Given the distance between Naples and Japan, the number of excellent pizzeriae in this country is remarkable. Arguably the most interesting pizzeria in Kyoto is Pizzeria Napoletana da Yuki.
Da Yuki looks like a very simple restaurant that could well be anywhere in Italy. Wine bottles and posters advertising the virtues of Buffalo Mozzarella are pretty much the only decorative elements apart from the pizza oven. The menu is simple too, listing a dozen or so of classic Italian dishes alongside a small selection of pizzae.
Reducing Da Yuki to being a pizzeria alone would not do it justice. The attention to products here is remarkable for such a simple restaurant, as the hand-cut Parma ham demonstrates. This has little in common with the industrially produced ham that so many of us associate with Parma. Instead, it has a tender, almost melting texture, complex flavours and is the perfect pairing for an aperitivo. Equally good is a fritto di gamberi. The batter is light and crunchy, and the prawns delicious, making it a moreish dish.
The reason to come here ultimately is the pizza. Whilst it is a little different from the very, very best in Naples, this is incredibly well made pizza. No matter whether you take a simple margherita, or something more complex, they all have dough that is as light and as airy as a feather, with a richly flavoured tomato sauce and beautiful mozzarella. Anyone who believes that Kyoto lacks good Western food, should pay Da Yuki a visit, and see that this is some of the most convincing pizza east of Trieste.