TABLEALL

RESERVATIONS

Close
Tokuwo main image

Kyoto

Tokuwo

日本料理とくを

Set in a picturesque Kyoto riverside is a restaurant that brings a smile to all its guests. Warmly welcomed by the chef and his wife, Tokuwo curates a stunning traditional cuisine that embraces local flavors and authentic techniques. From the paintings on the wall to every piece of tableware, the meal here flows with the beautiful seasons.

Since opening his dream restaurant in 2005, Chef Shinji Tokuo has captivated many guests with signature dishes such as suppon soup and grilled eel. Trained at top restaurants like Tankuma, his craftsmanship and creativity bring about delicious bites that make fans make multiple visits throughout the year.

Tokuwo was among the first restaurant to set root in Kiyamachi, a historic stretch that runs parallel to both Kamo and Takase rivers. The area is now busier with restaurants of various cuisines, offering a lively nightlife in the old capital. Walking under rows of cherry blossom trees along the sidewalk, immerse yourself in classic Kyoto scenery before arriving at the restaurant.

The entrance is sophisticated yet inviting with wooden architecture and a small Japanese garden. You walk under the long indigo noren drape into the restaurant and find a corner counter table with ten chairs around it. In the back is a private room that fits as many as six guests. It’s the perfect size for the chef and his wife to pay great attention to each guest.

The meal here flows with the seasons. During the hotter months, the dishes are served on lighter and thinner oshiki (square serving trays), while those coated in lacquer are used in the winter. On the walls hang paintings of seasonal Kyoto scenes by Shuji Takeda, like the Kamo River in the summer or Yasaka Shrine during cherry blossoms.

The main counter is made of a single piece of keyaki wood. On the wall behind where the chef stands is a intricate wooden carving that adds grace to the space. There is also a knife rack that displays the beautiful works of artistry. Here is the stage where Tokuo performs his mastery.

What allows the chef to commit to his cuisine is the relentless support of his wife, who as the okami greets and attends every guest. Feeling relaxed by their warm hospitality, enjoy a conversation or two with the chef while you wait for the exquisite meal to commence.

MORE

CUISINE

A stunning traditional cuisine

Tokuwo treats its guests with original recipes that ride on authentic traditional techniques. Their signature suppon (soft-shell turtles) soup “is all about the freshness,” the chef says. He takes a live turtle and simmers it in a simple broth of kombu, sake and soy. Finished with some ginger juice, the bowl is served with baked mochi that adds an accent to the texture.

“By working carefully with the freshest ingredients, you can create a clear soup.”

Uzaki, vinegered eel and cucumber, adds a nice contrast to the traditional dishes and shows variety in the chef’s skills. Unlike the typical salad that sits in the marinade, his recipe is made fresh right in front of your eyes. Charcoal-grilled eel, smokey yet soft, go beautifully with pieces of cool cucumber, flavored with Tosa vinegar and sansho peppers.

Next is guji, the Kyoto dialect for seabream. An authentic local delicacy, the head is grilled over charcoal with the skin so perfectly crisp and the meat inside so soft and moist. Instead of fuki, Japanese butterbur, the side dish is sauteed celery. Flavored in dark soy, the unusual combination is a pleasant surprise to many.

The platter of sashimi is a beautiful assortment of colors, textures and flavors. Selecting only the freshest seasonal catches, the day’s picks included seabream, fatty tuna, squid, white shrimp, sea eel and torigai clams.

The soup of the day is hamo (pike conger), a Kyoto summer classic. The bowl of warm broth is a product of true craftsmanship. The fish, which has many small bones, is sliced up using a special knife without cutting into the skin. The meat is then dusted with kuzu starch and gently boiled for that smooth texture. The ring of yuzu citrus skin on top adds a refreshing finish.

The round Kamo eggplant, a local favorite, is draped with thick ground meat sauce. First fried and then simmered in dashi broth, the eggland is tender and creamy. Every dish contributes to building a deeper appreciation for the season that surrounds you. Delicate, subtle yet profound, Tokuwo’s other repertoires bring about the best flavors of the season such as shabu shabu of hamo and matsutake mushroom, Matsuba crab, simmered bamboo shoots and grilled smelt.

