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Aug 2, 2012 05:14 PM

Kyoto - Yamashita (#1 on tabelog for seafood)

Yamashita is rated #1 on tabelog for seafood and the pics look amazing. Anyone been or know about it? I can't find anything about it in English....

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  1. Yamashita is great. And not too expensive. You may need to wait a while for a reservation, and they are closed Mondays.

    11 Replies
    1. re: edozanmai

      Thanks so much edozamai. We are seafood fiends but alas do not speak Japanese. Is everything a la carte there?

      1. re: edozanmai

        Also - sorry to be a pest, but there is another grilled seafood place that looks awesome but I can't even figure out the name for. (Google translate calls it "And your AGI"). The phone number is 075-344-8065 and the address is: Kyoto Kyoto Shimogyo on Article 55, 592-3 Le Fukakusa town hospital through Higashibora. Tried googling the phone number but can't find anything in English. Anyone have any idea what this place is? Thanks so much!

        1. re: The Cookbook Addict

          No idea how that shop name or address have been rendered into English, but their Tabelog site is and the shop is called Agiyao. Neither of these places are exclusively grilled seafood. They are general seafood cuisine restaurants. Yamashita has three price tiered course options. Agiyao is a la carte. You can probably ask them to do a course for you though as the menu is hand written daily and not translated. I would call ahead and book if you're planning to dine at one/both.

          1. re: Silverjay

            Thanks, Silverjay! Google translate is very funny sometimes....I am definitely going to try to book one of these.

            1. re: Silverjay

              When I have been to Yamashita, if it is indeed the same one you are thinking of, there is nothing in the way of a course menu: everything is as you order. And from what I could determine, there was not much, if any, English spoken or understood.
              Yamashita offers mostly seafood, cooked an not, in a kappo style setting; ie, you sit at the counter and order and eat. I think the banter between the diners and the staff behind the counter really add a lot to the meal, and to the restaurant's rating.

              1. re: edozanmai

                Says there are three courses to choose from for lunch and for dinner- . Most of the kuchikomi reviews recount the courses. Some people do order a la carte as well.

                1. re: Silverjay

                  Thanks again. We're going to be staying at a small hotel that has a really terrific staff (Hotel Mume) and I've emailed to ask them to see if they can book us a resy and pre-arrange what we're going to have. They've done the same for us at a few other places where no English is spoken. We're ok with pointing, nodding and eating whatever is served. :-)

                  There's a kushiage place in Kyoto that also looks great on tabelog (I'm thinking we'll need a break from all of the kaiseki and seafood at some point). The phone number is 075-222-0054. They're rated #1 for kushiage but I can't make heads or tails of the name. Would be super grateful if anyone had any ideas...

                  1. re: The Cookbook Addict

                    Kushi Tanaka....Yes, that's a good idea for making restaurant arrangements. Don't forget to get sake recs as well!

                  2. re: Silverjay

                    In case anyone else is interested in Yamashita -- My hotel called and confirmed that, as Silverjay wrote, they do have 3 set courses (9,000, 11,000 or 13,000 yen plus 5% service) or a la carte. They do not speak English but they have an English menu and have had some guests from overseas. If we end up going, I'll definitely report.

                    1. re: Silverjay

                      They have set menus or you can just ask Yamashita-san, who's a classic old-school tencho what's good that day. Note, however, that it can be expensive if you go whole hog, like we did. But it was very good, great atmosphere.

                    2. re: edozanmai

                      Edozanmai, thanks for weighing in. We might give it a shot even if it will be a little awkward...Any favorite dishes you can recommend? From the pics it looks like a lot of people get grilled oysters, crab (not sure if they'll have any crab in early September?), some kind of soup with dumplings in it that google translate calls "duck buns", grilled eel and tempura. Also seem to be some kind of seafood-flavored rice dishes, not sure if these are seasonal specials. Would be super-grateful to hear about any favorites that stuck in your mind...

              2. Can anyone tell me what the address for Yamashita is in English? I can't get it to save to my google maps...

                Thanks so much!

                1 Reply
                1. re: The Cookbook Addict

                  Try this link – I did a search for "Yamashita" and got this:

                  The address is
                  Kyoto city, Nakagyou ward, Kiyamachi-dori Nijo-sagaru
                  i.e., on Kiyamachi-dori, south of Nijo-dori

                  Hope that helps!

                2. I'll post a more extensive trip report when I get back, but I just wanted to post a quick note on this thread that we went to Yamashita last night and it was awesome. Really casual, boisterous atmosphere where everyone is joking around and drinking and eating tons of fresh seafood. We got an 11,000 yen set menu and also ordered grilled hamo a la carte. The chefs were very friendly.

                  8 Replies
                  1. re: The Cookbook Addict

                    Would walk-ins be accepted at Yamashita. My intention is to make it my regular after-dinner hangout for snacks and sake the week I am in Kyoto. The atmosphere described from the visit in this thread is really what I sm looking for in addition to seafood with a priority of shellfish an crustaceans over fish.

                    1. re: The Cookbook Addict

                      Thanks for the info.

                      We have a reservation at Gion Karyo for one night's dinner, and am debating Yamashita for the other "expensive" dinner meal.

                      I saw mention of shellfish and crustaceans emphasis: this is essential for us, as my wife will be fairly exhausted from the fish we will have had in the trip (this meal would be near the end of the trip).

                      Is it crab, clams, lobsters? How much sashimi (if any)? Could we have the hotel dictate to emphasize non-fish seafood, or the menu is chef's choice/too fixed for such requests?

                      1. re: iceslip

                        No, please don't misunderstand. I was the one writing about seafood and it was a question. I have no idea if they are more fish or seafood related.

                        1. re: iceslip

                          It depends on the season. Take a look at the photos to see what kind of things are served. I'm sure you could have the hotel request only shellfish and crustaceans for your meal.

                          1. re: killersmile

                            Thank you very much for the Tabelog link and pictures, it was is very helpful; the presentation of some of the fishes dishes is too traditional/live for my wife to enjoy, so perhaps it would be best to request no fish, or otherwise search for other restaurants if this is not possible at Yamashita.

                            1. re: killersmile

                              Do you know if a reservation is required at Yamashita or if it is a place you can just walk in?

                              1. re: Roysen

                                Not sure if it is needed, but I made reservations when I went back in April. The restaurant is small with only about 14 counter seats. It was full while I was there, but towards the end of the meal at around 9:30 it was mostly empty. It didn't seem like a place where people were just popping in and out for a quick bite though.

                                1. re: killersmile

                                  Thanks for that info. Very useful.