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Kyoto – Savouring Yuba 湯葉 at こ豆や Komameya

こ豆や Komameya Yuba RestaurantEating in Kyoto offers a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of Japan’s former capital. Some local delicacies that you should try include Yudofu (tofu boiled in clear broth), Kaiseki (traditional Japanese multi-course haute cuisine), Shojin ryori (cuisine of the Japanese Buddhist monks), Kyo-wagashi (Kyoto sweets) and Yuba (soy-bean skin).

こ豆や Komameya Yuba RestaurantYuba 湯葉 is one of the main ingredients of Shojin ryori, and is also nutritious with high protein content. Yuba can be served raw or cooked in various ways, from appetizers, soups, desserts and even as vegetarian meat. At Komameya (‘little bean shop’), a yuba restaurant by Kyoto yuba maker Ueda Yuba Company, you can savour savor interesting dishes made with freshly-made yuba. This is also one of the few places in Kyoto that serves yuba made from black soy beans (kuromame) and green soy beans (edamame).

こ豆や Komameya Yuba RestaurantKomameya has two branches in Kyoto. I visited the Nishiki branch for dinner. It is not that easy to spot as it is located on the third floor of a building. The best landmark around would be Ippudo Ramen two buildings away.

こ豆や Komameya Yuba RestaurantThe restaurant was cosy and perfect to spend a leisurely meal at.

こ豆や Komameya Yuba RestaurantKomameya serves a-la-carte dishes as well as set courses for lunch and dinner. I went for the 雪 Yuki Course consisting 10 dishes (it is a sizable feast for ladies).

こ豆や Komameya Yuba RestaurantWatching the chefs at work. Such seriousness.

Tofu is especially famous in Kyoto for a few reasons – the city’s large number of underground springs provide excellent water quality for making tofu from good quality soybeans grown locally. Moreover, the tofu-making tradition has been passed down from generation to generation in Kyoto and the competition is fierce to keep up with other shops. Finally, the demand for vegetarian food is large from the priests living in the many temples in Kyoto. Tofu will thus remain an integral part of Kyoto.

こ豆や Komameya Yuba RestaurantI ordered an unsweetened soy bean drink to start with.

こ豆や Komameya Yuba RestaurantThe appetizer trio of black sesame bean curd and fried soy bean balls was a good start to work up an appetite for dinner.

こ豆や Komameya Yuba RestaurantYuba ‘sashimi’

Yuba is made by simmering soy milk in a large, rectangular pan. As the soy milk boils, the thin, delicate film that forms on the surface and scooped up is yuba (See how it is made here). Asians would be familiar with this in its dried form as beancurd sticks (腐竹 fu zhu). When served fresh, you can dip it with a little soy sauce if desired. I prefer to savour as-is.

If you are there with friends, you can also order the yuba pot and try making it yourself. Otherwise order a-la-carte dishes instead of the set course, else there will be too much food.

こ豆や Komameya Yuba RestaurantAn odd combination, but I loved the mashed soy bean curd with olive oil.

こ豆や Komameya Yuba RestaurantInstead of the usual miso soup, the clear yuba broth with citrus was refreshing.

こ豆や Komameya Yuba RestaurantThe only meat dish was grilled fish with yuba and cheese.

こ豆や Komameya Yuba RestaurantThis dish of yamaimo (mountain potato), atsuage (fried tofu pocket), and grilled yuba reminded me of oden.

こ豆や Komameya Yuba RestaurantBraised black soy bean yuba with golden mushroom, garnished with flower petals.

こ豆や Komameya Yuba RestaurantThe fried yuba was delish!

こ豆や Komameya Yuba RestaurantThe final savoury dish was Kumiage Yuba-don, a rice bowl covered with smooth soy milk yuba and a raw egg. Not a single grain of rice was left behind.

こ豆や Komameya Yuba RestaurantFinally, dessert was matcha soy bean pudding (which reminded me of panna cotta), topped with a piece of fried yuba.

I enjoyed my meal tremendously. It was mind-blowing to see yuba prepared in so many different and delicious ways, and at a wallet-friendly price. I look forward to visiting again the next time I am in Kyoto, and to check out other yuba restaurants in the city.

