• Vegan Vegan
    ( 2 reviews )

20-13 Oike-cho, Utano, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan

A home restaurant offering Shojin Ryori. Address in Japanese: 京都府京都市右京区宇多野御池町20-13. Note: kitchen may stop serving 30-60 minutes prior to closing, check ahead. Open Mon-Sun 11:30am-7:00pm.

Categories: Vegan, Organic

2 Reviews

First Review by eatinggreen

庵 (いおり) High Quality Food and Service - Edit

庵 (いおり) Iori - Natural Food Restaurant.
Reservations Only
Near 宇多野駅 Utano Station

The restaurant is located in a suburban neighbourhood in the living-room of a house. It was a nice train ride on a smaller quieter side-line which reminded me of small-town European tram-cars with single platform stations. We got a day-pass so after going to the restaurant, we could journey along the line to the {Arashiyama station} river and walk around the touristy places and across the other side on a nature walk. Do a search for Arashiyama and you'll see that it's worth it.

The restaurant was, as I said, in livingroom, with two tables on tatami. Very quiet, relaxed, and peaceful. If I recall, there is a set menu (or at least, that's what I always got/ordered). It was probably $60 or something like that, and one small dish was brought out at a time. It was nice, because you would eat slowly while chatting and thus chew properly and take your time without any interruption as the staff were absent. Once everyone was done, another dish was brought as they mysteriously appeared when needed, and left us alone again. The food is Shojinryori [精進料理] and macrobiotic style, 100% vegan, and little cared-for works of art. I typically eat a LOT of food, but by the end of our meal, I was absolutely stuffed -- I think that if it was all served at once, I would have been hungry for more -- there's something to be said about eating in a quiet, calm manner without a sense of time or rush; I think we could all live on a lot less food this way and probably more healthily as well as we'd extract more nutrients from less food.

I was so impressed by this place that I went back a couple more times while in Japan.

Blog article about Iori

Tabelog listing

Pros: Well prepared high quality food, Great service, Nice quiet neighbourhood

Cons: $$$$ but price reflects what you get

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Hidden gem in Kyoto - Edit

We're total shojin ryori (temple food) freaks - can't keep us away from the stuff. So I can say with confidence that as far as this style of cuisine goes, Iori is an absolute steal. It's every bit as good as what you get in the temple associated venues at less than half the price. The women who run it are great for a chat (if you speak Japanese that is!) and the venue is suitably traditional and modest - perfect for a slow, authentic meal.

We're not based in Kyoto but when we find ourselves there for business or for pleasure we make a point of stopping by for a meal - it's easily in the top 3 on our Kyoto list and the least expensive of those 3 by far.

Pros: authentic + ornate, great flavour profiles, mostly organic ingredients

Cons: the location is a bit out of the way

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