After a stressful morning attempting to navigate Kyoto without simultaneously being forced to declare bankruptcy, it was certainly a relief to discover a small local eatery that seemed to be offering decent plates of food for a reasonable price. From the outside, it looked like a fairly nondescript Izakaya, but inside it was more like somewhere between Izakaya and true restaurant.
Indeed, the manager seemed both surprised and delighted to have western visitors to his establishment, and although we had to wait almost ten minutes for a table to become available (it's a small place and there were only about five tables of four), he held nothing back in making us feel very welcome. Seeing that we were exhausted, he brought us a big jug of tap water without us even having to ask, and patiently waited beside our table whilst we chose what to order. They do not actually have menus; instead the entire selection takes the form of printed pictures of each dish, stuck to the wall beside all the tables. None of the items had an English translation on our visit, but the waiter spoke enough English for us to be able to point at a dish and for him to tell us "pork curry", or "chicken curry with rice".
All of the curries were essentially the same one would get from "curry" in a Chinese restaurant in the UK, with a few Japanese twists on them; no fancy Indian flavour combinations. However, the food was brought very quickly and without a fuss. For the relatively small price we each paid, we received a generous piece of pork cutlet, accompanied by a side salad and rice, with curry sauce draped over the top. I paid approximately £1 extra to double the size of mine on top of this, and was not disappointed in terms of the portion size. The food was very good, and the service friendly. It is nothing special, but it does not try to be.
A small beer is a little bit expensive, but the larger one goes the more reasonable the prices are for the size. All in all, whilst I was not a huge fan of Kyoto in general on our day trip there, this Japanese curry house was a highlight. A delightful little place, and I would happily spend an afternoon here sampling different food options, or even just drinking the beer and enjoying the company of the very friendly and talkative staff.