INGREDIENTS
Using honkarebushi bonito flakes from Makuraki and kombu from Rishiri, Tokuwo’s dashi broth is elegant and smooth. Only careful work and highest quality ingredients can make this kind of dashi possible. The chef makes daily trips to the central market and returns with a truck full of fresh finds. He wants to see with his own eyes on the selection and quality of the produce. Not limited to local grown, he seeks for the tastiest seasonal foods from across the country.

Tokuwo cuisine #0
Tokuwo cuisine #1

CHEF

Shinji Tokuo

Tokuo was born and raised in Kyoto, the home to traditional arts. When he was just 13 years old, he was mesmerized by a documentary about the first master chef of Hotel Okura, the iconic luxury hotel with a rich culinary history. Since then, his heart was set on becoming a chef someday.

His culinary training began at the Kobe branch of the established restaurant Tankuma. Three years later, he joined the Kyoto branch, dedicating a decade in mastering the arts of traditional Japanese cuisine. It was during when he was working for a Gion restaurant called Inaume, he would cycle through the picturesque alleys of Kiyamachi to get to work every day. Since then, he had longed to open his restaurant in this historic neighborhood. Finally in 2005, Tokuwo opens its doors in the chef’s favorite location.

“I also learned about the importance of procurement from the master chef of Inaume,” he remembers. “What you select determines the cuisine.” Thanks to his commitment, he curates a beautiful experience where you can enjoy the flavors of the seasons with all five senses. Everyday, the okami handwrites the menu she places on the counter for the guests. It’s been a three-legged race for the couple in building the restaurant together.

VISION
Tokuo’s focus is to continue growing the restaurant through hard work and diligence. Dedicated to cooking the dishes himself, he hopes to explore the potential of Japanese cuisine. The master chef currently trains three apprentices at his restaurant. He is committed to pass on his skills and values with a wish to raise the next generation of top Japanese chefs. His previous apprentices have already taken on successful roles at established restaurants like Gion Nishi and Jyusseki Gajihara in Fukuoka.

SAKE

The drink menu is diverse with not only the country’s best sake but also a number of vintage Champagne and wines. For Champagne, the chef has picked six different brands including his favorite Perrier-Jouet, Delamotte and Mumm. The wine list is eclectic with rare finds from places like Switzerland and Bulgaria.

“Wine making has its roots in Bulgaria,” he explains as he adds that he trying to match some of their unique grapes like rubin with Japanese flavors. He also offers a number of wines from Kenzo Estate in California. While serving traditional cuisine, his flexible and adventurous mindset allows him to create an entirely new culinary experience.

Course

Lunch
Lunch Hana course
  • The price includes our booking fee of ¥4,000
  • The price includes our booking fee of ¥4,000
¥11,000
¥11,000
Reservation Request
Lunch
Lunch Miyako Course (More luxurious ingredients)
  • The price includes our booking fee of ¥4,000
  • The price includes our booking fee of ¥4,000
¥15,500
¥15,500
Reservation Request
Dinner
Dinner Miyabi course
  • The price includes our booking fee of ¥4,000
  • The price includes our booking fee of ¥4,000
¥18,000
¥18,000
Reservation Request
Dinner
Dinner Irodori course (the best ingredients course)
  • The price includes our booking fee of ¥4,000
  • The price includes our booking fee of ¥4,000
¥21,500
¥21,500
Reservation Request

Kyoto

Tokuwo

日本料理とくを

PRICE
¥11,000
~
CHILD
0
& UP
PRIVATE ROOM
For 3-6 People
LUNCH
OPEN
MIN GUESTS
1
PERSON
~
GENRE
Kaiseki, Kiyamachi
ADDRESS
1F, Kyoto Prefecture, Kyoto, Shimogyo Ward, 木屋町仏光寺上天王151
OPEN
12:00-12:30 (LO), 18:00-20:00(LO)
CLOSED
Sunday
URL
NA
PHONE
+81-75-351-3906

RESERVATION

  • ×