Tuesday night we decided to take Mum and Ted to our favourite little brewery and also our favourite yakitori place in Fushimi, a district in Kyoto famous for it’s sake. We jumped in a cab and set off for Fujioka, or Bar En. This brewery is so aesthetically amazing, I would visit even if the sake was not wonderful. It is wonderful and it is very small batch and specialised and our experience here was so good that we managed to influence Mum and Ted’s impression of sake. They were suitably impressed and really enjoyed not just the amazing sake, but also the incredible hospitality, the beautiful environment and the quick lesson in rice polishing ratios. I am not going to go into more detail, as Super Sake Boy is writing a guest blog, as we speak, about this very special place.
We walked from Fujioka through the beautiful streets of Fushimi to reach Torisei, a restaurant we had literally stumbled across the last time we were in Kyoto. You can read about our previous experience of the place here. Just for a quick background, this place has been opened, in an old brewery building, since 1966. It is super cool, very Showa Period (retro) and they serve an amazing namagenshu by the glass, that sits in the middle of the room in an enormous stainless vat, covered in condensation.
We waited for a table, which is very worthwhile here, and then sat at the table next to the one we sat the year before. The friendly, izayaka atmosphere made Mum and Ted feel very at home, the draft beer, the smoking room, the friendly strangers in the smoking room, it had all the things that they have been enjoying in Japan. Well, some of the things, I think they enjoyed everything in Japan.
We ordered a whole bunch of yakitori to share, as well as some oyakadon, chicken and egg stew on rice, which I knew my mum would love, and some drinks and I promptly forgot, as I did last time, to get photographic evidence of this incredible feast. Both times I have been so intent on eating the food, I forget to document the experience. It was seriously yummy… the camembert wrapped in bacon and cooked on the charcoal was a standout. Also the renkon (lotus root) stuffed with seasoned chicken mince, on a stick, on charcoal… yakitori is quite possibly my favourite Japanese food, or is it ramen, or tataki, or everything else in this country. I LOVE JAPAN.
Read more about Torisei Honten, including directions and photos by people who were patient enough to take them before they ate everything here.