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"We were staying in Gion (in the quieter back alleys up near Marayuma Park) and Manzara was recommended to us. It was a Sunday so Shijo-dori was very crowded and we got a bit lost looking for the distinctive logo that is the only way for westerners to identify the Manzara restaurant. But we persisted..." and eventually found it.
We opted for selections from the a la carte menu and were not disappointed with the fresh steamed vegetables, shrimp omelette, rare fillet steak and sushi. The beef was especially good! If we went back again we would probably get a set menu to taste all the chef's selections.
The only surprise was that the two people sitting beside us were smoking - seems like a lifetime ago that smoking was permitted in Australian restaurants. However, it didn't really spoil the meal.
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"This place has a single set menu, vegetarian. If that thought scares you, I can tell you that my husband, a real carnivore, loved the food so much on our first visit that he asked when we could come back. We have eaten at other Zen temple restaurants in Kyoto, and their copycat menus have nothing on..." this place. Classic tofu cuisine - tofu simmered in a kombu broth, and broiled with a wonderful, subtly sweet miso - plus seasonal vegetable tempura, sesame "tofu", and a subtle, thick,cool soup of grated mountain yam, plus rice, pickles, and tea - makes for a light but filling lunch. You sit on tatami, and have a view of a small but lovely garden. Service is quick and friendly, and the waitress explains the meal in good English. About 3,000 yen per person, and worth it. The place has been going for centuries, and for good reason. Highly recommended. To find it, go left at the main temple gate, and follow the road as it bends right. The restaurant is on your left.
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"Higashi and Sayuri Chibo have created a charming, casual cafe with a comfortable homey atmosphere. They serve fresh, healthy, creative home - made dishes and desserts, delivered with friendly smiles. We ate a fantastic smoked salmon salad and a japanese vegetable and rice dish. The home made brown..."ie dessert was a surprise - white chocolate and green tea and fabulous. Their cheesecake was a big winner with us too. It's our favorite eats after five days in this neighborhood where we stayed in one of a number of pleasant ryokans. it's 2 subway stops from Kyoto Station and a few blocks from the Nishiki Market and the extensive local markets off that one. Marty
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