Temple setting, Shojin Ryori style food, but a special style which is Fucha Ryori. Two days advance booking for party of 2 minimum is required. Address in Japanese: 京都府京都市北区小山堀地町38-16 or 閑臥庵 (please let HappyCow know) Price: Expensive more-less
Vegan, Japanese, Shojinryori
278 Karasuma dori, Kita-ku, Kuramaguchi
Kyoto, Japan
075-2562480
Closed now

Mon-Sun 12:00pm-3:00pm, 5:00pm-9:00pm

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reviews

Reviews

First Review by slo0go
eatinggreen
eatinggreen
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+315

Possibly the best in Kyoto

5
Posted on 02 / 18 / 2014

Eating at Kanga An costs an arm and a leg but we can't keep ourselves from going back again and again anyway. Easily the most extravagant of the shojin ryori options in Kyoto it's also open at night, which is unusual for temple food which tends to be a lunch affair.

The gardens are stunning and utterly unique, with lavish rock garden formations that are dramatically lit up at night: a brilliant view to accompany a magnificent meal.

The decor is a little Chinese in feel - very over the top compared to traditional Japanese tastes. Our room was punctuated by an over-sized Western style black chandelier and the colour scheme features a lot of strong colours: red, black and gold. It's luxury meets stoicism - like a runaway rogue monk - and provides for an unexpected and yet entertaining cultural blend. The hybrid theme is continued by the inclusion of a Western style bar on the premises - far from the usual temple setup but if you'd like to cap your night off with a whiskey, you've come to the right place.

The food is as indulgent as temple food never gets. No austerity here, this is a feast and no less. The flavours are robust, presentation is ornate. Admittedly it feels a bit altered to suit modern sensibilities but when it looks and tastes like this, it's hard to really care. The previous reviewer mentions it's not too tasty - unless she's in the habit of eating Big Macs every day this puzzles me to no end, but each to their own I guess!?

Book in advance (we always order the most expensive one - if you're going to do it, do it in style, right!?), take your credit card and try not to look too hard at the bill. You won't forget your meal at Kanga An in a hurry so if you think of it that way, it's worth every yen.

Pros: stunning setting, open at night, a fulfilling, amazing meal
Cons: it comes at a price, a bar in a temple - not sure about this, menu doesn't change much seasonally
slo0go
slo0go
  • vegan
Contributions
+421

Extravagant!

5
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!

Pros: Beautiful food, Beautiful place, What an experience!
Cons: Expensive!!!

 

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