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Sep 1, 2007 04:29 PM

Trying to remember a kaiseki restaurant in Kyoto... Misougawa? Anyone know it?

In 2001, my father and I spent several days in Kyoto and the highlight of our trip was a kaiseki restaurant. In my notebooks, I have the name of the place written down as "Misougawa"

It was a French/Japanese fusion dinner, and my dad and I were perhaps the only gaijin in the place. The restaurant was located off a pedestrian mall next to the Kamo? river... The cab driver dropped us off two blocks away and told us where to find the virtually unmarked front door.

The food was an excellent fusion of French and Japanese... I remember a lot of cream-based soups and interesting seafood presentation. The chef himself came out to talk with us, and told us about his wine-tasting forays through the south of France.

For the life of me, I cannot remember the name of this place. I've lost the box of credit card receipts, so I can't track it down that way. Can anyone help? Does this ring a bell with anyone local?

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    1. re: EMiller

      That's it! Thank you so much! I've been trying to remember the name of this place for years.

      Astonishingly good food, and a gracious chef, as I recall.

    2. Hi Detroit Slim,

      May I ask how much you spent there ? I am thinking about whether going there or Hyotei.

      2 Replies
      1. re: skylineR33

        I honestly don't remember. I was there in April 2001, and I can't find my credit card receipt, which is why I had to ask if anyone knew the name.

        At the time, it was the priciest dinner I'd ever paid for (a record which has been broken twice since). I think it was in the $300-$350 USD range. I don't think there was a bottle of wine added in to that total, but I could be wrong. Or maybe there was a bottle of wine, but no matched wine pairings.

        The dinner, though, is something my dad and I still talk about six years later. The food was exquisite, and so was the experience. My dad had found it on the internet, but neither of us knew what to expect. The hotel concierge had to bring the cab driver to the phone to give him directions, and in turn, he had to give us directions to their front door. We showed up in tennis shoes and sweatshirts, couldn't have been more out of place, but the staff was (as one would expect) unfailingly polite and quite interested in what we thought of the restaurant. We could hear a number of boisterous Japanese dinners behind all the shoji... but we never saw a single customer.

        I still remember a pumpkin-infused creamy soup with some whitefish, and another extremely flaky whitefish for a main course. The chef came out to visit with us after dinner, and his first question was "how did you find this restaurant?" The only waitress who could translate was a girl from Argentina who was studying Japanese, and English was her 3rd language... but that was all part of the charm.

        I know nothing at all about Hyotei, but Misogui-Gawa was worth the price-tag.

        1. re: Detroit Slim

          Wow, it sounds very interesting... I am just trying to decide whether I should go to a traditional Keisaki or this french influence one.

          Did you recall whether you make the resevation through email or phone call ? I wonder if I need to make a reservation a few weeks in advance and hopefull I will be able to find the place since I only have 2 days in Kyoto ...

          Thanks for the info !