I first read about Tempura Matsu in Matt Goulding’s book “Rice Noodle Fish“, an excellent study on the Japanese food world and culture. Different than the name suggests, Tempura Matsu is not solely serving tempura, but modern kaiseki from the most incredible ingredients one might outsource in Japan. The second (or third?) generation restaurant is now run by Toshio Matsuno (who has worked at Beige by Alain Ducasse in Tokyo) and his sister Mariko. Facing a road and Hozugawa river in Arashiyama, from first glance, it’s a very old and rustic operation. That makes the modern take on Japanese cooking even more exciting – one of the best meals in Japan ever for me.
21-26 Umezu Onawaba-cho, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan Tel. 075-881-9190 (Although both siblings speak English, you have to book in Japanese..)