When I visited: February 2018
Location: Kyoto (within the Ritz-Carlton hotel)
Team: Koichi Taira (Chef)
Rating in the Michelin Guide: Not rated in the Guide
What to wear: Men – jeans or nice trousers and a shirt; women – jeans and a smart top or a smart dress
Ambience: Intimate, dark
Course of the meal: Nigiri (especially the fatty tuna)
If I could change one thing: Smaller set menu
Like the wonderful Tempura Mizuki, Sushi Mizuki is within the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Kyoto and offers wonderful service under the eye of very experienced chefs. Koichi Taira, who made our sushi in front of us, had been a sushi chef for 19 years.
Sitting at the counter, you get a cool view of the waterfall, and thankfully for a wasabi-hater like me you can also choose to have some, none or a lot of wasabi on your dishes. All the rice we had at this restaurant was warm and fresh and delicious – a stark difference to the rice in supermarket sushi in the UK, which I eat a lot.
We went for the smallest set menu (‘Ruri’) which to be honest felt pretty massive to me. We also enjoyed jasmine tea served in beautiful cups.
The appetiser was white asparagus with sea urchin (an unusual example of sea urchin being nice to eat). We got 9 pieces of nigiri interspersed with other dishes: flat fish with crab sauce on top, stone fish, mackerel topped with ginger, tuna, fatty tuna, squid with Kyoto sesame seeds, scallop, eel, king prawn topped with sweet vinegar. The fatty tuna piece was probably the best, but they were all really good.
We also got a mini bowl of rice topped with sea urchin, a salad of pickled vegetables and a dip of snapper and miso. There was a grilled fish (mackerel) course served in a bowl with seaweed on top and bonito broth, as well as a vegetable-heavy miso soup and a dessert of egg and sugar whipped into an extremely light cake, followed by a big sweet strawberry on ice and roasted tea to finish.