The multi-course menu at 245 Gion was one of the best meals we had during our two-month trip. Chef Masakazu-san is a jedi kitchen master, trained in Italy, Germany, and Spain.
If you're in Kyoto, go here. But make sure to get a reservation.
The place has comfortable seating around the chef's exhibition kitchen and seats, maybe 8. There's also a private room in the back with one table. And that's it. Chef prepares everything in front of you with the help of one assistant. It's an authentic experience that combines traditional Kyoto flavors, seasonal ingredients, and international inspiration. The food is beautifully presented and incredibly prepared.
On our visit the tasting menu was salmon with shaved frozen pear and nasturtium, grilled black cod with quail egg on a dry ice nest, cold noodles with frozen tomato flakes, root vegetable salad with 4-leaf clover, house made pasta with braised deer, and perfectly roast duck breast with tofu, with a deconstructed apple pie w/ice cream for dessert. For $60.
The guy is only 36 and has mad skills, is super sweet, and runs a world-class restaurant.
We're going back tomorrow.