Lunch at Hanagoyomi (Kyoto, Japan)

Kyoto Station  > Lunch

We had (initially reserved and) wanted to do the Kyoto Imperial Palace Tour in the morning, but we overslept! So we only managed to do the Sento Imperial Palace (Sentō Gosho) Tour in the afternoon. 

Since the tour started at 1:30pm and we had at least 2 hours to spare, we explored the surrounding area and stumbled across Hanagoyomi, a Japanese restaurant located within the Kyoto Garden Palace Hotel, on the west side of the Kyoto Imperial Palace. We were actually mesmerized by the attractive menu that was displayed outside and decided to have lunch there.

Hanagoyomi (Kyoto, Japan)
The entrance of the restaurant after we entered the hotel

The moment we entered Hanagoyomi, it was like we were being transported into another world of past Japan. The restaurant was partitioned with Noren (暖簾) - traditional Japanese fabric dividers, hung between rooms, on walls, in doorways, or windows. The feeling was surreal as we were seated at an area that was facing the garden.

Hanagoyomi (Kyoto, Japan)
The very distinct Japanese interior and view of the zen garden
Hanagoyomi (Kyoto, Japan)
The warm earthy tones of the wood made it most welcoming
Hanagoyomi (Kyoto, Japan)
The lunch menu that had captured our attention

I ordered the Hanatosen Lunch Box (2,970¥) which was truly a sight to behold!
Hanatosen Lunch Box (2,970¥)
The  presentation was simply a feast for the eyes.
1st box: the prawn was succulent and fresh, the sushi was a delight and the salmon wrapped with butter was interesting.
1st box: the prawn was succulent and fresh, the sushi was a delight and the salmon wrapped with butter was interesting.
2nd box: steamed vegetables (pumkpin and carrots)  that retained their natural sweetness and were a delight to eat.
2nd box: steamed vegetables (pumpkin and carrots)  that retained their natural sweetness and were a delight to eat.
3rd box: a piece of grilled tofu (I think) sauntered with a lovely sauce and pieces of fish.
3rd box: a piece of grilled tofu (I think) sauntered with a lovely sauce and pieces of fish.
4th box: Another sauced flavored fresh piece of fish with a Japanese styled omelet and pickle on the side.
4th box: Another sauced flavored fresh piece of fish with a Japanese styled omelet and pickle on the side.
Now on to the dishes outside the boxes... some crunch fresh vegetables
Now on to the dishes outside the boxes... some crunchy fresh vegetables
Some gelatin cold dish with radish and vegetables on the side. It went along well with the rice and the...
Some gelatin cold dish with radish and vegetables on the side. It went along well with the rice and the...
... small saucer of anchovies
... small saucer of anchovies
Chawanmushi
Chawanmushi (pardon the out of focus photo)
Fresh Tuna Sashimi slices
Fresh Tuna Sashimi slices

M, on the other hand, decided to try Kyoto's famed (smaller) kaiseki dishes, the Hananogomi (4,150¥). The dishes were served in courses and according to M, quite filling despite the seemingly small portions.
Fresh tuna sashimi
Slices if mouth watering fresh tuna sashimi and squid.
Hananogomi (4,150¥)
The second course: an array of delights from omelet to egg, prawn, vegetables etc...
Hananogomi (4,150¥)
Next up, an interesting concoction of stewed vegetables and something that resembles mashed potato topped with bonito flakes.
Hananogomi (4,150¥)
Tempura!
Hananogomi (4,150¥)
A small rice don with sakura flavored soba. While the don was nice, the soba was a little weird - neither fragrant not as appealing as the name suggests (perhaps expectations were too high?).
Last but not least.. Dessert! Macha cake, jelly and a sweet.. all bite sized.
Finally, a pleasant crunchy not too sweet finish to a filling and wonderful meal.

Payment was made at the counter once we were done with the meal. Overall, service was splendid with the waitress warmly welcoming us and the food was memorable (the ambience just enhanced the experience). Can I just say once again that I simply love the fact that warm towels were handed to us before the dishes arrived? ^^




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When travel collides with a byte, a unit of information made up of bits, TravelBytez is formed: snippets of ramblings on travel, food, shopping, living and anything else that comes to mind.
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