Kinugasa Zen | Nishijin District – Kyoto

Kinugasa Zen entrance
Kinugasa Zen entrance

Close to the Kinkaku-ji temple (a beautiful golden one, hard to miss :)) you will find this very honest restaurant: Kinugasa Zen. I say honest because you can have a good and tasty meal for a ridiculous amount of money (A$18 – for two people.)

They claim to home-make their own udon noodles, which is fantastic to be honest. Tasty broth and many tempura options to go with your udon. In case you are not a deep fried food fan (like me) you can get the raw egg udon too, exactly the one I’ll show below.

My order

For our meals, Hubby’s tried some udon with chicken tempura (very adventurous, as usual) and I decided to go with something less greasy:

  • Mine: Atsutama Bukkare Udon – with a raw egg.
  • Hubby: Tokiten Bukkare Udon – with chicken tempura.
Atsutama bukkare udon
Atsutama bukkare udon
Atsutama bukkare udon - with broth
Atsutama bukkare udon – with broth
Tokiten Bukkare udon
Tokiten Bukkare udon

In case you are worried about the raw egg, as the broth is extremely hot, as soon as you add it to your bowl and mix the egg in, it will cook perfectly! So, forget the fear and go for it. 🙂

Turning to the tempura, despite being deep fried, it’s not greasy at all. And according to hubby, after adding the broth, its crunchiness gave the dish a special texture. Of course, this is not gluten free and I don’t remember seeing any option on their menu.

The verdict

For that price and food quality, I would totally recommend. There are no many restaurant options in that area, the few ones are close to the temple and packed with tourists. If you want something more traditional and quiet, go there and you will not regret.

About the English: English menu available and staff can communicate a little in English.

Bill: $1510 Yen (A$18) – no drinks.

Exact location:

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