dinsdag 24 juni 2014

Recommendations in Kyoto: Tofu Cafe Fujino

It's summer and I keep hearing people are going to Japan for a vacation, so why not make another little recommendation in Kyoto? It's a little unusual as it's about food and not clothes..but you know, food is my other hobby~

It's called Tofu Cafe Fujino! I think this will have made it to some English guidebooks of Kyoto, it's a very popular cafe next to Kitano Tenmangu Shrine in Kita-ku Kyoto, that's near where I lived, so I went there quite often with friends! On weekends and during lunchtime there are always people lining up! And waiting time could be 45 minutes up to an hour~ So I recommend going on weekdays and a little to the end of the day like at 15:30, the shop closes at 18:00!

In the wintery light with the grey exterior it looks a little sad, but actually it doesn't look sad at all! It's a popular shop and you can tell lots of girls like going there! They have a cute bunny mascotte...looks a lot like Miffy so I felt right at home :P

They're a cafe so they have many tasty drinks, sweets and deserts, made on a basis of soymilk or tofu! But I usually went there for their lunch menu shown above, at 1200 yen you can get the o-banzai plate, with many different little dishes, that are based off Japanese classic dishes but made out of tofu! This means the menu is almost completely vegetarian, I say almost completely because there are different reports online about the stock used for the rice, some (more recent) say it's seaweed-based, others say fish stock...In my experience even the miso-soup substitute is vegetarian so why would they use fish dashi for the rice? I would be confident to take any vegetarian friend there...
For vegans, there is egg in some dishes but it can be left out, I'm not 100% sure about the cakes and icecream, but I'm quite convinced they're soy based, you could ask them whether eggs, milk or butter were used...all in all there are plenty vegan options on the menu as well~ So except for Indian restaurants this is the only restaurant in Japan I've seen that offers such a large vegetarian menu, with vegan options. 

The food at Fujino is reeeaaally good, the taste is great, it's healthy, you end up eating mostly soy and only a little rice...On this plate for example you get tofu sashimi (it's two kinds of tofu and one yuba), soybean salad, tofu agemono and tofu seaweed salad, and you get to choose one out of three "main" dishes, tou burger, age-dashi dofu, or age-dashi yuba. You'll be so full after eating the plate and you won't have space for desert..but luckilly you can bring all kinds of soy cakes home ;)There are other lunch dishes and sets too!!!

The staff is friendly and polite, but they do things at their own pace so that might be considered slow by some, the other side of this is that you never feel rushed even when it's busy and you can just enjoy your plate, chat and read the menu etc. The staff will always respond if you signal or call them, sometimes they need to ask the other staff about things but they're not lazy nor rude~~

I recommend Tofu Cafe Fujino to anyone visiting Kyoto! Take bus 50 or loop 203, or express bus 101 or 102 and get off at Kitano Tenmangu mae. It's also walking distance from Randen station Kitano Hakubaicho (ohhh, my heart ;~;)

While you're there, you can visit Kitano Tenmangu, it opens up its special garden for momiji in fall and plum blossom in early spring, and it's popular for spending newyear's eve.

Or Kamishichiken, also known as second Gion but far more quiet.

I was going to add another restaurant recommendation but it would be too much at once, I'm feeling all nostalgic now..
I really hope someone reads this and will go there :3 If I can't have my delicious tofu..someone else should have it~!!!

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