Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Review: Issian, Kyoto

I'd never tried Ishiyaki (hot stone grill) before but we were in a small ryokan near Kyoto Station and wanted some real food after endless nights on the drink in Osaka. This place was quiet and lovely despite the touristy area, being in a small back street helped with the local feel. We discovered later that Issian is actually a chain restaurant after we drunkenly stumbled into one in Kobe though the Sannomiya branch was not cleaned as thoroughly and the burning fat made the air so smokey I couldn't actually stay.

This was a wonderful night out though, something really different and memorable for the boy and I to share together. Highly recommended.

Firstly you choose your meats and side dishes, and then the staff grill them for you. We got into trouble for trying to cook our own meat and they kept rushing over to help us.

Apple Chu-hai 430 Yen, Seasonings and the ever present washcloth

Cabbage Salad - complementary with service

Hiyya yakko 390 Yen and Potato Salad 190 Yen

Chicken livers 390 Yen and Tuna Belly 490 Yen

Sadly the chicken livers were really not very good quality and I couldn't actually finish them despite my love of liver and a table full of condiments. The tuna belly however was wonderfully fresh and that meaty quality that I love so well. Mixed with some citrus soy sauce and it was divine.

Pirakara no Tsukune - Spicey chicken meatballs 790 Yen

Oh god, these were so mouthwateringly good that we started fighting over them while they were still cooking and drunkenly ordered another 3 rounds.

Hiden no tsukune 690 Yen

'original' chicken meatballs being dished out

Both spicey and original once cooked

This photo is to remind me that my love of Ume Shu does not extend to "Kokuto" which tastes like someone left burnt sugar in the glass before pouring the wine.

Ishiyaki Issian - Kyoto Eki
From the Station Walk across the road past the Kyoto Tower Hotel, take the second right it is on the corner. There is a sign that reads "We have English menus!" that should be hard to miss.

Dinner 17:30~24:00
Full service bar, no booking required
Visa, Amex accepted, staff speak some English

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