こまめや Komameya

Nishiki Outlet
Address:
3F, Libertas Nishiki-koji Bldg. Nishiki-koji, Higashi-no-Toin higashi iru, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto
〒604-8127 京都市中京区錦小路東洞院東入る西魚屋町619 リベルタス錦小路3階
Tel: +81-75-221-7300
Webpage: http://www.ueda-yuba.co.jp/komameya_fifes/nishiki/nishiki.html
– 3 minute walk from Shijo subway and Karasuma train stations
– immediately west of Kyoto Daimaru Dept. Store north entrance
– 50 metres west of Nishiki Market west entrance
– 5-min walk from Karasuma Station on Hankyu Kyoto Line, or 5-min walk from Shijo Station on Metro Karasuma Line
Opening Hours: Lunch 11:30am-2.30pm; Dinner 5.30pm-10pm
Closed on Wednesdays

Nijo Outlet 二条店
Address: 〒604-8381 京都市中京区西ノ京職司町8-1
Tel: +81-75-812-3717
– About 2-min walk from Nijo Station 二条駅
Opening Hours: Lunch 11:30am-2.30pm; Dinner 5.30pm-10pm
Closed on Mondays dinner and Wednesdays

Lunch set course (a la carte available)
Yuba set course JPY2,000
Komame-ya set course JPY3,000
Dinner set course (a la carte available)
Yuki set course JPY3,500
Tsuki set course JPY5,000
Hana set course JPY7,000

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Stressed x Dessert

20130811-215348.jpgHad a lovely meal at Jamie’s Italian, the Brit chef’s new restaurant in Singapore.
Dessert was especially good, and made me jolly. More about the restaurant soon… xoxo


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For the love of fish – Fish Mart Sakuraya

Fish Mart Sakuraya

Two of my super fave foods – uni and ikura!

Ever since getting injured, mum has been feeding me fish everyday to ensure that I heal well. I got a bit sick of having steamed fish everyday, so I decided to show her my kind of fish :)

Fish Mart Sakuraya

Fish Mart Sakuraya @ Parkway Parade
This shop is a little gem located in a neighbourhood mall which I will go to to satisfy my sashimi cravings. It looks like a typical Japanese grocery store selling imported Japanese snacks, frozen food, fresh fish and sauces from the shopfront, go to the back and you will find a restaurant area where you can have your selected seafood freshly prepared by the chefs. The restaurant is highly popular with patrons who go there specially for their sashimi.

Fish Mart Sakuraya

The attractive display of the day’s catch has already set my tastebuds salivating.

Fish Mart Sakuraya

Fresh Sashimi – Take your pick
Pick your sashimi from this counter and ask the chef to prepare it for you on the spot. I like being able to choose my fish since I don’t eat some fish, just too fishy for me. Tuesdays and Fridays – these are the two days that Sakuraya Fish Market gets their fish freshly delivered to their outlet, so are also the best days to visit. Just don’t get too carried away when selecting – you can end with a super huge platter and a hefty bill!

Fish Mart Sakuraya

Asari Miso Soup
These clams have to be fresh to have a sweet soup taste

Fish Mart Sakuraya

Fried Kaki
The only sinful indulgence of the day

Fish Mart Sakuraya

My favourite – stinky Natto Maki

Fish Mart Sakuraya

California Maki

Fish Mart Sakuraya

And the star of the day – Sashimi Platter
I had the ika squid (crunchy), salmon belly (melts in your mouth) and mekajiki (so creamy and good). Any fresher and you will have to fish them yourself. Mmmmmm, craving satisfied :) I wanted the ootoro as well, but mum shot me a killer stare, hee.

We had a good meal, and the fish were as fresh as expected. Cooked food-wise, it was normal and nothing to complain about. The meal wasn’t budget, but definitely value for money. I’m already craving for another bowl of uni and ikura don. Yuuuuuummm, oishi ne!

Fish Mart Sakuraya
Parkway Parade
80 Marine Parade Road #B1-84D Parkway Parade
Singapore 449269
Tel: +65 6345 4714
Opening Hours: 11:00AM – 9:30PM (Mon-Thu, Sun & P.H.); 11:00am-10:00pm (Fri & Sat)

West Coast Plaza
154 West Coast Road #B1-50/51/52 West Coast Plaza
Singapore 127371
Tel: +65 6773 6973
Opening Hours: 11:00AM – 10:00PM