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“A Fun Once-In-a-Lifetime Kaiseki Experience”
Review of Kichisen

Ranked #543 of 15,425 Restaurants in Kyoto
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Japanese
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Neighborhood: City Center
Reviewed May 29, 2018

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

    • Value
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1  Thank nycbos8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 21, 2018 via mobile

Booked this restaurant a month ago Thru my hotel.

It is a good experience to taste true japanese kaiseki meal.

It comes with 14 courses at 28000 yen person. Each course is quite special and unique.

I would recommend to come once if u happen going to Kyoto.

1  Thank Carly L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 20, 2017

Kichisen was not our first choice in Kyoto but since we had not managed to get reservations at two other places we were glad to be able to book it for lunch. I specifically wanted a traditional Kaiseki meal –something more conventional than the excellent Ryugin in Tokyo – and that’s what we got. I am not able to compare it to other top Kaiseki restaurants in Kyoto, but we were certainly not disappointed. The lunch menu we had chosen was more limited in scope than the Chef’s omakase (twice as expensive), but it was still very good and beautifully presented. It is worth reading a bit about kaiseki before you go as you can understand and appreciate it more. Kichisen has 3 Michelin stars and I can imagine that for some people it may not be in the same league as the best 3-star international restaurants one is used to e.g. in Europe. But judged on its own terms and in the proper context it delivers exactly what it should. The whole experience (taking one’s shoes off, seating at the counter, the progression of dishes, sake, courses resembling still-life decorated with autumn leaves) was definitely worth it and offered a glimpse into an important part of Japan’s culinary culture.

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Thank Thomas077
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 19, 2017

Everything about this restaurant is about attention to detail - from the moment you arrive to the preparation and presentation of the food. It was an amazing experience but be prepared for the amount of food and the period of time you are there. This is all part of the experience as is hearing the chefs in the kitchen and appropriate waiting time as each course is freshly prepared. Given the cost - it needs to be a special dinner for you. The presentation of the food is amazing. It is a chefs menu.

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Thank Jackie J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 13, 2017

Over ten dishes which cooked with seasonal ingredients, the presentations and flavors wowed us so much.
Chefs introduced every dish and service was decent. The downside was no music and heard the cooking and washing sounds (We sat by the bar table).

    • Value
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Thank CrystalMaldini
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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