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Ratings and reviews

#472 of 3,780 Japanese in Kyoto
#688 of 8,062 Restaurants in Kyoto


Japanese, Asian, Kaiseki, Kyoto cuisine
Reservations, Private Dining, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Table Service, Accepts Credit Cards
Reviews (100)
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Reviewed February 18, 2020

My wife and I booked for lunch on Jan 17th. We had the room to our self. The staf were cordial and we were attended to by a young man,who spoke quite good english. He was very helpful through out the whole meal. The presentation...of each course was probably the best we experienced on our trip. The sushi course very generous and of the highest quality. The whole meal was a pleasure!!! The service, crockery immaculate. After the lunch the chef Mr Tanigiwa introduced himself. All in all the meal was not expensive and I would return,for sure. Unlike other reviews I disagree ,Kichisen is a 3 michelin star restaurant!More

Date of visit: January 2020
Reviewed August 12, 2019

I do really apologize, but probably I did not understand the concept of this restaurant. We asked for two Omakase menus and we were both enthusiastic to try the traditional Japanese cooking in such a 3 starred restaurant. I recognize that the quality of all...the ingredients was superior. All the dishes were presented in a very professional way. The vegetables were very rare and perfectly marinated and perfectly cut. The Chef's technique is really impressive. For all the courses. No single one excluded. So I really do apologize if I am rating this restaurant so low. But almost all the courses seemed to me just an assembly of multiple ingredients with different flavors, different vegetable sliced very thin and put in the plate very elegantly. I did not find my beloved concept of combining ingredients and tasting the "ensamble". I really did not understand why all those ingredients were together.. In regard to the tuna, unfortunately, the fat one is not my favorite. Also in this case, probably that's a limit of mine. Anyhow, I would not come back, especially after spending so much money (with no wine) - something like 750 euros in 2 people.. I do not complain about the quick and apparently cold service, as I learnt that the way of "sitting" around and eating in a very long time while talking and enjoying the company does generally not belong to Japanese culture (I am saying that with all respect). That was a pretty unfortunate experience.More

Date of visit: April 2019
Reviewed August 6, 2019 via mobile

Michelin Star restaurant should atleast maintain basic cleanliness. Street food stalls don’t serve bugs in the food. Multiple bugs in the dining area. One bug found in one of the courses. Not worth paying ridiculous amount of money to have bugs in the food. Even...after reporting the bug to the server, just an apology and was still charged the full amount. Michelin needs to step up its game while awarding stars.More

Date of visit: August 2019
Reviewed June 29, 2019

I've visited many Michelin stared restaurants in Japan, and I would say Kichisen is most disappointed. We booked this restaurant with high expectation, but left with huge disappointment. Food is average, although some of them are fancy. Service by female servants is great but one...of the young male servant was terrible. At the end of our rushed meal, I went to the bathroom but he knocked the door so hard several times to kick me out. What are you doing? Are you out of your mind? I understand you want to finish work early but would you please show some patience? After all, we paid over 600 dollars for the meal and deserved some respect.More

Date of visit: September 2018
Reviewed May 8, 2019 via mobile

We visited Kichisen for lunch and had a great experience. The food was traditional Japanese presented beautifully and creatively. We had a set tasting menu and left feeling full and satisfied. The staff were fabulous, very friendly and professional.

Date of visit: May 2019
Reviewed April 15, 2019

It is definitely a very high standard Kaiseki meal, both excellent in taste and presentation. You will change your shoes upon entry but they have heated foot rest while you eat. Some not so good Kaiseki restaurant may also have fabulous presentation, rich in color...and shapes. But what is missing behind those dazzling presentation is the scent and taste from the ingredients, which is the true essence of Kaiseki. Kichisen is particularly good at blending the favors from various fresh ingredients and create a perfect combination for a course. That's why the staff will tell you within a course, in what sequence you should take, and in this way, your palate can comprehend the creative transition of flavors the chef tries to deliver. What I found missing in this restaurant is the personal touch. It is not a language or communication barrier. The waiters serve the 14-course lunch one course after another, rigorously and emotionlessly. The patrons eat quietly and only dare to whisper. Perhaps people are just so respectful to the array of framed Michelin 3 star plaques displayed on the counter.More

Date of visit: April 2019
Reviewed April 15, 2019 via mobile

We were greeted at the door from our taxi, ushered into the restaurant where you were asked to remove your shoes. next we were escorted to a private room. Room was simple but had a feel of a traditional dining rooms sans tatami style seating...with a garden view. A three Michelin Star restaurant...however not worth it for the price. We got the chefs omakase menu, with very fresh high quality ingredients. Beautiful artsy presentation, however we found the taste of the menu to be lacking. I completely agree with some of the other reviews of this restaurant, seems like a very traditional kaiseki dining experience. Few of the courses that stood out to me were the toro and fugu. Also hardly any explanation was offered for the food besides a simple one, for example Japanese beans or tuna. We got two pieces of fatty tuna which were excellent but which part of the tuna or what made it special was never explained or what made it different. Which I think would of enhanced the dining experience.More

Date of visit: April 2019
Reviewed March 21, 2019 via mobile

The most stressful meal in Japan . Service:- The service is so hurried. Before you finish each course, the server very hurriedly serves the next course. To add to your stress, they keep asking us if we have finished. Then, 2-3 minutes later, the server...enters the room to ask : “Have you finish?” This is Certainly not Japanese hospitality and can even be classified as RUDE ! Food quality :way below standard. Value: Not worth the money. Please be fair to your customer Ambience and Presentation: Poor Rating: Does not deserve to be called “Kaiseki”More

Date of visit: March 2019
Reviewed March 4, 2019 via mobile

From the time the staff welcomed me at the door till they waved good bye, I felt I was treated like royal. I recommend and so does the staff to arrive in taxi to have the full experience. A staff was specifically waiting for me...outside specifically for me. The taxi driver who brought me there sighed with relief when he saw him waiting there. If you are late, the dinner won’t be served. It is showing respect for the chef who is creating for you. Somehow the driver knew that and did a lot of detours and maneuvers to get me there on time. Much appreciated! As for the meal itself, I had the omakaze and the chef did not disappoint. I kept receiving plates after plates of exquisite food beautifully displayed in beautiful dishes and creations. I was served by the soups chef who spoke English, explained the good and its provenance. The piece of tuna might be still a piece of tuna but where it was caught, how it was preserved and how it displayed makes all the difference. The tuna I ate in sushi all my life was lean; now I now there is a high fat, intermediate fat tuna,.. how can a simple piece of daikon in season can be so exquisite. Next to me was a Japanese man who equally appreciated the feast. I requested to meet the chef at the end. We communicated via the translator app and I told him he was an artist and a genius. We parted with him giving me a folder and a gift that I will cherish forever. You need to reserve via voyagin or your hotel concierge if they have one. Highly recommended!More

Date of visit: March 2019
Reviewed February 17, 2019 via mobile

Iron Chef Tanigawa’s lidded creations of gochiso left a deep imprint of how exquisite each of the courses presented to us. Coupled with undivided attention and service, this Kaiseki experience has been one of the best we had in Japan.

Date of visit: February 2019
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