One of the must-visit streets of Kyoto is Nishiki 錦市場, which is basically a long wet-market corridor. It’s mostly food, seafood and produce sold here but they have some souvenir shops also. But mostly, just food.
Nishiki, and Kyoto, are known for their preserved pickled vegetables. The Japanese (and Asian) version of pickles are more salt-based than vinegar-based, which I enjoy more. They really pickle anything. Most commonly radishes (daikon). They also pickle broccoli, cucumbers, eggplants, cabbage, taro, green onions, seaweed, mushrooms, really, anything. All of these types of shops offer free samples. I know. I went there a lot =D
Despite having already eaten a lot on our walk down Nishiki (we had fresh fish-cake tempura…mine had quail egg in the middle), we also looked for a place to eat.
Genzou 元蔵 looked like an interesting noodle place. We were also specifically looking for an udon restaurant as apparently that’s also one of Kyoto’s specialties.
I didn’t think this place makes their own udon though. But the atmosphere was good. The table next to us even talked to us, asking us where we’re from and where we’re going. Once we told them we’ll be headed to Osaka afterwards, they immediately recommended takoyaki.
L’s choice was the Roasted Pork and green onion udon in soup. A note here, dishes with “green onion” are actually a “thing” here, like a specialty. Namely it’s the splitting bulbous type that is considered a traditional vegetable of the Kyoto region. So you’ll see a lot of dishes based on that vegetable.
The pork was very very nicely roasted and fatty. There was also copious amounts of black pepper in the soup which added a very fragrant peppery aroma to both the roasted pork and the soup.
My choice was the Oyster and Egg Tempura Bukake udon. Yes. Bukake udon is a real thing. Not made up by Gyo-O. This was from the Seasonal Specials menu and it was interesting as it actually had deep-fried oyster and a deep-fried runny egg!! It’s like they just cracked an egg into the deep fryer!!! I’ve never had it this way before and I really enjoyed it. It was served with a small amount of soy sauce based soup.
The udon itself was nothing special though. It was as good as what I’ve had before (not including the store-bought packaged stuff). The green onions added a nice spiciness to each bite. Good thing both our dishes had it so we didn’t mind each other’s breath afterwards ;P