Posted on 12 / 05 / 2012
When you get out of the train station (Exit 6, I think?) turn right. When you reach a street where there is a photo shop and a barber shop on either corner, turn right onto the street and walk down a few hundred meters. You will see Kanga An.
This restaurant is where I've had the most expensive vegan meal ever. I wouldn't say it was the tastiest meal I've ever had, but it was definitely an experience well worth the money. This restaurant serves shojin cuisine. If you've ever been to Kajitsu in New York City, this is the restaurant Kajitsu is trying to emulate, I think.
We had the eleven course meal (there are three choices: 9, 11, and 15 courses, I think). NOTE: when making your reservation at least two days in advance, you have to choose which course you want, without know what will be prepared. Each course looked small, but after eleven courses, you can believe we were very full. Each dish was beautifully and elegantly prepared (see the pictures!). There was a tempura assortment that included hibiscus, lotus root, and a basket made of seaweed. There were also gold flakes and beautifully cut vegetables abound. The meal cost 23,100 yen, or about $282.00 USD for eleven courses for two people.
I don't know if it's true, but the materials placed next to the place mats claim that Kanga An was previously a temple frequented by the Imperial Family, back in the day. It is in Kyoto, the Imperial Family's former stomping grounds, so it could be true. In any event, the building and grounds are absolutely beautiful. We went in November, and the foliage was amazing. P.S. when you dine here, you sit in your own private dining room.
There is also a bar at the restaurant, which overlooks a beautiful garden. All the drinks there are 1000 yen. They serve wine, beer, and sake. I think the best thing about the bar is the view.
I don't know if I would go back, but I definitely would recommend going at least once. Be sure to call at least two days in advance to make a reservation. They take credit cards!
Beautiful food, Beautiful place, What an experience!