I was craving some good Japanese food today. I started thinking about all the good food I ate in Japan the last time we were there, which was my honeymoon in 2010. Wow, that was ages ago. I had only post very little pictures of them. So I think I should start posting the rest. It’s never too late.
The first one I am going to share with you is the kamameshi we ate in Arashiyama, Kyoto. The restaurant, Kamameshi Chaya (Tea House) is on the street right across from the entrance of Tenryu-ji Temple, about 15 minutes of leisurely walk from the JR Sagano Arashiyama Station/Sagano Romantic Train Station. The street is lined with many restaurants, but you won’t miss the restaurant display.
We found this place as we were rushing to get food before our Sagano Romantic Train ride. All the table was filled when we walked in, but we decided to wait anyway regardless our limited time. The line behind us which quickly grew gave me a mix feelings between glad that we are first in line and worried that we might miss our train right. We were finally seated after only 10 minutes of waiting. Lucky.
There was only one kitchen staff and one waiter/cashier which gave me a scare as to how soon we would see our food. However after some observation, they were actually operating very efficiently. Everything a customer would need were already on the table or on their food tray. The lone waiter took order, serve food and manned the register swiftly. The kitchen lady put out trays after trays of food. I was in awe. Only Japanese work ethic and good costumer manners made the restaurant ran smoothly in a busy that like that. All the observing took my worries away, and before I knew it, the waiter slided trays onto our tables, on it our yakimeshi.
Kamameshi can be directly translated to “kettle rice” . It is similar to Korean ‘dolsot bibimbap.” In an iron bowl, seasoned rice is cooked and served directly to the costumer. The bowl continues to be hot for quite some time, keeping the rice heated. If you leave the rice in the long enough, you will have crusty rice at the bottom of the bowl, the best part of this dish, in my opinion. The rice and toppings need to be moved into a regular bowl before eating so they can cool down before feast upon. In the restaurant, there were different types of chicken, beef, pork and seafood to choose from to go on top of your kamameshi.
I must apologize as I forgot the name of the food we ordered. But no worries, they have pictures on their menu. James got the beef and I got the chicken. They were really good. We inhaled our food because it was so good, and we were also pressed for time, that we almost burn our tongue.
When we finished and paid our bill, I think we had only about 15 minutes left. We basically speed walked back to the Sagano Romantic Train station. It was all worth the wait, anxiety and exercise.
By the way, they also have a korokke (potato croquette) stall right next to the restaurant. We saw the waiter manning it on our way back in the evening. She somehow looked so relieved sitting behind the glass case. We stopped by and grabbed one to share. It tasted alright.