What’s Issen Yoshoku? – Kyoto Gion
There is a unique restaurant in a corner lined with popular shops in Gion, Kyoto’s busiest area.
There are mannequins in Japanese clothes and retro toys in front of the restaurant, so we don’t know what the restaurant is at first sight. I think there are many people who know the restaurant but have hesitated to enter it.
Actually, this is an Okonomiyaki restaurant. But it is a little different from Okonomiyaki which is commonly eaten in Osaka.
I recommend this restaurant because you can eat it easily and cheaply when you are hungry.
Let me explain in more detail.
Issen Yoshoku has only one food menu and the name of the restaurant and the dish are the same. Issen Yoshoku was sold as a snack for children in the early 1,900s and is said to be the predecessor of Okonomiyaki in Osaka. The name comes from the fact that 1 piece was sold at the price of Issen (0.01 yen) at that time.
Okonomiyaki is made by first mixing the wheat dough and ingredients and then baking it on the iron plate. In Issen Yoshoku, the dough is spread thinly on the iron plate like a crepe, and the ingredients are put on it and grilled.
I will explain the details of the dishes later, but let’s go into the restaurant first.
In front of the restaurant, there is a doll of a boy whose buttocks are exposed after his pants were bitten by a dog. This boy is like a mascot character of the restaurant. He is desperately running away so that Issen Yoshoku, the souvenir, is not taken.
Some people may be worried that “Is this OK in Kyoto where the scenery is strictly regulated?” but it is firmly accepted even in Kyoto Gion, which maintains its old tradition.
When you step into the restaurant, it becomes lively as if you turned over a toy box!
Many Ema (This is a bit erotic.)
On the wall, there are many Ema (votive picture tablets) that depict the romance between men and women in an amusing way. And a beautiful mannequin is sitting in the audience seat.
These performances are intended to keep the customers waiting for the dish from getting bored. Let’s observe it carefully.
How does Issen Yoshoku taste?
The food menu is only Issen Yoshoku and it is 730 yen for 1. You can feel the passion and enthusiasm of the shop which is particular about Issen Yoshoku.
You have to wait for about 10 minutes for Issen Yoshoku to start cooking after your order arrives.
The surface of the food that is folded in two is crispy, the inside is thick, and the cooking is well-done. It is fluffy and thick, and the ingredients are Japanese Wagyu beef, egg, Sakura shrimp, seasoned konjac, Chikuwa (grilled fish paste), Tempura crumbs and Kujo negi (green onion), so it is very nutritious!
The salty-sweet sauce mixes well with the ingredients, and it is very delicious!
If you want to adjust the spiciness of the sauce, you can use the self sauce (sweet, spicy, very spicy) on the table to adjust the spiciness to your liking.
Unlike Okonomiyaki, Issen Yoshoku uses less flour, so it goes well with beer. It will be a great snack for beer lovers!
Non-alcohol beer, Japanese tea, oolong tea and green tea are available for those who can’t drink much alcohol.
And the drink I recommend is Ramune (Japanese soda). With sweet and mild carbonated water, the aftertaste will be refreshing and you will feel satisfied. Please try Japanese unique soda!
Ramune (Japanese soda)
As this restaurant is located in Gion, there are many spots where you can enjoy the scenery typical of Kyoto. From morning to night, the streets are always crowded with people.
How about taking a walk after a meal?
- Hours: 11:00～next 1:00 (Weekdays), 11:00～next 3:00 (Saturday, the day before national holiday), 10:30～22:00 (Sundays and national holidays)
- Open all year round