Kyoto Garden Sushi – a seafood experience like no other

by Karisa

Last week I had the absolute pleasure of doing pretty much a full menu sampling over at Kyoto Garden Sushi.  No don’t let the name fool you, this is way more than your average sushi restaurant.  This is a seafood destination… Japanese fine dining at its best… and nothing short of an amazing experience.

On the menu you’ll spot things like sea urchin, farmed abalone, conch from Mozambique, giant Alaskan king crab, Japanese-style oysters, scallops, prawns, tender sweet squid, and fresh wasabi root.  It’s basically a chance for you to try a whole host of things you wont likely find anywhere else.  Another great thing is that their menu is LCHF/Banting/Paleo friendly and vegetarians & pescetarians have plenty of options to choose from as well.

The restaurant is beautiful with a soft, zen feel (even the bathrooms are an experience).  The decor is simple, yet striking and the ambience is cosy and quite romantic.  (I did joke that I’ll be suggesting this as my preferred spot to suss out any new dating potential from now on. 😉 )

Let me give you a quick tour:

Oh and as an added bonus, they also have this gorgeous private dining room which is perfect for birthdays or any other special occasion.  And get this, there’s absolutely NO EXTRA CHARGE to book this room:

And I think your next birthday dinner is sorted folks…

The wine list is excellent, but their Japanese inspired cocktail menu is an absolute must.  We kicked things off with the following:

On the left you have the Ginger Mizuwari and on the right the Dirty Ninja… both deliciously wicked…

After we were all settled in, owner Scott took my friend D and I on a food journey we’re likely going to be raving about for quite some time.  Things started with these beauties:

Clockwise from top left: Japanese style Yellowfin ceviche, edamame, Rice Paper Rolls with Langoustines and Prawns & oysters done 3 ways.

That ceviche was out of this world (hands down best ceviche I’ve ever had), the edamame was crunchy & fresh, the prawn wraps were delicious (especially with that dipping sauce) and the oysters… well I don’t do oysters, but D confirmed that they were some of the best he’s had in a very long time.  So yes, we were off to a fantastic start.  Next up:

Clockwise from top left: tuna tartare, tempura tofu in a light soy dipping sauce, “The Sea” (Prawns, clams, octopus, mussel, scallops and seaweed, in a clear broth), Miso with Scallops Tempura

That tuna tempera might not look like much, but it has a lovely wasabi & light soy flavour and you’ll absolutely love it, trust me.  Then I was really surprised at how much I enjoyed that tempura tofu.  I’ve tried tofu before and absolutely hated it because of it’s weird texture, but this was really lovely.  I don’t know how they do it, but they get a high 5 from me and I would actually happily order that again.  “The Sea” I left to D again, because I’m not really a fan of anything that comes in a shell, but judging from the noises he made as he was digging into that bowl, I’d say he quite enjoyed that one.  The tempura scallop miso was another hit.  Again, I’m usually not a fan of miso soup, but this was packed with flavour.

Oh and we’re still going:

On the left: scallop sashimi; On the right: the garden sushi roll

That scallop sashimi was everything (and I mean everything), and I will admit, buy the time we finally dug into a more traditional rice based sushi roll, I had actually forgotten that they have the word “Sushi” in their name.  The roll was fresh and tasty and their homemade wasabi will blow you away (in a really hot, but really good way).

Next up we also tried the seared tuna (a dish that came highly recommended on Twitter):

I found it a bit salty, but D thought it was perfection. So that’s probably just me. The tuna was beautiful quality though and so tender, and that side dish of veggies it came with was delicious.

Now I won’t lie, the idea of Japanese desserts didn’t have me too excited, but I was glad that Scott encouraged us to try some because I literally wanted to lick these two plates clean:

On the left: Green Tea Crepe with Green Tea Ice Cream; On the right: Cherry Blossom Ice Cream and Chocolate

Over and above a selection of sakes, for the whiskey lovers out there, Kyoto also has a selection of rare & international award-winning Japanese Whiskeys.  If you want to spoil yourself with something extra special, do give their whiskey offering a try:

Gorgeous bottles, no?

Now as one would expect, dishes like the ones you saw above don’t come cheap.  We’re talking costly, completely fresh ingredients though, so I think you have to just put price aside and see this as a culinary gift to yourself.   Just as a guide – starters range from R65 to R115, mains from R95 – R195, and sushi from R45 to R90 for 2 pieces & R60 to R120 for 4 pieces.

I would highly recommend Kyoto Garden Sushi if you’ve been wanting to experience something completely different.  For their uniqueness and careful attention to detail along with the most interesting flavours I’ve tasted in a while, I’m going to give Kyoto a top score of  on the Miss K Kiss-o-Meter scale.

Wanna try them out for yourselves?

You’ll find them at: 11 Kloof Nek Road, Gardens (about 2 doors down from Rafikis, across the road from Mooi Hair & Beauty Salon)
They’re open:  Monday to Saturday 17:30 – 23:00 (closed on Sundays)
And for reservations, you can call them on:  021 422 2001

A BIG thank you to Scott and his team.  This really was an incredible night out.



Bobby Sep 18, 2014 - 10:47 am

Gonna have to take my good lady and mom to this spot!! Thanks for sharing

Karisa Sep 18, 2014 - 11:00 am

Good thinking

Gugu_A1 Sep 30, 2014 - 1:02 am

5 kisses, wow I am adding this to my list.

Karisa Sep 30, 2014 - 10:01 am

It’s definitely an experience 🙂


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