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“Zen atmosphere but...” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Kikunoi

Kikunoi
Ranked #56 of 12,161 Restaurants in Kyoto
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $27 - $44
Cuisines: Japanese, Asian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Business meetings
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Parking Available, Private Dining, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
East Brunswick, New Jersey
Level Contributor
199 reviews
103 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
“Zen atmosphere but...”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 31, 2013

This was my husband and my first kaiseki dining experience. We left with the feeling of just not getting it. The restaurant and dining experience was zen like. Extremely peaceful and like being transported to another century. But it's also about the food. We just did not like or appreciate most of what we ate. The server was wonderful but did not speak English. At the end of our meal their credit card machine did not work. If it wasn't for an american working in the kitchen I don't know what we would have done.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank StephHorn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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192 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    128
    28
    17
    4
    7
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
676 reviews
342 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 293 helpful votes
“Bigger expectation around this restaurant, but it was a bit disappointing”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 5, 2013

This restaurant is famous in Kyoto for its high quality food and the chef has a name that precede him for creative Japanese cuisine.

However, for me it was a bit disappointing. The quality was good, but not better for instance then our Japanese restaurant at the Hyatt Hotel in Kyoto. Prices were accompanying the name of the chef in high standards and the creative side was fine, but maybe too different for my taste.

The presentation of the dishes were fantastic, very creative.

We tried a menu that was made of 12 small dishes served in sequence by very friendly Japanese waitresses. This system is called kaizeki style. The system was fine for me, but some dishes had really strange texture and taste. And it is not that we didn't try different food before. Maybe it is just that the expectation created by the experience that this restaurant is suppose to provide, where bigger than the real thing.

  • Visited November 2012
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank JuPereira
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
92 reviews
57 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“Over-rated, sadly disappointing.m”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 19, 2013 via mobile

I have had genuine kaiseki before and was callenged by it, but thoroughly enjoyed it. So I approached this dinner with great hopes and anticipation, only to be diappointed, especially since I also wasted a night in Kyoto. This establishment is subpar for many reasons.

Our server was very nice but served in a casual manner, not worthy of such a highly esteemed concept/ restaurant.

Presentation was subpar. Food selection was poor, highly repetitive, amateurish, presented haphazardly, not elegantly, as it should have been.

The food was largely cold. It was as if someone made up a bento box earlier in the day. The same fish showed up three diferent times, as did one particular mushroom, which was amazingly flavorless. Are they no longer wild and now being farmed? Are the being inadequately sourced? What should have been a special treat, sadly was not. The vegetables all made repetitive appearances as well. No variety, little imagination.

When they put a hot pot in front of me and told me to cook me own dish, I was left impressed. It is not often that I can go to a 'geat' chef's table and asked to cook my own food.

The room itself was very nice, but the lovely table was badly disfigued and should have been replaced long ago. There was a boisterous party underway, whose presence did disrupt the atmosphere of our meal. If I wanted to eat at a bar, I would have chosen accordingly.
An appology was tendered, but it was quite unsatisfactory.

I really enjoy a great food experience. Although they are said to have 3 Michelin stars, this institution did not deliver. They have been reading their press clippings and ignoring business too long. A gracious smile only goes so far, but here no where far enough.

Would not recommend this restaurant. They owe their customers an earnest apology.

Helpful?
5 Thank harryruby
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
84 reviews
60 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Top of the charts”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 18, 2013 via mobile

Kikunoi is an absolute indulgent culinary experience. It is comparable to a 5 star kitchen table dinner in the states. Our hostesses were very nice and efficient. They almost anticipate your needs. We loved the house sake and we chose the 11 course dinner. It was expensive but well worth the price. Each course was artistically presented and the flavors were wonderful. Diners should be open to lots of different fish and ingredients. Not for picky eaters. We loved the explanations that came with each selection. Our menu reflected Fall,it's colors, flavors, and ingredients. This was a very special evening that we will treasure.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank campceo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Wonderful experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 19, 2013 via mobile

Had lunch as it is a bit cheaper than dinner. The restaurant is located in a quiet cul-de-sac and very traditional old building.
We were sat in a lovely tatami room with a view over the front yard. The ceiling is marvellously handicrafted and floors creaky in a cosy way.
The courses arrived promptly and with through description of the creation process. Each course was a delight to all senses. Very fresh and carefully selected ingredients as one would expect.

This is not budget eating but a real experience to try!

  • Visited July 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank TravelingJaakko
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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