Kakutani: Kyoto Nabe Yaki Udon and Soba Restaurant

Kyoto Nabeyaki Udon and Soba Shinise 京都 かく谷老舗

Nabeyaki Udon and Soba Shinise 京都 かく谷老舗
Dashi broth, udon noodles, chicken, egg, mushrooms and shrimp tempura are all placed in a covered earthenware nabe pot and boiled vigorously over high heat for several minutes. This dish is called nabeyaki udon, it is served piping hot in the nabe pot that it was cooked in. Kakutani’s nabeyaki udon cannot be topped!

Nabeyaki Udon
Nabeyaki is served literally boiling hot and the heavy earthenware nabe holds heat. So, you will want to be very careful not to burn your tongue. I sprinkle on shichimi (seven spice chili powder) and just let it sit for a bit. This allows it to cool and the shichimi flavor to be absorbed. Next use the small ‘torizara’ bowl to serve small portions that will cool down quicker.

Nabeyaki Udon: Served
Nabeyaki Udon and Soba Shinise 京都 かく谷老舗
Shichimi is in the bamboo container on the left. You just pull out the peg and sprinkle it on.

Nabeyaki Udon: Shichimi Added
Nabeyaki Udon and Soba Shinise 京都 かく谷老舗

Nabeyaki Udon: Shiitake, Egg and Udon
Nabeyaki Udon and Soba Shinise 京都 かく谷老舗

Nabeyaki Udon: Egg and Udon
Nabeyaki Udon and Soba Shinise 京都 かく谷老舗

Nabeyaki Udon: Shrimp Tempura and Udon
Nabeyaki Udon and Soba Shinise 京都 かく谷老舗

Kakutani Interior
Nabeyaki Udon and Soba Shinise 京都 かく谷老舗

Kakutani Restaurant
One of the first restaurants, maybe the very first, that I discovered after moving to Kyoto for graduate school some years ago was Kakutani. Kakutani is a shinise restaurant that has been in business since the late 18oo’s and is on the south side of what is now Kyoto University. Kakutani’s soba is excellent, their dashi broth is great, but in the winter, when it is cold, there is nothing that I like better for lunch than nabeyaki udon and Kakutani’s simply cannot be topped.

Kakutani is a very friendly, family run restaurant. In the winter I only order their nabeyaki udon. I walk in the door and they smile and say, ‘nabeyaki?’ I’m like, ah, yeah, how’d ya guess? This time, I hadn’t been there for like three years because I moved, and I didn’t think that they would remember me. But, without fail they did. They even remembered what I would be ordering! Now that’s service!

Kakutani Showcase
Nabeyaki Udon and Soba Shinise 京都 かく谷老舗
Shinise style plastic food.

Kakutani Exterior
Nabeyaki Udon and Soba Shinise 京都 かく谷老舗

Kakutani is located in the Shogoin neighborhood. This is where Kyoto’s most well known wagashi and omiyage, Yatsuhashi comes from. In the neighborhood you can visit a number of Yatsuhashi shinise stores and try the countless variations of this simple confection that are offered.

For sightseeing, nearby is Heian Shrine, and on Yoshida ‘Mountain’ there is Kurodani Temple, Shinnyodo Temple and Yoshida Shrine.

English and Access
Kakutani 京都 かく谷老舗
English service: No English menu but you can see most dishes in the show case, just point to order. The owner/staff are all very friendly.
Website: www.kakutani-rouho.com (Japanese language only)
Hours: – (only open for lunch)
Location and Access: Kakutani is located just northwest of the Higashi-oji and Marutamachi intersection.
Address
: Kyoto-shi, Sakyo-ku, Shogoin, Sanno-cho 39 (京都市左京区聖護院山王町39)
Telephone: 075-771-2934

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5 Responses to “Kakutani: Kyoto Nabe Yaki Udon and Soba Restaurant”

  1. Arun says:

    That udon looks awesome, I’m getting hungry now! The Japanese are quite obsessed with plastic showcase food aren’t they? Also, I know you’ve used this word many times before, but what is the definition of shinise?

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  3. Nate says:

    Hoo, the nabeyaki udon looks so ono (Hawai’ian for tastes good)!

  4. Peko-P says:

    Hi Arun,

    There is no legal definition of shinise. In Kyoto, it is generally used by stores, restaurants and inns that have been in business for about 100 years. However, some people, business school professors and so on, think that in our time it would appropriate to call a store that has been in business for just 20 or 30 years, a shinise. That is not anything that I have heard anyone in Kyoto say though.

    To me, it is a place that has been in business for decades, well loved and is in an old, Japanese style ‘machiya’ building. The wood is usually not painted or stained but is nearly black from decades of weather.

  5. psteier says:

    Wood on traditional Japanese buildings was often charred to prevent insect damage. Lacquering was sometimes used for this purpose by the well-to-do.

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