Located off Kyoto’s famous Nishiki market, Jiki Miyazawa is a restaurant that is striking for the beauty of its interior, cutlery, crockery and glasses. Every single element the chefs use to prepare and serve food here is a piece of art. The same level of dedication is evidenced by the restaurant’s young chef, who plates his food as precisely as a calligrapher writing a poem.
With such a setting, the expectations for the food are high. Thankfully, Jiki Miyazawa delivers: tuna belly, some of which aged, some fresh is marinated in a slightly sweet, thick soy sauce mixed with kelp, topped with sea urchin, and scallions. This dish is so simple, and so balanced that it’s pure pleasure. Even better is hot sesame tofu. Baked until crispy, this square is served piping hot, topped with a sesame sauce and crushed, grated sesame. The beauty of this dish is that it walks the fine line between sweet and savoury. Incredibly richly flavoured, with textural contrasts, it’s easy to see why this has become the restaurant’s signature dish.
The food at Miyazawa is some of the best, most balanced and harmonious we have eaten in Kyoto. Why this restaurant only has one Michelin-star is beyond anyone’s understanding, as the food is world-class. If there ever was a hidden gem in Kyoto, this would be it.