Taste Rakuza is more of a gastropub than an izakaya or restaurant, and we only managed to stumble across it because we were lost in the basement level of Kyoto Tower Building.

The heat was really smashing us on this day and the strong air-con in the restaurant was just beckoning us to step in. Plus they had a glorious window display of imitation food models so even if the menu were to be in solid Japanese (which it was), we’d be able to just step outside and point (which we did).

Ah, tourists.

うまいもんや味楽座 京都タワー店 Taste Rakuza, Kyoto, Japan - Japanese food window display

Not all of us were hungry so one orders the kushiage set (¥550). Skewers of quail eggs, prawn, pork cutlet, and other meats and vegetables, all coated in golden deep-fried breadcrumbs.

うまいもんや味楽座 京都タワー店  Taste Rakuza, Kyoto, Japan - kushiage

I, on the other hand, am particularly hungry and go all out with the priciest item on the lunch menu (¥2500). It consists of some tsukemono (pickles), sashimi, mushimono (steamed dishes) and a DIY grill featuring slices of well marbled beef, eggplant, mushroom, pumpkin and pepper. It is a very satisfying feast!

うまいもんや味楽座 京都タワー店  Taste Rakuza, Kyoto, Japan -  grilled beef set

The others still haven’t squashed their tempura cravings so go for the various sets –

Soba and tempura set (¥1000)

うまいもんや味楽座 京都タワー店  Taste Rakuza, Kyoto, Japan - tempura and soba set

Udon and tempura don set (¥1200)

うまいもんや味楽座 京都タワー店  Taste Rakuza, Kyoto, Japan - tempura and udon set

Tempura and sashimi set (¥1800)

うまいもんや味楽座 京都タワー店  Taste Rakuza, Kyoto, Japan - tempura and sashimi set

All in all, the dishes were slightly similar to the Japanese offering in Australia but somewhat better in taste and value. It wasn’t anything spectacular but it was definitely a fab feed.

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味楽座 (Taste Rakuza)
京都市下京区烏丸通七条下る東塩小路町721-1 京都タワービル地下1階
(Basement of Kyoto Tower Building)
Phone: +81 075 371 9417
Web: http://www.kintetsu-kankou.com/cgi-bin/list.cgi?shu=4

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Jennifer is the founding blogger of I Ate My Way Through (originally, Jenius.com.au). Growing up in the multicultural melting pot of Sydney’s Inner West as a second generation Australian (of Vietnamese refugee parents of Teochew Chinese ancestry), Jen has always had a deep curiosity about global cuisines, culinary heritage and the cultural assimilation of immigrants. For Jen and her family, food is always at the centre of all celebrations, life events and milestones. A lover of the finer things in life, as well as cheap eats, her blogging ethos is all about empowering and inspiring people to expand their culinary repertoire. When not running her two companies (she is also the Managing Director of The Bamboo Garden online marketing agency), Jen can be found exploring old-world charms at vintage markets and delving into local eats around the world. She has a weakness for fried chicken.