Nakamura-ro, inside the gate of the 1350-year-old Yasaka Jinja Shrine, was started as a tea house about 400 years ago and has been a restaurant there since 1824. Hideko, Linda and I had lunch at Nakamura-ro on October 24, 2014.
Hideko and Linda are entering the restaurant from the front of the shrine.
We sat at the counter with a view of the small garden out back.
Tea was served and we ordered a bottle of the house sake.
Our starter plate was Kyoto yuba with salmon roe, spinach and walnuts.
The Kyoto version of yuba, or bean curd skin, was much more like a custard than the Nikko variety in sheets, which we had enjoyed a few days before. It was a nice base for the condiments on top.
A chef was working in front of us for most of the meal. Here he is cutting shiso leaves to go with the sashimi he has just sliced.
The sashimi was tai, tuna, shiso, daikon, walnuts, spinach and wasabi.
The next course was a kettle of mushroom broth with hamo, or conger pike.
Good earthy flavors.
A long-time specialty of Nakamura-ro is dengaku, grilled tofu with miso paste. Here the chef is putting the miso on top of rectangles of tofu, which have already been lightly grilling over charcoal.
This was my serving. It was pleasant, but not memorable.
The varied plate included uni pâté, small roasted chestnuts, mackerel sushi, lotus root, and a curl of grilled hamo.
In the faux kaki, or persimmon, were squid strips.
Next came a mashed potato ball filled with ground duck. Crab sauce was underneath.
Dessert was kuzu starch with soybean powder.
Matcha finished things off.
We enjoyed the lunch. I always like to experience venerable restaurants which still serve traditional cuisine of a city. It fit in with our historical sightseeing of the day.
After lunch we walked in some of the picturesque old streets and alleyways of the area, including this view of the Yasaka Pagoda.
Then we went on to the Fushimi Inari Shinto Shrine.
We had started the day with a walk around the lake at the Heien Shrine.
We also visited, among others, the Tenjuan subtemple at Nanzenji Zen Temple.