe hako sushi (pressed prawn, omelette, conger, and sea bream sushi). Everything was amazing, but the most memorable sushi for me was definitely the saba sushi. It was pickled with just the right amount of vinegar and had no raw fish smell at all. Do peel off that layer of kelp before eating the sushi, but the kelp itself is fine to eat. Oh, and how beautiful is pressed sushi arranged in a checkered pattern? #soinstaworthy

Whether or not you end up dining at Izuju, I highly recommend have this style of sushi because it's something that you only find in Kyoto. I can't remember exactly how much the bill ended up being, but it was definitely less than AUD$80 and worth every dollar for the quality, service and experience.

Izuju (いづ重)
292-1 Gion-machi Kitagawa, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto 605-0073
605-0073 京都市 東山区 祇園町北側292-1

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