KAISEKI | 祇園 にしかわ (Gion Nishikawa)

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Yet another enjoyable meal, and again a young rising star. Nishikawa-san (西川正芳), now 38, opened his shop in Gion at the young age of 33 after being trained at the renowned 祇園さゝ木 and honed his skills at 祗園花霞. Being third generation from a family that runs mountain ryokan which specialised in personally hunted ‘Kuma’ nabe, the chef obviously knows a thing or two about rare natural ingredients and in fact has been expressing them very well. From shirako tofu, sumiyaki suppon to a platter of rare goodies from the sea which was perfect to go with sake, it was indeed another climax even after a very high standard lunch at Nanba-san’s. Dish of the night award goes to the smoked Nodoguro with shitake mushroom … While the fish was a recurrent theme from lunch, the smokiness as well as the ‘mariage’ with the mushroom just brought this one to yet another level. As we get a bit tired with all the starred-sushi chef in town in a few years time, Kaiseki, or Kyo-ryori as they called it here in Kyoto, is certainly going to be the next big thing to come. Stay tuned!

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