For a great traditional kaiseki experience, I'd highly recommend Kichisen. The staff is super friendly, including to foreigners, which I heard wasn't necessarily the case with other top tier kaiseki restaurants in Kyoto.
We dined at the counter, and the chef gave us a ton of attention, taking time to explain each dish to us. This really added to the whole dining experience.
When you arrive at the restaurant, a restaurant staff member is there to greet you as you get out of your car. You're then welcomed in, and invited to take off your shoes. You're then led to your room, and that's when your dining adventure begins.
The meal is expensive (we went for the 23,000 yen/person kaiseki menu), but worth it if you want a once-in-a-lifetime true kaiseki experience.
Our menu consisted of:
1) Sweet rice wine sorbet served on a Japanese rose petal
2) Welcome sake
3) Yamogi (seasonal Japanese vegetables) and sesame tofu dumpling with fresh uni. This dish was delicious. The uni was incredibly creamy, and dumpling was savory and refreshing.
4) Green peas and micro tomatoes. I've never seen tomatoes the size of a single green pea before. It was really sweet.
5) Hammo sea eel and Japanese plum with yuzu flower in dashi broth
6) Sashimi course: Sea bream, shrimp, squid, toro belly, and pickled clam with tobigo. Served with a shot of sour seaweed and ginger
7) Toro cheek with daikon radish
8) Red bean mochi rice with black bean
9) Tofu with river vegetables
10) Seasonal vegetables with sea bream eggs, and fish cake
11) Baby potato with Shitake mushroom in beef soup and yuzu
12) Grilled waygu beef and pineapple on hot stone
13) Japanese pickles with baby anchovy rice
14) Dessert #1: Orange panna cotta with jelly bubbles and flower petals, served with coffee-scented fog
15) Dessert #2: Red bean mochi
16) Dessert #3: Fresh strawberries, gooseberries, and cherries
17) Matcha tea
18) Roasted smokey barley tea
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