It doesn’t matter what the weather is like outside, especially when you’re cozily tucked away from the rain and enjoying a brunch feast. This weekend in particular a few of us gathered at Aqua Kyoto to try their newest brunch offering;
Disclaimer: We were invited guests of Aqua Kyoto but my (very many) thoughts are only ever mine – repeat visits on my own dime time and time again attest to simply how much I enjoy their cuisine.
The Japanese say, “If the flower is to be beautiful, it must be cultivated.” (Lester Cole) So it is at Aqua Kyoto – the chefs are ever innovating, creating and crafting beautiful dishes that are almost too beautiful to eat.
Take for instance their Ukiyo Brunch – inspired by a Japanese cultural movement from the 17th to 19th centuries where a growing middle class indulged in entertainment and leisure activities.
And you know how much I adore beautiful sushi with a fascinating back story. Not to mention champagne.
We began as all good Japanese feasts do, sipping miso soup, nibbling edamame, crunching rice crackers and trying the array of sushi. Ad ever choosing just one as a favourite was difficult, but with judicious smapling we found ourselves with (differing) top 3s.
(Also note to self: hang out with friends who have beautiful manicures who are willing to be hand models for as long as it takes you to take your images.)
They are encouraging guests to choose how they want to enjoy brunch, embracing their personal ukiyo and enjoying either indulgent or lighter options. Choose two ‘Indulgence’ dishes, such as Japanese pancakes drizzled with ton katsu and honey cured bacon (highly, highly recommended and thoroughly tested) and the ridiculously delicious rock shrimp tempura (ditto for my sins), or two ‘Purity’ dishes such as buckwheat yakisoba with Japanese forest mushrooms or the lovely kaisou sarada (seafood salad) also both scrumptious.
And therein lies the problem with Aqua Koyto – it’s always delicious.
(This photo is due entirely to the scrumptious Jess on Thames, one of my favourite internet friends – she’s even put up with me for around 5 years – can you believe that? I couldn’t when she was telling me.)
The menu even has tacos for those so inclined to lay down their chopsticks.
There are even real cherry blossoms arranged in beautiful bunches to celebrate spring amidst the lacquered tables.
But, the piece de resistance…
Freshly baked taiyaki (chocolate almond, vanilla, matcha or red adzuki beans) served with mini ice creams – and a birthday candle if you’re very lucky – or delicious skewers of mochi ice cream. You won’t want to share these, I promise.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Oh, and did I mention that you can add bottomless bubbles, bellinis (I highly recommend the extensively tested white peach bellinis) or Veuve Clicquot Champagne?
I just couldn’t stay away from Aqua Kyoto… whoops.