Mamehachi

  • Veg-options Veg-options
    ( 9 reviews )
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075-2112469
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Chuo-ku, Nabeyamachi 210-4 (at Pontocho District, near Gion), Kyoto, Japan, 604-8015

Serves meat, vegan options available. A traditional tofu restaurant where most dishes are made with tofu and yuba. Much of the menu is based on tofu. On request, vegan version are offered. Staff speaks English. Lunch course costs approx. 2000-2800 yen, dinner course 4600-5400 yen. Note: kitchen may stop serving 30-60 minutes prior to closing, check ahead. Open Mon-Sun 11:30am-3:00pm, 5:00pm-10:30pm. Last orders in the evening taken at 10pm.

Categories: Lacto, Ovo, Japanese, Non-veg

9 Reviews

First Review by pincopallino

great experience - Edit

Amazing tofu and super friendly service.
Loved to get a vegan dinner in Kyoto, as I had trouble finding food without fish. I highly recommend this restaurant!
Merci :)

Pros: tofu, service, sake

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fantastic! - Edit

A few doors further north than on map here (name clearly on entrance)! 8 course set dinner menu was veganized for us by request and turned out to be one of the best dinners we've enjoyed in a long time!

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We enjoy the tofu selection - Edit

We went there with friends who are not vegans and everybody enjoy a lot the selections of tofus.

The service was great and fast and the varieties of tofu was great. The restaurant is a bit price but definitely a stop to do of you are visiting Kyoto.

Pros: English version of the menu

Cons: Expensive

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delicate but satisfying - Edit

The restaurant is on the main Ponto Cho alley just a bit further along from where it shows on the map. The staff were welcoming and the young waiter took the time to explain to us about the various dishes. The food was delicious, things I'd never eaten before, and although the portions were small, (we were sharing between 3 and ordered 6 dishes plus a little extra rice) I felt satisfied. I said we were vegetarian and they made sure to ask if fish was ok or not (sooo many people worldwide seem to think vegetarians eat fish?!). We felt really looked after.

Pros: they know what vegetarian means, attentive staff, delicious food

Cons: pricey, small portions

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Tofu like you've never experienced - Edit

The food at Mamehachi was incredible. We tried and loved the many tofu options and variations of it. However, we had a frosty welcome from the start - there seemed to be some uncertainty when we arrived even though it was only 8.30pm and many seats available. Luckily we were allowed but the chef was not as welcoming to our requests for vegetarian options as in some previous reviews. We noticed we were treated differently from other patrons, not the usual, kind, Japanese service. But we persisted and stayed on, choosing from various options (from the English menu) and ordering a number of times. It was an extravagant dinner for our usual Japanese dining standards, yet we enjoyed it. Unsure if we need to go back but definitely an experience for anyone interested in tofu and its many possibilities.

Pros: Tofu like you've never had it before - 5 rare

Cons: Catch the chef on a bad day and he may turn you aw

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A new found respect for tofu! - Edit

I've been a vegan for a long time now so I've had my fair share of tofu dishes. But Mamehachi really brought tofu to a new level.
We told the chef that we wanted vegan options only and he pointed out lots of dishes to choose from, assuring us that there was no fish in the daichi and miso.
We had 'Tofu Four Ways' which was just like a cheeseboard, some eggplant, fried glutens, and some other dishes that I honestly can't remember but that's a reflection on my poor memory, not poor dishes!
The chef was super nice and it was great to watch him make all of the dishes right in front of us.

Pros: Lots of vegan choices, Delicious food, Friendly staff and great ambience

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amazing! - Edit

This is a five star review, but Happycow won't allow 5 stars for places that also serve meat. We came in late May 2016, and the English menu offered a vegetarian set meal. This was probably the best meal we've had in Japan so far, and great value: 7 courses for 4300 yen! Warning: we took the "vegetarian" name at face value, and didn't enquire further. However, i don't think any dashi/fish sauce could have infiltrated the dishes we were served, all simple yet delicious arrangements, based around tofu.

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Not serving vegetarian food--disappointed - Edit

We stopped by Mamehachi restaurant and asked if we could order vegetarian options from their menu. We speak basic Japanese , so the problem wasn't communication. The answer from the cook/counter person was "No, Sorry. Everything is made with fish or dashi . " I guess whether vegans can be accommodated there depends on who's doing the serving/cooking.

I recommend Tosuiro restaurant instead for a completely veg tofu meal. The Tosuiro website lists their veg option; we went to the Gion location the last time we
visited Kyoto; Tosuiro has two in downtown Kyoto. The meal was great, with all the varied courses and ceremonial service of a shojin ryori restaurant . Pricey, but special.

Cons: No veg options, Hard to find

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Veg-friendly tofu restaurant - Edit

Despite the richness of a vegetables and soy-based foods in the Japanese cuisine, eating out is very often a problem because of the overall present "dashi" (fish broth), which severely limits the choices available to a veg(etari)an. Indeed, quite often you are told at the entrance that everything is made with dashi and even the soy sauce contains it. Mamehachi is one exception: when I said I'm vegan they replied "no problem". In fact, I could choose a wide range of steamed vegetables and tofu and yuba based dishes. The waitress carefully checked what I could and could not eat and served a vegan version of everything I ordered. There are a few dishes which cannot be "veganized" because ingredients are mixed from the beginning (ex. some mayonnaise in a tomato-based salad) but most of the non-flesh dishes (which represent the bulk of the menu) can be easily made vegan. I had dinner there at the last day of the "bon" period (August 16, 2015), paid 7500 yens for three people, including drinks. A full course is more expensive but may be difficult to get a full veg(etari)an option: better to order from the menu.
Ground-level is counter seats, upper floor is Japanese-style with low tables. Staff does speak English and credit-cards are accepted.
From the Hankyu railways station at Shijou / Gion take Ponto-cho direction North, the restaurant is a few minutes walk on your left.

Pros: Wide vegan and vegetarian choice, Friendly atmosphere

Cons: Smoking allowed

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