The setting: it’s a bustling, summer’s Friday night in Cape Town and restaurants around the CBD are teeming with hungry revellers. We start thinking of several Asian restaurants with the hope of a table to lay down our weary bones and tuck into delicious Asian-cuisine. The restaurant we choose has to tick all of our boxes of ‘intimate’; ‘trendy and upmarket’ and ‘mouth-watering food’ – and the first one that pops into our heads is a no-brainer: Kyoto Garden Sushi, situated near Cape Town Hipster Watering Hole – The Power & The Glory and cool, Asian-inspired fun shack, Hallelujah.
Kyoto Garden Sushi is an experience like no other; the minute you step inside it feels as if you’ve been transported straight to Japan – minus the stuff airplane ride and immigration queue.
This shrine to Japanese cuisine offers everything an adventurous palate desires: the best, most authentic sushi and sashimi in town – with wasabi made from scratch and uncoloured real ginger – fresh seafood dishes (sourced and made from top-quality, unusual ingredients from around the world) that literally melt in your mouth and a speciality foods such as farmed abalone to Mozambican conch, eel, sea urchin, and even Alaskan king crab, deep-sea scallops and wild salmon.
Doesn’t that sound amazing? Well, it truly was a night to remember. We started with fresh Japanese-inspired cocktails – I had the Ginger Mizuwari, a drink toted as: infused root ginger, fresh limes and smooth whiskey, stirred slowly to allow the natural flavours to develop, the old fashioned way. We tucked into our mains immediately – we were quite famished – Steamed Fish in a bamboo pot (R180) and the Alaskan Night (R190); a dish made of seared salmon, giant Alaskan scallop and Alaskan king crab and also ordered a side of very tasty combination of Japanese grilled mushrooms including Shitake, Shimeji, Enoki, Maitake, Eringi, Ukidake and Oyster mushrooms (R75). Every single morsel of food we ate was absolutely delicious – Kyoto really goes out of their way to impress. We topped off our meal with perfectly sweet cherry blossom ice cream. All in all Kyoto Garden Sushi will definitely be seeing me again, very soon, and I suggest you give this perfect piece of Japan-in-Cape -Town a try as well.