Enjoying Chinese cuisine made with carefully chosen Japanese ingredients in a historic merchant's house
Gion Tao-Tei / ぎをん桃庭
The Hanami-koji Street in Gion is a place where you can feel the atmosphere of Kyoto most strongly. For “Ichigen-san” (first time customer), entering any restaurant on the street will feel awkward, even as a Japanese. But there is a restaurant, which allows you to casually taste authentic Chinese cuisine. The name of the restaurant is “Gion Tao-tei.”
■A space that has made use of the teahouse loved by a great novelist just as it was
When you pass through a lattice door from a busy street where Maiko come and go, you'll find yourself in a very Japanese atmosphere. The place used to be a teahouse called “Yoshihatsu,” loved by the great novelist Junichiro Tanizaki. The restaurant was created by leaving the shape of the building as it was as much as possible, with furnishings and layout untouched. The first floor is typical of a Kyoto merchant's house with tables and a small tatami mat room where you can relax and have the view of a traditional courtyard with a bit of greenery, a washbasin and a garden lantern. The second floor can be used by 2 people or more. When the sun sets, warm lights will comfort your soul. You are sure to spend a luxurious time in a century-old house with a history since the Taisho era.
■There is an essence of Kyoto in authentic Chinese cuisine
The beauty of “Japanese food” is different from the traditional “Washoku”, in that Japanese food brings out a new appeal from various dishes of the world with a bit of added effort. Having Chinese food in Kyoto may surprise you, but Gion Tao-tei serves dishes you will never taste in any other place. Based on Cantonese cuisine with luxurious ingredients such as crabs, abalone and shark fin, they add unique local ingredients such as Kyoto's vegetables to make special dishes. Prices for lunch on weekdays start at 1,600 yen, and even a specially selected lunch menu of 2 appetizers, shark fin soup, main dish of your choice, rice, and dessert is only 2,600 yen. Dinner starts at 6,000 yen.
■Unique à-la-carte dishes are also popular
Having your favorite cuisine along with shaoxingjiu or wine without the hassle of abiding by the rules is one way of enjoying your meal at Gion Tao-tei.
Very original à-la-carte dishes such as "spicy snow crab," fresh snow crab seasoned with spicy sauce, “lightly seasoned stir-fried vegetables,” a dish you can enjoy the seasonal vegetables, and "Kujo green onion soup noodles," which includes an abundance of Kujo green onion, a traditional Kyoto vegetable can be called "Kyoto-style Chinese cuisine."
Enjoying delicacies in the middle of an ancient capital, feeling its history, is a time of bliss. Beyond the lattice door, you can hear the people come and go, and soft Kyoto dialect spoken by the people serving you… As you will mostly be busy moving around during your travel in Japan, time at Gion Tao-tei should be a precious and memorable moment.
The above information was last updated on May 18, 2017. For further information, please contact the facilities directly.