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Tempura Endo Yasaka Gion Kyoto – tempura in an old teahouse in Kyoto

Tempura Endo Yasaka Gion Kyoto (京都祇園天ぷら八坂圓堂) is a famous tempura restaurant in the centre of the old Kyoto City. It is a convenient place for lunch as it is walking distance to several “must-see” Kyoto historic places such as the Kenninji Temple and the Yasaka Pagoda. According to the website, Tempura Endo Yasaka is located in a house which was originally a teahouse where geiko and maiko lived.

Tempura Endo Yasaka Gion Kyoto -
Tempura Endo Yasaka Gion Kyoto

The house of Tempura Endo Yasaka certainly looks old and interesting. But we did not have a chance to wander around. Apart from the good reviews and location, another reason we selected this tempura restaurant was because it has a direct online reservation system. This made it easy without going through the hotel concierge or third party reservation sites.

View of garden from tempura bar ozashiki

At the time of making a reservation, there was an option of the regular tempura bar that seats 16 guests or the tempura bar ozashiki that seats only 8. We chose the latter as it is a seating style that we have not tried before. The tempura bar ozashiki is situated in a small tatami mat room of the house with a nice garden outside. The counter is lower than usual as we sit on the tatami mat. The other side of the counter where the cooking takes place is sunken into the ground. The result is that the standing chef is at the same level as the seated guests. We had good seats just next to the fryer with a copper hood.

As it was a small intimate area, we refrained from taking pictures of the full bar as that would entail sticking the camera in the faces of our neighbouring diners.

Tempura Endo Yasaka Gion Kyoto

The tempura sauce and salt were laid out once we were seated. We ordered some Asahi beer for a start. We had placed our orders at the time of the online booking. There were two options – the “Gion” tempura course and the “Aoi” course (prices – JPY 8,500 and JPY 5,500 before tax respectively). We selected the latter.

Tempura Course “Aoi” at Tempura Endo Yasaka Gion/Kyoto

Here is the list of the items served as part of the tempura course Aoi.

Sakizuke Appetizer and 13 Pieces of Seasonal Tempura
(3 Endo Specials)
(3 Prawn)
(3 Seafood)
(3 Kyoto/Seasonal/Western Vegetables)
(1 Prawn Stuffed Shiitake Mushroom)
Palate-Cleanser(Endo’s Special Salad)
Rice Dish(Tendon (tempura over rice) or 
Rice with Kakiage Tempura)
(Red miso soup)
(Pickles)
Dessert

The meal started with an appetizer, followed by the tempura items. At this stage, I lost track of the individual items. It was one after another. We ate at an easy pace. The chef tracked our progress and ensured that our next piece arrived just in time. The batter was light and dry. The seafood items were the best with the vegetable items close behind.

Tempura Endo Yasaka Gion Kyoto
    
Prawn Stuffed Shiitake Mushroom

We switched to sake halfway through the course. I cannot recall the prices of drinks but they were reasonable.

The server came around with the rice menu when the tempura course was near its end. We could choose the type of rice course to have at the end of the meal. There were three choices – tencha, tendon and osoroi. We selected the tencha and osoroi.

Rice course options
    

After one and a half hours of tempura, dessert was served. It was a kind of simple sherbet. All good things must come to an end. Soon we would be wondering around the narrow streets of the old Kyoto town. Lunch at Tempura Endo Yasaka Gion Kyoto was a great experience.

Ratings:
Food: 4
Service: 4
Value: 3
Atmosphere: 4
Overall Rating: 4 TOPs 4 tops

Tempura Endo Yasaka Gion Kyoto
566 Komatsu-cho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto Japan 605-0811
京都府京都市東山区八坂通東大路西入ル小松町566
 Tel: 075-5511488


Lunch 11:30~15:00
Dinner 17:00~22:00

Website

The Ordinary Patrons | Real Dining Experience of Ordinary People
an independent Singapore food blog

Inconsistency itself breeds vitality.
Inconsistency itself breeds vitality. – Kenzo Tange
    

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