Thursday, July 31, 2014

Kyoto-ya (京都屋)

July 29, 2014 was doyō-no ushi-no-hi (土用の丑の日) or the midsummer day for the ox, a day dedicated to eating eel.  It is believed that you should eat anything started with "u" for good health, and "u"nagi (freshwater eel) fit the bill perfectly.  What actually started off as a marketing campaign ended up being a custom.  I must say this was a very successful marketing campaign...

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Unajuu @ Kyoto-ya
鰻重 @京都屋

Japanese eel is actually categorized as an endangered species in the Japanese Ministry of the Environment .  It costs a fortune to eat a wild eel and in Japan, I have been told the chef won't even serve it to you if they think you are not seasoned enough to appreciate the true taste of a wild caught Japanese eel!  Most of what is consumed at the restaurants are farm-raised but the current eel farming practices is not sustainable.  So who knows?  Maybe we will have to eat something else on doyō-no ushi-no-hi in the near future!

Actually, I didn't eat eel myself last night but I wanted to share my experience at Kyoto-ya (京都屋) a few months ago.  It is one of the most popular unagi restaurants in Taipei.  The other ones being Hizen-ya (肥前屋), Hamamatsu-ya (濱松屋), and Kemmonchi-ya (劍持屋).  Except for the last one, I have tried all three now.  Check out my blog post here about my experience with Hizen-ya (肥前屋) and Hamamatsu-ya (濱松屋)!

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My co-worker and I shared a tempura appetizer
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Hizen-ya (肥前屋) and Kyoto-ya (京都屋) are very close to each other so Kyoto-ya (京都屋) serves as an excellent alternative when Hizen-ya (肥前屋) gets too busy!  However, after trying Kyoto-ya (京都屋), I think my favorite is still Hizen-ya (肥前屋).

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Unaju and unagi egg roll @ Hizen-ya
This was from my recent visit in February 2014.
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Fluffy egg roll with big chunk of juicy unagi!
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I like the unaju at Hizen-ya more because there are more unagi
It is also more charred and flavorful~

Kyoto-ya (京都屋) 
No. 41, Tianjin St Taiwan
104台北市中山區天津街41號
Tel: +886 02-2541-9803 

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