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“delicious” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Gion Yata

Gion Yata
Ranked #118 of 12,165 Restaurants in Kyoto
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Japanese
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Special Occasion Dining, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Neighbourhood: Gion
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“delicious”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 June 2013

we went to this restaurant on the rec of our Ryokan Shiraume. It's on a main road, but difficult to find if you do not read japanese (ask for help). The setting is lovely, seats mabe only about 15 people or so, very personable space and the food is delicious. definitely go for the wasabi mayonnaise crusted shrimp! All japanese people when we went, and the waitress luckily spoke some english and so was able to fill us in on the seasonal ingredients in everything. make a reservation in advance

  • Visited June 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank nycchick01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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58 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    42
    12
    4
    0
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
London
Level Contributor
153 reviews
86 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
“A really special restaurant”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 April 2013

Yata was another outstanding recommendation from Hotel Mume. A lovely exterior, simple exterior on the best strip of Shinbashi-Dori and stunning interior - a room with a long counter around the kitchen and loud greeting from the staff. We were sat around the counter in the back room - possibly a bit plain when compared to the front, but we were the only foreigners in the back room and it was a very special venue indeed.

Overall one of the most enjoyable dining experiences of my life - great food (9+1 courses), outstandingly attentive and friendly service, and a genuinely charming atmosphere as couple by couple eventually over half the room quizzed us, asked where we were from, were impressed with our chopstick skills, gave us some of their dishes to try (as we asked the waitress what they were), or even gave is their business cards.

The 9 course menu was spectacular, including excellent sashimi, sea bream cake and pea broth, scallop, green tea ice cream, etc. We couldn't resist a side order of the delicious grilled beef either. And the wheat germ or grilled bamboo weren't things we would have normally ordered but were very tasty surprises on the 9 course menu, which was perfectly paced so that at the end the 2.5 hours seemed much shorter - never felt like we were rushed, nor were there moments we were waiting around. Great food, service and atmosphere. And much less expensive than you would expect for such an experience (~Y10k per person).

Finally, the bar upstairs is great also (seats 8), with good cocktails and, of course, excellent staff (and reasonable prices too).

  • Visited April 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
2 Thank NickiG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco
Level Contributor
62 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
“A Hidden Treasure”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 April 2012

This was the best restaurant that we ate at during our two week stay in Japan, and one of the most memorable meals that we have ever had; we travel quite a bit, often with an eye toward regional food, and dine out frequently in SF and NY; the bar is set pretty high. We had initially planned to eat at a nearby ryokan (Shiraume on Gion-Shimbashi along the canal) that is known for its keiseki meals, but they were full. When I asked for a recommendation, the women there -- dressed in kimono and wooden shoes -- literally walked us over to this place one small alley and a street away. We would have never found it, as there is no English signage in front and no discernible address. We couldn't get in right away, but were told to come back in about an hour, which we did. I am not sure that without the introduction by the woman from Shiraume that we would have even been given the opportunity to come back later. While in Japan, I sometimes got the impression that restaurants generally will not rush diners, so if you don't get a first seating then they will often not allow you to make a reservation with a set time because they don't know when folks will leave. You just need to see if there is space or not. Obviously, it would help to make a reservation well in advance.

From the outside, you really can't see anything, not even the first interior room where you leave your shoes. From there, you can't see anything much either, but once that door opens onto the restaurant itself, you just can't believe your eyes. It's elegant in a warmly contemporary way. There is one other room upstairs that you can catch a glimpse of from the main room, but I think that the main seating area, which is still quite small -- probably only seats 12 at two bars with sunken foot areas and then one or two tables with tatami mats behind -- is the place to watch the action. Yata is better suited to a single person or a couple than to larger groups, and I wouldn't characterize it as family friendly.

The food was just terrific: seasonal, fresh, lovely presentation. We ordered the set menu for April, which I recall was 6000yen, less than $100/person; it was a bargain given the quality and preparation of the food, as well as the ambiance and service. The menus themselves are beautiful, printed as they are on rice paper with cherry blossom illustrations. There is an English version available of both the set and ala carte menus. The set menu, which listed all of the dishes, was fish-heavy, which was fine with us. There were 8 courses, running from roasted bonito with citrus soy sauce jelly all the way to a simple yet flavor-intense orange jelly served in orange halves for dessert. For those whose tastes run the toward foul and meats, there plenty of choices on the ala carte menu.

We tried to go back again for lunch, but they are only open for dinner. Had we been in Kyoto longer, we definitely would have gone back a second night. I hope to eat at Yata again one day.

  • Visited April 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Out-of-SFO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Excellent modern Japanese cuisine in the northern Gion”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 May 2010

Yata (Yata Honten?) was recommended to us by our hotel. We never would have found it otherwise because their website is only in Japanese. But they do have an English menu, and the contemporary Kyoto cuisine they serve is delicious and beautifully presented. Set menus (prix fixe, in effect) begin at 6000 yen, but we ordered from the a-la-carte menu and had a fine dinner for two for only 8000 yen, not bad for a quality Kyoto restaurant! Although most of the restaurant is traditional tatami-style, seating with a sunken area for western legs is available at the counter. The restaurant is on the north side of Shinbashi dori, a few doors east of Yamatooji dori. Their distinctive calligraphic logo (check the website) is on a lantern out front.

    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank DavidAndSonia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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