Last time i had a kaiseki dinner, i promised to myself that i won't have it "any time soon". "Not any time soon" was exactly two years. I don't even know if you can have a dinner in Kanamean Nishitomiya if you don't stay at the ryokan. The ryokan has only 9 rooms and the chef (Kanamean san ?) is also the owner(together with his wife).The location of Kanamean Nishitomiya is 5 minutes away from Nishiki market– perfect for the style of cooking where seasonal,fresh products are fundamental.
Kyoto is closer to the mountains than to the sea, so it's natural that the traditional Kyoto kaiseki dinner includes lot's of mountain and locally grown vegetables.The meal was very healthy,something I could eat every day. The other reason why i loved the dinner at Kanamean Nishitomiya were the modern touches in the presentation .. I felt that Kanamean Nishitomiya was much more accessible and enjoyable than Kikunoi. It was a splendid dinner -fine ingredients, minimum preparation and again,very light.
The kaiseki dishes were as follows..
Grilled sea bream with spring vegetable, plump and egg white sauce
Soy bean soup with egg tofu and white fish. This was a delicious dish, you could clearly taste the flavors of soy beans. The half of a small tomato on the top was one of those "contemporary" ingredients used. You don't find tomatoes in Japanese cuisine that often.
"Lights off" – sushi (white fish,fish ball,bamboo, 3 kinds of clams) with a candle that was surrounded by a circle made of fresh radish.
Japanese bean,mini Kyoto carrot,radish,duck,octopus inside ( don't know what exactly),shrimp. Very good..
Salmon with red miso paste,gluten with vegetables,Kyoto bamboo with green miso
Yuba (tofu skin),mountain vegetables,red Kyoto carrots
An element of the room decoration
Final kaiseki dishes – white miso soup,seafood rice,pickles,tea
For the dessert – grapefruit and strawberry jelly