Review of Kyoto Sushi, Limerick – Published Food & Wine Magazine, September 2016

Kyoto Sushi & Noodle

4 George’s Quay

Limerick

Tel: +353(61)419605

 

Recent visitors to Limerick might recall seeing a sign hung from a building by the Shannon at George’s Quay.  The stark lettering announced ‘typical restaurant coming soon’ while the ordinary white façade was transformed into a Japanese restaurant complete with mock stone walls and bamboo posts.

The sign may have been somewhat tongue-in-cheek; Kyoto Sushi & Noodle isn’t typical, but that’s certainly not a bad thing.  The interior is minimalist, with a stripped-back aesthetic, concentrating on natural materials: bare wooden tables, pewter serving ware and vibrant green plants.  The effect is rather calming, a sensation only enhanced by the complimentary Japanese tea.

The extensive menu lists a range of traditional sushi, sashimi, noodle and rice dishes along with light bites and daily bento box specials.  We ordered a little of everything, embarking on something of an adventure in Japanese food.

We began with gyoza, finding the pan-fried dumplings of shredded duck – like little golden purses – the perfect appetiser (€5.95).  My dining partner ordered an Asahi beer (€5.50), finding its crisp, refreshing taste worked well with the umami flavours.  Feeling brave, I opted for a plum wine (€7.50).  Shocked by its pale straw colour – I had imagined a rich, carmine-coloured liquid – I was doubly surprised by its subtlety, only the sweet aftertaste hinting at its fruity origins.  Kyoto is also BYOB (with corkage), so less adventurous imbibers can bring something more familiar.

Ebi tempura followed, entailing large tiger prawns in crispy batter (€7.50).  Arranged in a pretty carrier, the robust prawns stood rigid in their crunchy encasements, although the overly-thick batter could have benefited from a touch of seasoning.

We moved onto maguro tuna nigari (€3.90 for two), impressed by the visually appealing plate of pink fillets draped delicately over tightly-packed rice.  They were accompanied by a wedge of lemon, a sprig of parsley and some gari (picked ginger root slices), all the better to enjoy the simple, pure flavours of the fresh seafood.

The same could be said for the buttery soft salmon sashimi (€4.90), which was served with a daube of fiery wasabi, with shredded daikon raddish for contrasting texture.

Hankering after something more filling, my companion ordered beef teriyaki soba (€14.50).  The grilled sirloin steak was of unusually good quality, seared on the outside, with a juicy, tender interior. It was served alongside egg fried noodles, with seasonable vegetables, pickles, sesame seeds and katsuobushi (dried tuna flakes).

With no room for dessert, we accepted our server’s recommendation of sake (€8.50), served in a traditional pewter-style flask with matching hexagonal cups.  The heady liquid forged a burning path down my throat, leaving a satisfying, lingering heat.  I’m afraid I left most of it behind – fearing a tipsy walk home – but that’s a good excuse for a return visit.

 

 

Open:  Seven days, from 12:30 – 22:00

We loved the extensive menu, good value, and welcoming staff

We spent €58.20 on a variety of dishes, with plum wine, beer and sake

 

Originally Published in Food and Wine Magazine in September 2016

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