Yata is easily the best restaurant I have been to - to date. Yata is in the Gion area of Kyoto, and was recommended to us by a good friend of Toshi. We first went there around three years ago and now try and go back every time that we are in Japan. What makes Yata so special is of course the incredible ingredients, the quality of the food, the beautiful interior, the service and the fantastic location, but there is something else too, something romantic and traditional, which makes me feel like I am transported back in time to a Kyoto of hundreds of years ago. I feel so lucky that through Toshi I have access to so many places in Japan, to which I would not have access to if I were on my own.
This time we went to Yata in autumn, the season for saba (mackerel) and ginnan (gingko nuts), which Toshi and I love. Toshi's favorite is saba zushi (pickled mackerel sushi) and he reckons Yata do it best.
tsukune (minced chicken with runny egg) and fantastic seasonal vegetable tempura.
furikake (a condiment for rice) of dried little fish and mountain pepper and Toshi had ochazuke (steamed rice, salmon, with hot green tea poured over).
As usual, it was perfect. Can't wait to go back again.