Yoshikawa Ryokan Inn with just nine rooms and Tempura Yoshikawa Restaurant are at the same location in the old exclusive districts of Kyoto. The former capital of Japan is filled with small traditional inns called ryokan, many of which are family run and hundreds of years old.
Yoshikawa is a good example of a ryokan featuring tatami rooms, kaiseki dinners, and traditional Japanese tea ceremony services. Just as the name says Tempura Yoshikawa is most famous for its tempura.
You can choose to sit and eat around a small counter seating only twelve persons and observe the chefs at work or have a private dinner in a tatami sunken room with lovely garden views. At Yoshikawa you choose between a number of set menus of either only tempura or combined with the Kyoto style traditional Kaiseki cuisine. We recommend going with the only tempura menu. The Kaiseki cuisine is made in a more interesting and tasteful way at several other restaurants in Kyoto.
There are several types of tempura, like the kakiage that is sliced vegetables and sometime seafood that is mixed together with tempura batter and deep fried. With tempura, usually the items are battered and deep fried individually. Most of the tempura served is delicious, but the traditional Kaiseki dishes have several examples where they are just too blend and slimy, and not good at all.
It is expensive to dine at Tempura Yoshikawa if you choose a tatami with one of the bigger mixed menus and it is not worth it compared to what you will have and how it tastes. Skip the most extensive menus and the tatami sunken and make a reservation at the counter with only tempura made right in front of you to get the best out of Tempura Yoshikawa.
Written by Andy