This is not a review of Gion Dining because this post is more of a memory of what I ate there last Saturday.
Please go to other blogs if you want a review because I went there as a walk in and near the end of their lunch service.
But I needed to try it then because the previous few days I had the most disappointing Japanese food at some other place and that some woman was randomly sobbing at her table with her friends. I don’t know why, but what ever, I was just sad about my sad food and sad sobbing.
Thus, I went to Gion.
It was quiet since it was an hour to the end of lunch service and I did ask if walk ins were available. They said yes, I entered.
They passed me a tablet after I was shown to my seat.
I actually knew what I wanted so I managed to order it quickly since I had spent the previous day or so looking at their pdf menu online.
And so I waited.
The waitress told me pictures were not allowed of the menu and I went “Huh, very well” because… It’s actually already on their website and facebook.
No matter, I deleted them from my phone since I figured, I’m not going to review the place mat and cutlery setting anyway.
What I ordered… Their tempura set, tamagoyaki and wheat tea.
It did not take too long, the tamagoyaki was set upon my table.
I took a bite of one slice and oh. Oh my, it was warm and it was sweet.
Perhaps I should stop and wait for when my tempura set arrived. But no, I couldn’t stop myself since I was quite hungry.
The wheat tea came, the waitress poured the cup for me and I savoured it.
It had been steeped properly and it was real wheat grains if you were curious enough to open the top of your teapot.
Do not insult this tea with sugar for you should savour it as it is.
The food did come soon after.
Ah, finally a proper set. Pickles, a potato salad, a vegetable salad with vinaigrette. Chawanmushi, a small yogurt dessert in a shot glass and the tempura with its sauces and miso soup with rice.
The rice, it was fluffy. Warm and sticky enough for me to use my chopsticks. As I tasted it, I thought, “Ah yes, this is Japanese rice” for you can tell the difference in taste compared to normal or basmati rice.
They cooked their rice properly. It was comforting as the rain started pouring outside. The tea kept on steaming away in its cup as I left it to cool and dipped my tempura in its sauce.
Oh… it was crispy, the saltiness of the sauce glancing against the battered exterior as I bit into it. Not oily, just crisp and full of the sweetness of the prawn itself intermingled with the sauce.
What a balance.
The grated radish was garnished with fresh ginger, an interesting choice, I thought. It brought a bigger kick than what preserved ginger would have.
I looked out to the side where the other few diners were eating their food. Did they realized what skill this needed? It was far simpler than what other dishes they might have ordered and that was why it was even more impressive since it was the simplest which was easiest to mess up.
I tilted up the bowl of miso soup, taking a sip of it. It was light, instead of tiny tofu cubes as I came to expect from many places, in place were small Japanese mushrooms. A delightful surprise at this tiny detail.
The side dishes, I polished off quickly, darting my chopsticks back and forth.
I half wondered if there would be any other disaster would befall in Orchard as the rain kept getting heavier.
I dipped my small spoon into the chawanmushi.
Ah yes, it was still warm and it had been freshly steamed.
It was still soft, so soft.
Finally I managed to eat a proper chawanmushi for the week as I scraped the spoon trying to get every bit of it, clinging to the cup.
Pouring myself another cup of wheat tea, I started on my dessert.
A tangy yogurt to finish the meal.
The rain stopped as the last drops of tea was drunk.
I left since I had paid for the meal before the lunch services was over.
As I like to say to eating such delicious food, itadakimasu, baby.